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Piwik requires session.save_handler: files #651

anonymous-piwik-user opened this Issue · 8 comments

3 participants


There is a problem where piwik throws error messages and isn’t working at all. This happens if PHP is correctly configured for Drupal CMS ( The source of this issue is “session.save_handler: user”.

``` [Session] ; Handler used to store/retrieve data. session.save_handler = user ```

As a workaround I tried using “files”, but I’m not sure if this may break something in Drupal…

``` [Session] ; Handler used to store/retrieve data. session.save_handler = files


The error message that is thown is:

``` Fatal error: session_start() [function.session-start]: Failed to initialize storage module: user (path: C:\Programme\PHP\sessions) in piwik\index.php on line 42


Are you able to fix this bug soon, please?


Piwik doesn’t implement its own session save handler, hence ‘files’ (i.e., default to PHP’s built-in handler). We have no plans to implement our own session save handler. [WONTFIX]

That said, session.save_handler doesn’t have to be set in the master php.ini; supposedly, it can also be set by PHP script, .htaccess, and/or httpd.conf. That could be a Drupal or Piwik change.

Lowering priority.

In Piwik’s ./index.php, can you add:

@ini_set(‘session.save_handler’, ‘files’);


I hope you understand that Drupal and other users don’t understand the error message and cannot handle this. I don’t like to point all people to this case opening issues in my issue queue at This are recurring issues.

It would be better if this is much more user friendlier and would work like many other applications that do not require “files” with both users and files.

Code wise this should be solvable with “5 lines” of code…


Cool. I look forward to seeing your patch.

Piwik Open Source Analytics member

I’m actually unsure of what the proper “fix” would be for this problem…? how does Wordpress (or other OS softwares) deal with this?


(In [1070]) Fixed #651 by setting session.save_handler explicitly.


Tested by setting "session.save_handler = user" in master php.ini, and restarting apache.


Does this means the latest piwik version contains a solution for this issue or are you not able to repro?


I reproduced the error you reported in the problem description by setting "session.save_handler = user" in my master php.ini (i.e., /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini) and restarting apache.

Matt and I aren't aware of the "5 lines" fix that you hinted at, but I commited the one-liner that I proposed in comment:1 and observed that Piwik runs fine (again) as a standalone app. While I have not tested this with Drupal, I believe it is consistent with the .htaccess workaround that you currently require for Drupal-Piwik users.

Please re-open this ticket if the problem persists.

@anonymous-piwik-user anonymous-piwik-user added this to the RobotRock milestone
This issue was closed.
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