A php.ini scanner for best security practices


Scanner for PHP.ini

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The Iniscan is a tool designed to scan the given php.ini file for common security practices and report back results. Currently it is only for use on the command line and reports the results back to the display for both Pass and Fail on each test.


Using Composer

composer require psecio/iniscan

The only current dependency is the Symfony console.

Global Composer installation

Additionally, you can install it outside of a project with the global functionality Composer provides. From any directory you can use:

$ ./composer.phar global require psecio/iniscan
$ ~/.composer/vendor/bin/iniscan

Using a single Phar file

First make sure you run composer.phar install

curl -LSs https://box-project.github.io/box2/installer.php | php
php box.phar build

This should result in a iniscan.phar file being created in the root folder. Instead of using vendor/bin/iniscan in the examples use ./iniscan.phar instead.


vendor/bin/iniscan scan --path=/path/to/php.ini
Results for /private/etc/php.ini:
Status | Severity | PHP Version | Key                      | Description
PASS   | ERROR    |             | session.use_cookies      | Accepts cookies to manage sessions
PASS   | ERROR    | 4.3.0       | session.use_only_cookies | Must use cookies to manage sessions, don't accept session-ids in a link

1 passing
2 failure(s)

NOTE: When the scan runs, if it cannot find a setting in the php.ini given, it will use ini_get to pull the current setting (possibly the default).

Command line usage

Iniscan offers a few commands for both checking and showing the contents of your php.ini.


The scan command will be the most used - it runs the rules checks against the given ini file and reports back the results. For example:

vendor/bin/iniscan scan --path=/path/to/php.ini

If the path is omitted, iniscan will try to find it based off the current configuration (a "php -i" call). By default, this reports back both the pass and fail results of the checks. If you'd like to only return the failures, you can use the fail-only argument:

vendor/bin/iniscan scan --path=/path/to/php.ini --fail-only

The scan command will return an exit code based on the results:

  • 0: No errors
  • 1: Failures found

Scan Level Threshold

You can request the only scan for rules that are on or above a threshold:

vendor/bin/iniscan scan --path=/path/to/php.ini --threshold=ERROR

There are 3 levels you can use:

  • FATAL (No rules uses that level at the moment)


The show command lists out the contents of your php.ini file with a bit of extra formatting.

vendor/bin/iniscan show --path=/path/to/php.ini


The list-tests command shows a listing of the current rules being checked and their related php.ini key.

vendor/bin/iniscan list-tests

Output formats

By default iniscan will output information directly to the console in a human-readable result. You can also specify other output formats that may be easier to parse programatically (like JSON). Use the --format option to change the output:

vendor/bin/iniscan show --path=/path/to/php.ini --format=json

the list-tests command also supports JSON output:

vendor/bin/iniscan list-tests --path=/path/to/php.ini --format=json

NOTE: Currently, only the scan command supports alternate output formats - console, JSON, XML and HTML.

The HTML output option requires an --output option of the directory to write the file:

vendor/bin/iniscan scan --format=html --output=/var/www/output

The result will be written to a file named something like iniscan-output-20131212.html


The scanner also supports the concept of "contexts" - environments you may be executing the scanner in. For example, in your development environment, it may be okay to have display_errors on. In production, however, this is a bad idea. The scanner's default assumes you're using it in prod, so it uses the strictest checks unless you tell it otherwise. To do so, use the context command line option:

vendor/bin/iniscan show --path=/path/to/php.ini --context=dev

In this case, we've told it we're running in dev, so anything that specifically mentions "prod" isn't executed.

Deprecated reporting

As the scanner runs, it will compare the configuration key to a list of deprecated items. If the version is at or later than the version defined in the rules, an error will be shown in the output. For example, in the console, you'd see:

WARNING: deprecated configuration items found:
-> register_globals
It's recommended that these settings be removed as they will be removed from future PHP versions.

This is default behavior and does not need to be enabled.

@author Chris Cornutt ccornutt@phpdeveloper.org

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