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modify php session time

Posted on 2009-04-01
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Basically I'm trying to modify the php session expiration time (default 1400 sec = 24 min). I don't have access to php.ini  or to any apache configuration file.
After reading tones of forums, I ended up with this script:

-----------------------------------------------------------------
$garbage_timeout = 3600; // in seconds
ini_set('session.gc_maxlifetime', $garbage_timeout);

strstr(strtoupper(substr($_SERVER["SERVER_SOFTWARE"], 0, 3)), "WIN") ?
      $sep = "\\" : $sep = "/";
$sessdir = ini_get('session.save_path').$sep."my_sessions";
if (!is_dir($sessdir)) { mkdir($sessdir, 0777); }
ini_set('session.save_path', $sessdir);

session_start();
....code...
----------------------------------------------------------------

The default path for session saves is /tmp      ( I found this with ini_get('session.save_path'); )

The problem is that I can't create a separate folder in /tmp. If I login with an FTP client, I can go to tmp folder, create whatever I want and give whatever permissions I want. NOT happening via php script.
By default garbage collector cleans /tmp folder (where there are saves from all users sessions) after server default time (1440 sec). I need to create a subfolder in /tmp, so that garbage collector won't destroy my session variables before a specified time (3600 seconds in my case).

Many thanks in advance!
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Question by:itst
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 24044708
You might want to look into using a database to hold the session data.  Or if you are running on a hosted server, ask the server administrators to show you how to change this.  They would have access to the php.ini and similar files.

HTH, ~Ray
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Author Comment

by:itst
ID: 24059843
I am running on a hosted server ... I only have CPanel for administrative purposes. I don't know how to use "database to hold the session data". Could you pls be more specific? i asked them (hosting company) to increase the value for session.gc_maxlifetime only for my domain... they said NO. They will probably say NO for saving session data into a database.
The script from my first post should work if I could create folders via php...
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Accepted Solution

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Ray Paseur earned 500 total points
ID: 24062234
See the man page here for information on using sessions in a data base.
http://us3.php.net/manual/en/function.session-set-save-handler.php

This will require a lot of app=development work to implement, and you will need to have a good understanding of databases in general and probably MySQL in particular. I think your choices are either (1) do the research and the work to change the session handler or (2) find another hosting company.  If it were my situation, I would find another hosting company.  Ask their tech support about this question before you sign up for their contract.  

Wish it were easy, but I do not know of a better way.  Best, ~Ray
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