php sessions

I wrote a program and one person keeps getting this when the session is created. The session is created with 0 bytes.

[25-Jul-2015 03:30:15 UTC] PHP Warning:  session_start(): open(/tmp/sess_6b706f1ff59acce6c3fa7f27a91a9dc6, O_RDWR) failed: Permission denied (13) in /home/vmp662980/public_html/settings.php on line 0


The code above will produce this for my user. He is running Windows 7 with IE 11. I am unable to duplicate the issue. Any advise.
Robert SaylorSenior DeveloperAsked:
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
The usual reason is that the directory where the session data is supposed to be stored is not writeable by PHP and the web server.  He may be on Win 7 but "/home/vmp662980/public_html/settings.php" looks like a Linux home directory path.  ??
Robert SaylorSenior DeveloperAuthor Commented:
/tmp is set to 777 and from Windows 8.1 IE 11 it works, Mac with Firefox it works.
Ray PaseurCommented:
Here is how to use PHP sessions.  It's usually very simple, and this symptom sounds like you're using them right, but there may be some confusion about the file paths, which are (unfortunately) configuration variables.

Please run this script on the failing machine and show us the output, thanks.
<?php // demo/temp_rsaylor.php

echo '<pre>';

$cwd = getcwd();
echo PHP_EOL;

$pth = session_save_path();
echo PHP_EOL;

function getFilePerms($path)
    $perms = fileperms($path);

    if (($perms & 0xC000) == 0xC000) {
        // Socket
        $info = 's';
    } elseif (($perms & 0xA000) == 0xA000) {
        // Symbolic Link
        $info = 'l';
    } elseif (($perms & 0x8000) == 0x8000) {
        // Regular
        $info = '-';
    } elseif (($perms & 0x6000) == 0x6000) {
        // Block special
        $info = 'b';
    } elseif (($perms & 0x4000) == 0x4000) {
        // Directory
        $info = 'd';
    } elseif (($perms & 0x2000) == 0x2000) {
        // Character special
        $info = 'c';
    } elseif (($perms & 0x1000) == 0x1000) {
        // FIFO pipe
        $info = 'p';
    } else {
        // Unknown
        $info = 'u';

    // Owner
    $info .= (($perms & 0x0100) ? 'r' : '-');
    $info .= (($perms & 0x0080) ? 'w' : '-');
    $info .= (($perms & 0x0040) ?
                (($perms & 0x0800) ? 's' : 'x' ) :
                (($perms & 0x0800) ? 'S' : '-'));

    // Group
    $info .= (($perms & 0x0020) ? 'r' : '-');
    $info .= (($perms & 0x0010) ? 'w' : '-');
    $info .= (($perms & 0x0008) ?
                (($perms & 0x0400) ? 's' : 'x' ) :
                (($perms & 0x0400) ? 'S' : '-'));

    // World
    $info .= (($perms & 0x0004) ? 'r' : '-');
    $info .= (($perms & 0x0002) ? 'w' : '-');
    $info .= (($perms & 0x0001) ?
                (($perms & 0x0200) ? 't' : 'x' ) :
                (($perms & 0x0200) ? 'T' : '-'));

    return $info;

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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
See if your "Windows 7 with IE 11" user has cookies turned off or is doing In Private browsing or something like that.  If it is unique to that user, it is probably something they have done.  I have two Win7 machines with IE11 that do not have any problems with sessions.  Along with numerous XP, Mac, and Linux machines.
Robert SaylorSenior DeveloperAuthor Commented:

Not sure why but we found:

the user goes to and logs in.

They then goto and logs in but the session is confusing with for the session. We resolved this by creating a new domain for the backend admin so testing that currently.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
The cookie that is set with the session_id is for a particular domain and '' and '' are not the same.  That could easily cause the error that you are seeing.  See 'domain' on this page:  To get the same session on all subdomains, you need to alter the cookie's domain.
Cookie domain, for example ''. To make cookies visible on all subdomains then the domain must be prefixed with a dot like ''.
You can use to get the cookie info first.

PS: '' is the domain.  Both and are subdomains.

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Ray PaseurCommented:
Maybe this slipped by earlier, so I'll post the link to it again.
Robert SaylorSenior DeveloperAuthor Commented:
With only some browsers and even with IE 11 some machines would fail when we logged into then logged into

We fixed this by creating to log into then from their the user can log into and the issue has resolved. I am pretty positive this was a cross domain cookie/session issue and then I add in iframes and it gets nasty. All is ok now.
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