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Get random boolean true/false in PHP

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

What would be the most elegant way to get a random boolean true/false in PHP?

I can think of:

$value = (bool)rand(0,1);

But does casting an integer to boolean bring any disadvantages?

Or is this an “official” way to do this?

Answers:

If you don’t wish to have a boolean cast (not that there’s anything wrong with that) you can easily make it a boolean like this:

$value = rand(0,1) == 1;

Basically, if the random value is 1, yield true, otherwise false. Of course, a value of 0 or 1 already acts as a boolean value; so this:

if (rand(0, 1)) { ... }

Is a perfectly valid condition and will work as expected.

Alternatively, you can use mt_rand() for the random number generation (it’s an improvement over rand()). You could even go as far as openssl_random_pseudo_bytes() with this code:

$value = ord(openssl_random_pseudo_bytes(1)) >= 0x80;

Update

In PHP 7.0 you will be able to use random_int(), which generates cryptographically secure pseudo-random integers:

$value = (bool)random_int(0, 1);

Questions:
Answers:

I use a simply

rand(0,1) < 0.5