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php – How long will my session last?

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


Can someone please tell me how long my session will last from the data below? – I’m not sure which one tells me

session.auto_start  Off Off
session.bug_compat_42   Off Off
session.bug_compat_warn On  On
session.cache_expire    180 180
session.cache_limiter   nocache nocache
session.cookie_domain   no value    no value
session.cookie_httponly Off Off
session.cookie_lifetime 0   0
session.cookie_path /   /
session.cookie_secure   Off Off
session.entropy_file    no value    no value
session.entropy_length  0   0
session.gc_divisor  1000    1000
session.gc_maxlifetime  1440    1440
session.gc_probability  1   1
session.hash_bits_per_character 5   5
session.hash_function   0   0
session.name    PHPSESSID   PHPSESSID
session.referer_check   no value    no value
session.save_handler    files   files
session.save_path   /var/lib/php/session    /var/lib/php/session
session.serialize_handler   php php
session.use_cookies On  On
session.use_only_cookies    Off Off
session.use_trans_sid   0   0
How to&Answers:

In general you can say session.gc_maxlifetime specifies the maximum lifetime since the last change of your session data (not the last time session_start was called!). But PHP’s session handling is a little bit more complicated.

Because the session data is removed by a garbage collector that is only called by session_start with a probability of session.gc_probability devided by session.gc_divisor. The default values are 1 and 100, so the garbage collector is only started in only 1% of all session_start calls. That means even if the the session is already timed out in theory (the session data had been changed more than session.gc_maxlifetime seconds ago), the session data can be used longer than that.

Because of that fact I recommend you to implement your own session timeout mechanism. See my answer to How do I expire a PHP session after 30 minutes? for more details.


This is the one. The session will last for 1440 seconds (24 minutes).

session.gc_maxlifetime  1440    1440


If session.cookie_lifetime is 0, the session cookie lives until the browser is quit.

EDIT: Others have mentioned the session.gc_maxlifetime setting. When session garbage collection occurs, the garbage collector will delete any session data that has not been accessed in longer than session.gc_maxlifetime seconds. To set the time-to-live for the session cookie, call session_set_cookie_params() or define the session.cookie_lifetime PHP setting. If this setting is greater than session.gc_maxlifetime, you should increase session.gc_maxlifetime to a value greater than or equal to the cookie lifetime to ensure that your sessions won’t expire.


You’re searching for gc_maxlifetime, see http://php.net/manual/en/session.configuration.php#ini.session.gc-maxlifetime for a description.

Your session will last 1440 seconds which is 24 minutes (default).