XXXI. Error Handling and Logging Functions


These are functions dealing with error handling and logging. They allow you to define your own error handling rules, as well as modify the way the errors can be logged. This allows you to change and enhance error reporting to suit your needs.

With the logging functions, you can send messages directly to other machines, to an email (or email to pager gateway!), to system logs, etc., so you can selectively log and monitor the most important parts of your applications and websites.

The error reporting functions allow you to customize what level and kind of error feedback is given, ranging from simple notices to customized functions returned during errors.




本函数库作为 PHP 内核的一部分,不用安装就能使用。


这些函数的行为受 php.ini 的影响。

表格 1. Errors and Logging Configuration Options

display_startup_errors"0"PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 4.0.3.
log_errors_max_len"1024"PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 4.3.0.
ignore_repeated_errors"0"PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 4.3.0.
ignore_repeated_source"0"PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 4.3.0.
report_memleaks"1"PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 4.3.0.
html_errors"1"PHP_INI_ALLPHP_INI_SYSTEM in PHP <= 4.2.3. Available since PHP 4.0.2.
docref_root""PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 4.3.0.
docref_ext""PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 4.3.2.
有关 PHP_INI_* 常量进一步的细节与定义参见附录 G


error_reporting integer

Set the error reporting level. The parameter is either an integer representing a bit field, or named constants. The error_reporting levels and constants are described in Predefined Constants, and in php.ini. To set at runtime, use the error_reporting() function. See also the display_errors directive.

In PHP 4 and PHP 5 the default value is E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE. This setting does not show E_NOTICE level errors. You may want to show them during development.

注: Enabling E_NOTICE during development has some benefits. For debugging purposes: NOTICE messages will warn you about possible bugs in your code. For example, use of unassigned values is warned. It is extremely useful to find typos and to save time for debugging. NOTICE messages will warn you about bad style. For example, $arr[item] is better to be written as $arr['item'] since PHP tries to treat "item" as constant. If it is not a constant, PHP assumes it is a string index for the array.

注: In PHP 5 a new error level E_STRICT is available. As E_STRICT is not included within E_ALL you have to explicitly enable this kind of error level. Enabling E_STRICT during development has some benefits. STRICT messages will help you to use the latest and greatest suggested method of coding, for example warn you about using deprecated functions.

In PHP 3, the default setting is (E_ERROR | E_WARNING | E_PARSE), meaning the same thing. Note, however, that since constants are not supported in PHP 3's php3.ini, the error_reporting setting there must be numeric; hence, it is 7.

display_errors boolean

This determines whether errors should be printed to the screen as part of the output or if they should be hidden from the user.

注: This is a feature to support your development and should never be used on production systems (e.g. systems connected to the internet).

注: Although display_errors may be set at runtime (with ini_set ()), it won't have any affect if the script has fatal errors. This is because the desired runtime action does not get executed.

display_startup_errors boolean

Even when display_errors is on, errors that occur during PHP's startup sequence are not displayed. It's strongly recommended to keep display_startup_errors off, except for debugging.

log_errors boolean

Tells whether script error messages should be logged to the server's error log or error_log. This option is thus server-specific.

注: You're strongly advised to use error logging in place of error displaying on production web sites.

log_errors_max_len integer

Set the maximum length of log_errors in bytes. In error_log information about the source is added. The default is 1024 and 0 allows to not apply any maximum length at all. This length is applied to logged errors, displayed errors and also to $php_errormsg.

当使用 integer 类型时,其值以字节为度量单位。还可以用简化符号,说明见此 FAQ

ignore_repeated_errors boolean

Do not log repeated messages. Repeated errors must occur in the same file on the same line until ignore_repeated_source is set true.

ignore_repeated_source boolean

Ignore source of message when ignoring repeated messages. When this setting is On you will not log errors with repeated messages from different files or sourcelines.

report_memleaks boolean

If this parameter is set to Off, then memory leaks will not be shown (on stdout or in the log). This has only effect in a debug compile, and if error_reporting includes E_WARNING in the allowed list

track_errors boolean

If enabled, the last error message will always be present in the variable $php_errormsg.

html_errors boolean

Turn off HTML tags in error messages. The new format for HTML errors produces clickable messages that direct the user to a page describing the error or function in causing the error. These references are affected by docref_root and docref_ext.

docref_root string

The new error format contains a reference to a page describing the error or function causing the error. In case of manual pages you can download the manual in your language and set this ini directive to the URL of your local copy. If your local copy of the manual can be reached by '/manual/' you can simply use docref_root=/manual/. Additional you have to set docref_ext to match the fileextensions of your copy docref_ext=.html. It is possible to use external references. For example you can use docref_root=http://manual/en/ or docref_root=" &"

Most of the time you want the docref_root value to end with a slash '/'. But see the second example above which does not have nor need it.

注: This is a feature to support your development since it makes it easy to lookup a function description. However it should never be used on production systems (e.g. systems connected to the internet).

docref_ext string

See docref_root.

注: The value of docref_ext must begin with a dot '.'.

error_prepend_string string

String to output before an error message.

error_append_string string

String to output after an error message.

error_log string

Name of the file where script errors should be logged. The file should be writable by the web server's user. If the special value syslog is used, the errors are sent to the system logger instead. On Unix, this means syslog(3) and on Windows NT it means the event log. The system logger is not supported on Windows 95. See also: syslog().

warn_plus_overloading boolean

If enabled, this option makes PHP output a warning when the plus (+) operator is used on strings. This is to make it easier to find scripts that need to be rewritten to using the string concatenator instead (.).


以下常量作为 PHP 核心的一部分一直有效。

注: You may use these constant names in php.ini but not outside of PHP, like in httpd.conf, where you'd use the bitmask values instead.

表格 2. Errors and Logging

1 E_ERROR (integer) Fatal run-time errors. These indicate errors that can not be recovered from, such as a memory allocation problem. Execution of the script is halted.  
2 E_WARNING (integer) Run-time warnings (non-fatal errors). Execution of the script is not halted.  
4 E_PARSE (integer) Compile-time parse errors. Parse errors should only be generated by the parser.  
8 E_NOTICE (integer) Run-time notices. Indicate that the script encountered something that could indicate an error, but could also happen in the normal course of running a script.  
16 E_CORE_ERROR (integer) Fatal errors that occur during PHP's initial startup. This is like an E_ERROR, except it is generated by the core of PHP. since PHP 4
32 E_CORE_WARNING (integer) Warnings (non-fatal errors) that occur during PHP's initial startup. This is like an E_WARNING, except it is generated by the core of PHP. since PHP 4
64 E_COMPILE_ERROR (integer) Fatal compile-time errors. This is like an E_ERROR, except it is generated by the Zend Scripting Engine. since PHP 4
128 E_COMPILE_WARNING (integer) Compile-time warnings (non-fatal errors). This is like an E_WARNING, except it is generated by the Zend Scripting Engine. since PHP 4
256 E_USER_ERROR (integer) User-generated error message. This is like an E_ERROR, except it is generated in PHP code by using the PHP function trigger_error(). since PHP 4
512 E_USER_WARNING (integer) User-generated warning message. This is like an E_WARNING, except it is generated in PHP code by using the PHP function trigger_error(). since PHP 4
1024 E_USER_NOTICE (integer) User-generated notice message. This is like an E_NOTICE, except it is generated in PHP code by using the PHP function trigger_error(). since PHP 4
2047 E_ALL (integer) All errors and warnings, as supported, except of level E_STRICT.  
2048 E_STRICT (integer) Run-time notices. Enable to have PHP suggest changes to your code which will ensure the best interoperability and forward compatibility of your code. since PHP 5

The above values (either numerical or symbolic) are used to build up a bitmask that specifies which errors to report. You can use the bitwise operators to combine these values or mask out certain types of errors. Note that only '|', '~', '!', '^' and '&' will be understood within php.ini, however, and that no bitwise operators will be understood within php3.ini.


Below we can see an example of using the error handling capabilities in PHP. We define an error handling function which logs the information into a file (using an XML format), and e-mails the developer in case a critical error in the logic happens.

例子 1. Using error handling in a script

// we will do our own error handling

// user defined error handling function
function userErrorHandler($errno, $errmsg, $filename, $linenum, $vars)
// timestamp for the error entry
$dt = date("Y-m-d H:i:s (T)");

// define an assoc array of error string
    // in reality the only entries we should
    // consider are E_WARNING, E_NOTICE, E_USER_ERROR,
$errortype = array (
E_ERROR           => "Error",
E_WARNING         => "Warning",
E_PARSE           => "Parsing Error",
E_NOTICE          => "Notice",
E_CORE_ERROR      => "Core Error",
E_CORE_WARNING    => "Core Warning",
E_COMPILE_ERROR   => "Compile Error",
E_COMPILE_WARNING => "Compile Warning",
E_USER_ERROR      => "User Error",
E_USER_WARNING    => "User Warning",
E_USER_NOTICE     => "User Notice",
E_STRICT          => "Runtime Notice"
// set of errors for which a var trace will be saved
$user_errors = array(E_USER_ERROR, E_USER_WARNING, E_USER_NOTICE);
$err = "<errorentry>\n";
$err .= "\t<datetime>" . $dt . "</datetime>\n";
$err .= "\t<errornum>" . $errno . "</errornum>\n";
$err .= "\t<errortype>" . $errortype[$errno] . "</errortype>\n";
$err .= "\t<errormsg>" . $errmsg . "</errormsg>\n";
$err .= "\t<scriptname>" . $filename . "</scriptname>\n";
$err .= "\t<scriptlinenum>" . $linenum . "</scriptlinenum>\n";

    if (
in_array($errno, $user_errors)) {
$err .= "\t<vartrace>" . wddx_serialize_value($vars, "Variables") . "</vartrace>\n";
$err .= "</errorentry>\n\n";
// for testing
    // echo $err;

    // save to the error log, and e-mail me if there is a critical user error
error_log($err, 3, "/usr/local/php4/error.log");
    if (
$errno == E_USER_ERROR) {
mail("", "Critical User Error", $err);

distance($vect1, $vect2)
    if (!
is_array($vect1) || !is_array($vect2)) {
trigger_error("Incorrect parameters, arrays expected", E_USER_ERROR);

    if (
count($vect1) != count($vect2)) {
trigger_error("Vectors need to be of the same size", E_USER_ERROR);

    for (
$i=0; $i<count($vect1); $i++) {
$c1 = $vect1[$i]; $c2 = $vect2[$i];
$d = 0.0;
        if (!
is_numeric($c1)) {
trigger_error("Coordinate $i in vector 1 is not a number, using zero",
$c1 = 0.0;
        if (!
is_numeric($c2)) {
trigger_error("Coordinate $i in vector 2 is not a number, using zero",
$c2 = 0.0;
$d += $c2*$c2 - $c1*$c1;

$old_error_handler = set_error_handler("userErrorHandler");

// undefined constant, generates a warning

// define some "vectors"
$a = array(2, 3, "foo");
$b = array(5.5, 4.3, -1.6);
$c = array(1, -3);

// generate a user error
$t1 = distance($c, $b) . "\n";

// generate another user error
$t2 = distance($b, "i am not an array") . "\n";

// generate a warning
$t3 = distance($a, $b) . "\n";



See also syslog().

debug_backtrace -- Generates a backtrace
debug_print_backtrace --  Prints a backtrace
error_log -- Send an error message somewhere
error_reporting -- Sets which PHP errors are reported
restore_error_handler -- Restores the previous error handler function
restore_exception_handler --  Restores the previously defined exception handler function
set_error_handler --  Sets a user-defined error handler function
set_exception_handler --  Sets a user-defined exception handler function
trigger_error -- Generates a user-level error/warning/notice message
user_error -- Alias of trigger_error()

add a note add a note User Contributed Notes
theotek AT nowhere DOT org
04-Aug-2006 11:40
It is totally possible to use debug_backtrace() inside an error handling function. Here, take a look:


errorHandler( $errno, $errstr, $errfile, $errline, $errcontext)
'Into '.__FUNCTION__.'() at line '.__LINE__.
"\n\n---ERRNO---\n". print_r( $errno, true).
"\n\n---ERRSTR---\n". print_r( $errstr, true).
"\n\n---ERRFILE---\n". print_r( $errfile, true).
"\n\n---ERRLINE---\n". print_r( $errline, true).
"\n\n---ERRCONTEXT---\n".print_r( $errcontext, true).
"\n\nBacktrace of errorHandler()\n".
print_r( debug_backtrace(), true);

a( )
//echo "a()'s backtrace\n".print_r( debug_backtrace(), true);
asdfasdf; // oops

//echo "b()'s backtrace\n".print_r( debug_backtrace(), true);




Into errorhandler() at line 9


Use of undefined constant asdfasdf - assumed 'asdfasdf'




Backtrace of errorHandler()
   [0] => Array
           [function] => errorhandler
           [args] => Array
                   [0] => 8
                   [1] => Use of undefined constant asdfasdf - assumed 'asdfasdf'
                   [2] => /home/theotek/test-1.php
                   [3] => 23
                   [4] => Array



   [1] => Array
           [file] => /home/theotek/test-1.php
           [line] => 23
           [function] => a

   [2] => Array
           [file] => /home/theotek/test-1.php
           [line] => 30
           [function] => a
           [args] => Array


   [3] => Array
           [file] => /home/theotek/test-1.php
           [line] => 33
           [function] => b
           [args] => Array




So, the first member of the backtrace's array is not really surprising, except from the missing "file" and "line" members.

The second member of the backtrace seem the be a hook inside the zend engine that is used to trigger the error.

Other members are the normal backtrace.
email_php_28429 at wg-karlsruhe dot de
21-Feb-2006 03:52
if you cannot use php 5+ and if you do not know, when your administrator/provider will update to a newer php-version, this could be interesting. otherwise it surely is not. ;-)

if you use the example above "example 1: using error handling in a script" with a php version prior to php 5, the part

= array(
// ...
E_STRICT          => "Runtime Notice");?>

will throw a notice like
"Use of undefined constant E_STRICT - assumed 'E_STRICT'".

of course one could avoid this problem, with

if(defined('E_STRICT')) define('E_STRICT', 2048);

but this _could_ generate problems in future versions of php, if E_STRICT is set to 42 or something else.

for this reason i suggest

= array(
E_ERROR          => 'error',
E_WARNING        => 'warning',
E_PARSE          => 'parsing error',
E_NOTICE          => 'notice',
E_CORE_ERROR      => 'core error',
E_CORE_WARNING    => 'core warning',
E_COMPILE_ERROR  => 'compile error',
E_COMPILE_WARNING => 'compile warning',
E_USER_ERROR      => 'user error',
E_USER_WARNING    => 'user warning',
E_USER_NOTICE    => 'user notice');
$errortype[E_STRICT] = 'runtime notice';

// and instead of
// error_reporting(E_ALL | E_STRICT);
// one can use
error_reporting(E_ALL | (defined('E_STRICT')? E_STRICT : 0));
// to avoid that notice.

tracerdx at tracerdx dot com
29-Nov-2005 01:46
I keep seeing qualification lists for error types/error-nums as arrays; In user notes and in the manual itself. For example, in this manual entry's example, when trying to seperate behavior for the variable trace in the error report:

<?php //...

// set of errors for which a var trace will be saved
$user_errors = array(E_USER_ERROR, E_USER_WARNING, E_USER_NOTICE);

//and later...

if (in_array($errno, $user_errors)) {

//... ?>

I was under the impression that PHP error code values where bitwise flag values. Wouldn't bitwise masking be better? So I propose a slightly better way:
<?php //...



if ($errno & $user_errors) {

//... ?>
Or for those of you who don't like the idea of using an integer as the condition in an if statement:

if (($errno & $user_errors) > 0) {

I think that's much more efficient than using _yet another_ array() constuct and an in_array().

If I am wrong, and the E_* constants aren't supposed to be used in this fashion (ie, the constans aren't guaranteed to be bitwise, which would be odd since that's how they're setup in the php.ini file), then delete me. I just don't see why one should be using arrays when bitwise comparisons will work, considering the bitwise method should be MUCH more efficient.
giunta dot gaetano at sea-aeroportimilano dot it
23-Jun-2005 05:03
Something to take care of: if track_errors is enabled, $php_errormsg will always be populated with error messages of warning (and possibly notice?) level, regardless of the error_reporting level set.
21-May-2005 07:20
When configuring your error log file in php.ini, you can use an absolute path or a relative path.  A relative path will be resolved based on the location of the generating script, and you'll get a log file in each directory you have scripts in.  If you want all your error messages to go to the same file, use an absolute path to the file.

In some application development methodologies, there is the concept of an application root directory, indicated by "/" (even on Windows).  However, PHP does not seem to have this concept, and using a "/" as the initial character in a log file path produces weird behavior on Windows.

If you are running on Windows and have set, in php.ini:

  error_log = "/php_error.log"

You will get some, but not all, error messages.  The file will appear at


and contain internally generated error messages, making it appear that error logging is working.  However, log messages requested by error_log() do NOT appear here, or anywhere else, making it appear that the code containing them did not get processed.

Apparently on Windows the internally generated errors will interpret "/" as "C:\" (or possibly a different drive if you have Windows installed elsewhere - I haven't tested this).  However, the error_log process apparently can't find "/" - understandably enough - and the message is dropped silently.
shawing at gmail dot com
28-Jan-2005 06:05
Although the root user writes to the files 'error_log' and 'access_log', the Apache user has to own the file referenced by 'error_log = filename' or no log entries will be written.

; From php.ini
; Log errors to specified file.
error_log = /usr/local/apache/logs/php.errors

[root@www logs]$ ls -l /usr/local/apache/logs/php.errors
-rw-r--r--    1 nobody  root          27K Jan 27 16:58 php.errors
omega172 at yahoo dot com
22-Sep-2004 04:01
As pointed out previously, PHP by default logs to the Apache ErrorLog.

Beware: the messages it logs do not conform to Apache's error log format (missing date and severity fields), so if you use an automated parser on your error logs, you'll want to redirect PHP's errors somewhere else with the error_log directive.
ptah at se dot linux dot org
10-Sep-2004 08:20
PHP5 only (only tested with php5.0).

If you, for some reason, prefer exceptions over errors and have your custom error handler (set_error_handler) wrap the error into an exception you have to be careful with your script.

Because if you, instead of just calling the exception handler, throws the exception, and having a custom exception handler (set_exception_handler). And an error is being triggered inside that exception handler, you will get a weird error:
"Fatal error: Exception thrown without a stack frame in Unknown on line 0"

This error is not particulary informative, is it? :)

This example below will cause this error.
class PHPErrorException extends Exception
private $context = null;
public function __construct
($code, $message, $file, $line, $context = null)
parent::__construct($message, $code);
$this->file = $file;
$this->line = $line;
$this->context = $context;

error_handler($code, $message, $file, $line) {
throw new PHPErrorException($code, $message, $file, $line);

exception_handler(Exception $e)
$errors = array(
E_USER_ERROR        => "User Error",
E_USER_WARNING        => "User Warning",
E_USER_NOTICE        => "User Notice",
$errors[$e->getCode()].': '.$e->getMessage().' in '.$e->getFile().
' on line '.$e->getLine()."\n";


// Throw exception with an /unkown/ error code.
throw new Exception('foo', 0);

There are however, easy fix for this as it's only cause is sloppy code.
Like one, directly call exception_handler from error_handler instead of throwing an exception. Not only does it remedy this problem, but it's also faster. Though this will cause a `regular` unhandled exception being printed and if only "designed" error messages are intended, this is not the ultimate solution.

So, what is there to do? Make sure the code in exception_handlers doesn't cause any errors! In this case a simple isset() would have solved it.

regards, C-A B.
pgerzsonr at freestart dot hu
11-Jan-2002 12:03
A handy errorhandler class can be found at:

It has several enhancements (report layouts):

* prints the source code fragment where the error encountered,
* prints variable context around error source,
* suppresses error-messages, instead displays an arbitrary HTML or PHP page
* logging to multiple targets and autodetecting target logging
* error messages can be displayed in a separate browser window
* catching errors for runtime generated codes
* debugging variables.