[nycphp-talk] Session timing out too soon

Michael Sims jellicle at
Thu Dec 4 09:31:31 EST 2008

On Thursday 04 December 2008, Aaron Fischer wrote:

> Greetings,
> I have an application built for internal use that has a user login and
> then uses sessions to track their state.  I am running into a problem
> in that their session seems to expire if they are on one page for
> somewhere between 15-25 minutes.  This creates a big problem because
> they type up a long report, submit it and then get booted out of the
> application without the report being saved.
> I would like to have the user be able to be logged in for a full eight
> hour day, regardless of their level of activity.
> How would I do this?  I would appreciate any suggestions.  Also of
> note, I am in a shared hosting environment.

This one has been asked before.  The default lifetime for sessions is 24 
minutes.  However, in a shared environment, the default lifetime is the 
lowest of any user's choice; so if one user on the shared server has the 
default lifetime set to 1 minute, EVERYONE'S sessions expire after one 
minute (more or less; read up on how session files are randomly deleted).  
Because PHP can't tell the difference between that user's session files and 
your session files, they're all in the same common directory.

So.  What you need to do is specify your own directory for your session 
files (/sharedserver/myroot/mysessionfiles/), and then set the cleanup 
lifetime to whatever you want (session.gc_maxlifetime).

Here's an explanation with some sample code:

Michael Sims

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