Save PHP variables to a text file

0 votes
asked Jun 8, 2010 by abhis

I was wondering how to save PHP variables to a txt file and then retrieve them again.


There is an input box, after submitted the stuff that was written in the input box will be saved to a text file. Later on the results need to be brought back as a variable. So lets say the variable is $text I need that to be saved to a text file and be able to retrieve it back again.

6 Answers

0 votes
answered Jun 8, 2010 by kerry-jones

Use a combination of of fopen, fwrite and fread. has excellent documentation and examples of each of them.

0 votes
answered Jun 8, 2010 by christian

Personally, I'd use file_put_contents and file_get_contents (these are wrappers for fopen, fputs, etc).

Also, if you are going to write any structured data, such as arrays, I suggest you serialize and unserialize the files contents.

$file = '/tmp/file';
$content = serialize($my_variable);
file_put_contents($file, $content);
$content = unserialize(file_get_contents($file));
0 votes
answered Jun 8, 2010 by sandeep-shetty

This should do what you want, but without more context I can't tell for sure.

Writing $text to a file:

$text = "Anything";
$var_str = var_export($text, true);
$var = "<?php\n\n\$text = $var_str;\n\n?>";
file_put_contents('filename.php', $var);

Retrieving it again:

include 'filename.php';
echo $text;
0 votes
answered Jun 23, 2013 by t-todua

for_example, you have anyFile.php, and there is written $any_variable='hi Frank';

to change that variable to hi Jack, use like the following code:

$content = file_get_contents('anyFile.php'); 

$new_content = preg_replace('/\$any_variable=\"(.*?)\";/', '$any_variable="hi Jack";', $content);

file_put_contents('anyFile.php', $new_content);
0 votes
answered Jun 30, 2014 by marcospada

Use serialize() on the variable, then save the string to a file. later you will be able to read the serialed var from the file and rebuilt the original var (wether it was a string or an array or an object)

0 votes
answered Jun 29, 2015 by duckboy81

(Sorry I can't comment just yet, otherwise I would)

To add to Christian's answer you might consider using json_encode and json_decode instead of serialize and unserialize to keep you safe. See a warning from the PHP man page:


Do not pass untrusted user input to unserialize(). Unserialization can result in code being loaded and executed due to object instantiation and autoloading, and a malicious user may be able to exploit this. Use a safe, standard data interchange format such as JSON (via json_decode() and json_encode()) if you need to pass serialized data to the user.

So your final solution might have the following:

$file = '/tmp/file';
$content = json_encode($my_variable);
file_put_contents($file, $content);
$content = json_decode(file_get_contents($file), TRUE);
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