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How to read Windows's Environment variables from php using built-in webserver?

Hey folks,

I'm currently working on a PHP project and I'm using the built-in webserver that comes with Windows. I've been trying to read the environment variables of my Windows system directly from PHP, but unfortunately, I haven't been successful so far.

I'm well aware that typically, using the `getenv()` function allows us to access environment variables. However, it doesn't seem to work when using the PHP built-in webserver. I've also tried using `$_SERVER` and `$_ENV` but to no avail.

So, my question is: Does anyone know how I can read Windows' environment variables in PHP when using the built-in webserver? Is there a specific alternative method or configuration that I need to use?

I'm open to any suggestions or solutions you might have. Your help would be greatly appreciated!


All Replies



I faced a similar challenge while working with the PHP built-in webserver on Windows and trying to read environment variables. Initially, I attempted using `getenv()` and `$_SERVER` but didn't have much luck.

However, after some research, I found an alternative solution that worked for me. Instead of relying on the built-in server, I switched to using XAMPP, a popular web development environment for Windows, which includes Apache as the web server. With XAMPP, I was able to access the environment variables effortlessly using the `getenv()` function.

Here's what I did:

1. Install XAMPP: Firstly, download and install XAMPP from the official Apache Friends website. It will set up Apache along with PHP on your Windows system.

2. Start Apache: Launch the XAMPP Control Panel and start the Apache server.

3. Access environment variables: Now, you can use the `getenv()` function in your PHP script to retrieve the Windows environment variables. For example:

$variableValue = getenv('VARIABLE_NAME');
echo $variableValue;

By following these steps, I was able to successfully read the environment variables using the XAMPP server.

In case you're unable to switch to XAMPP, another workaround you can try is running the PHP built-in webserver as an administrator. This can sometimes grant sufficient permissions to access the environment variables.

Please let me know if this solution works for you or if you have any further queries. Good luck with your project!


Hey there!

I've encountered a similar situation before and found a workaround to read Windows environment variables in PHP when using the built-in webserver. Here's what worked for me:

You can use the `$_SERVER` superglobal array to access most of the environment variables, including the ones specific to Windows. However, keep in mind that not all variables might be accessible through this method. In my case, I needed to access the `APPDATA` variable, which worked perfectly with `$_SERVER['APPDATA']`.

But, if you encounter any issues or find that a specific environment variable is missing, here's another option you can try:

Open the `php.ini` file and search for the line that starts with `variables_order`. By default, it should be set to `EGPCS`, which means the `$_ENV` array should contain the environment variables. However, in the case of the built-in webserver, this might not be the case. So, you could try changing the `variables_order` to include the `E` for environment variables. For example: `variables_order = "EGPCS"`. Save the changes and restart the PHP built-in webserver.

After making these alterations, give it another shot by using `$_ENV` to read the Windows environment variables in PHP. Hopefully, this method should do the trick for you.

Let me know if this helps or if you have any further questions. Good luck with your project!

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