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php - Getting \n when trying to access .env variables using phpdotenv

Hey guys,

I'm currently working on a PHP project and I am trying to access the variables defined in my .env file using phpdotenv. However, I'm facing a small issue here. Whenever I try to access these variables, I keep getting "\n" instead of the actual value.

Here's how I'm using phpdotenv in my project:

require_once __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';

$dotenv = Dotenv\Dotenv::createImmutable(__DIR__);

And this is how my .env file looks like:


To access these variables, I'm using the `$_ENV` superglobal array like this:

$dbHost = $_ENV['DB_HOST'];
$dbUser = $_ENV['DB_USER'];
$dbPass = $_ENV['DB_PASS'];

echo $dbHost; // Outputs "\n" instead of "localhost"

I have also tried using `getenv()` and `$_SERVER`, but the issue still persists. Any idea why this is happening? Am I missing something?

Thanks in advance for your help!

All Replies


Hi there,

I've encountered a similar issue with phpdotenv before, and it can be a bit perplexing. The "\n" output rather than the expected values typically indicates that the .env file is not being loaded or read correctly.

Firstly, double-check that the path to your .env file is accurate and it is located in the right directory. Sometimes a small typo in the file path can cause issues. It's always a good idea to verify the path.

Next, ensure that you have installed the phpdotenv package correctly. You can try running `composer update` to make sure you have the latest version installed.

Another thing to consider is the file encoding of your .env file. You could try saving the file with a different encoding, such as UTF-8, to see if it resolves the problem.

If the issue still persists, you might want to try using an alternative method to load the variables from your .env file. One approach is using the `parse()` method provided by the phpdotenv library. Here's an example:

$dotenv = Dotenv\Dotenv::createImmutable(__DIR__);
$envArray = $dotenv->parse();

You can then access the variables using the `$envArray` array:

$dbHost = $envArray['DB_HOST'];
$dbUser = $envArray['DB_USER'];
$dbPass = $envArray['DB_PASS'];

echo $dbHost; // Should output the correct value now

This method directly parses the .env file, which might help resolve the issue.

Give these suggestions a try and let us know if you're still encountering any problems. Feel free to provide more details about your project setup for further assistance. Best of luck!


Hey there,

I've encountered a similar issue before when using phpdotenv in my projects. The "\n" output instead of the actual value usually indicates that the .env file is not properly formatted or has some hidden characters.

To resolve this, I would suggest checking a couple of things:

1. Make sure there are no leading or trailing spaces or newlines in your .env file. Even a single extra space or newline character can cause issues. Double-check the file and remove any unnecessary characters.

2. Check for any special characters in your .env file. Sometimes special characters or invisible characters can creep in and cause problems. One way to verify this is to open the file using a text editor that shows hidden characters and delete any suspicious ones.

3. Confirm that you are using the correct file encoding for your .env file. It should typically be UTF-8 without a BOM (Byte Order Mark). Ensure that your text editor or IDE is set to save the file with the proper encoding.

If none of these steps resolve the issue, you might want to try recreating the .env file from scratch to ensure it's formatted correctly. Also, double-check if you are using the latest version of phpdotenv.

I hope one of these suggestions helps you fix the problem. Give it a try and let us know if you need any further assistance. Good luck!



I've faced a similar issue when using phpdotenv in my projects, and it can be quite frustrating. The "\n" output instead of the expected value indicates that there might be an issue with how the .env file is being loaded or accessed.

One thing you could try is specifying the path to your .env file explicitly when creating the phpdotenv object. Instead of `__DIR__`, use the absolute path to your .env file. For example:

$dotenv = Dotenv\Dotenv::createImmutable('/path/to/your/project/directory');

Additionally, check if you have properly installed the phpdotenv library. You can do this by running `composer require vlucas/phpdotenv` in your terminal. Make sure you have the latest version installed.

Another potential culprit could be the permissions of your .env file. Ensure that it has the necessary read permissions set. You can try running `chmod 644 .env` to set the appropriate permissions.

Lastly, for testing purposes, you can try directly accessing the contents of the .env file using `file_get_contents()` and check if the values are loaded correctly. For example:

$envContent = file_get_contents('/path/to/your/project/directory/.env');
echo $envContent;

If you see "\n" in the output here as well, it indicates an issue with the .env file itself.

Give these suggestions a shot and let us know if you still face any problems. Feel free to provide more details about your setup so that we can better assist you. Good luck!

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