Is there a specific cookie Drupal uses to determine if a user is logged in or anonymous?

I need to check the cookie, and create a rewrite condition based on whether or not the user is logged in.

In the end, I would like something like this:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_COOKIE} !drupaluser=1 [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /$1?no-cookies-for-you=%1 [R,QSA,L]


  • Would you mind sharing what that rewrite condition should be doing? – Pierre.Vriens Aug 8 '16 at 18:16
  • @Pierre.Vriens - edited the question – Matthew Woodard Aug 8 '16 at 18:19
  • ok, that's a partial answer/clarification for my prior comment, merci! From your question I already understand that you want something to happen (or maybe not happen) if a user is yes or no logged in. But can you elaborate a bit please to explain (in English or Drupaleze) what should happen (or not), depending on yes or no logged in? – Pierre.Vriens Aug 8 '16 at 18:32
  • If user is logged in i would like to set a cookie, if not i would like to redirect to a specific page – Matthew Woodard Aug 8 '16 at 18:50
  • OK, that's clear. But what about an authenticated user who has disabled cookies (what should happen in that case then)? Would it be an option for you to consider a custom field added to the user profile (updated automatically with whatever info you want to store in your cookie ... which would also work if cookies are disabled)? – Pierre.Vriens Aug 8 '16 at 19:10

Drupal does store the session value in the cookie variable after the user is logged in. However, the name of this cookie is not fixed. It is basically a string that comes from the value returned by PHP function session_name; and starts with SESS. It would be hard to find and I would not recommend using regex, as I personally don't like it much.

If you really want to implement a solution with the cookie, I would suggest the following:

  1. Implement hook_user_login() in a custom module:

    function MODULE_user_login() {
      // set a new cookie here, with static name and value.
  2. Implement hook_user_logout() and delete the cookie by setting an expiry date of past.

You can now use this cookie in your .htaccess!

  • I agree with your recommendation about what NOT to do (as in your first parg). And I bet you can guess how I might answer this question (after I know the answer to my 2nd comment below the question) ... Though your answer here, via a custom module, also makes a lot of sense of course (for those who like writing, maintaining and (later on) upgrading custom modules). – Pierre.Vriens Aug 8 '16 at 18:42

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