I have drupal cms and another php site with each own session and db etc on same root.

What I want is to pass somehow the drupal $user variable with all the login details of the user to the other non-drupal php site in order to bypass the login and make the user logged in there too.

The non-drupal site has its own login/register and sessions etc. I want to override this by getting the user info from drupal registration.

require_once './includes/bootstrap.inc';

I tried to use the above code on the index of the non-drupal site, but I get errors about session and headers that already sent.

Any help?

  • 2
    Have you tried just bootstrapping the database, i.e. drupal_bootstrap(DRUPAL_BOOTSTRAP_DATABASE);?
    – Clive
    Feb 21, 2012 at 13:15

2 Answers 2


I have a similar setup running; what I did was sending the session ID as a URL parameter, including the "bootstrap.inc" file, bootstrapping the database, and then looking up the info I needed.

Example where I've stored some info in the session:

require_once './includes/bootstrap.inc';

if (@$_GET["sid"]) {
  $_SESSION["sid"] = @$_GET["sid"];

if (@$_SESSION["sid"]) {
  //Get the get username/role from the database
  $result = db_query("SELECT session FROM {sessions}
    WHERE uid > 0 and sid = '%s'", array(

  while ($row = db_fetch_object($result)) {
    $_SESSION += unserializesession($row->session);

function unserializesession($data) {
  if (strlen( $data) == 0) {
    return array();

  // Match all the session keys and offsets.
  preg_match_all('/(^|;|\})([a-zA-Z0-9_]+)\|/i', $data, $matchesarray, PREG_OFFSET_CAPTURE);

  $returnArray = array();
  $lastOffset = null;
  $currentKey = '';

  foreach ($matchesarray[2] as $value) {
    $offset = $value[1];

    if (!is_null($lastOffset)) {
      $valueText = substr($data, $lastOffset, $offset - $lastOffset);
      $returnArray[$currentKey] = unserialize($valueText);

    $currentKey = $value[0];
    $lastOffset = $offset + strlen($currentKey) + 1;

  $valueText = substr($data, $lastOffset);
  $returnArray[$currentKey] = unserialize($valueText);

  return $returnArray;

If you call drupal_bootstrap() for the DRUPAL_BOOTSTRAP_SESSION or later phase, Drupal will override PHP session handling and starts a session in drupal_session_initialize(). When starting a session, Drupal will invoke session_start() which has already been invoked from your own separated non-drupal code.

If you only need to retrieve whether or not the user is logged in in Drupal, you can bootstrap the Drupal database only (ie. drupal_bootstrap(DRUPAL_BOOTSTRAP_DATABASE)) and query the sessions table with the session id returned by session_id(). If the returned row has a non-zero uidm then you should have a logged in user. Session handling in Drupal is more complex than that, so obviously it won't be as robust.

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