I am trying to authenticate users as below. I don't get any error, but it doesn't log in users.

autoLogin.php is located in the root folder. Visiting http://example.com/drupal8/autoLogin.php shows me the Login required page every time.

use Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request;

$autoloader = require_once 'autoload.php';

$kernel = new DrupalKernel('prod', $autoloader);

$request = Request::createFromGlobals();
$response = $kernel->handle($request);

$uid = 1; 
$user = Drupal\user\Entity\User::load(1); 
$kernel->terminate($request, $response);
  • 2
    The code should throw an error about the user_login_finalize() function, since the User module hasn't been loaded, yet.
    – apaderno
    Jan 23, 2021 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


The code shown in the question would throw an error about user_login_finalize() not being defined. The code isn't loading the User module and the DrupalKernel class doesn't load any module.

I generally use the code shown in authorize.php as guideline on how to bootstrap and programmatically log in a user. In this case, to programmatically log in the user whose ID is 1, I would use the following code.

use Drupal\Core\DrupalKernel;
use Drupal\user\Entity\User;
use Symfony\Cmf\Component\Routing\RouteObjectInterface;
use Symfony\Component\HttpKernel\Exception\HttpExceptionInterface;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response;
use Symfony\Component\Routing\Route;

$autoloader = (require_once 'autoload.php');

try {
  $request = Request::createFromGlobals();
  $kernel = DrupalKernel::createFromRequest($request, $autoloader, 'prod');

  // A route is required for route matching.
  $request->attributes->set(RouteObjectInterface::ROUTE_OBJECT, new Route('<none>'));
  $request->attributes->set(RouteObjectInterface::ROUTE_NAME, '<none>');

  if (PHP_SAPI !== 'cli') {
} catch (HttpExceptionInterface $e) {
  $response = new Response('', $e->getStatusCode());

\Drupal::moduleHandler()->addModule('system', 'core/modules/system');
\Drupal::moduleHandler()->addModule('user', 'core/modules/user');
if ($account = User::load(1)) {
  // Add your code.

Since it seems you are trying to access a specific page after logging in the user #1, it's probable you need to change the two lines following the A route is required for route matching. comment and use a different route name.

  • As side note, I would rather not bootstrap Drupal from an external script. I would create a custom module with its own route which would execute the code I need. Even Drupal core stopped to use an external script (cron.php) to run the cron tasks and instead added a route for running them (system.cron).
    – apaderno
    Jan 24, 2021 at 9:42
  • Yes, I am planning to create a custom module but I want to make sure it's working beforehand. It gives Error: Call to a member function setStatusCode() on null so I added $response = $kernel->handle($request); right after 'Add your code' line. It doesn't log me in though. It still shows the app as unauthenticated.
    – likeachamp
    Jan 25, 2021 at 18:39

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