(Drupal 7.22) We need to create a menu link to an external site, "https://example.com/some/path" /some/path is static, whereas "https://example.com" depends on site instance, such as




I would think that this could be accomplished with $GLOBALS['base_root']; for example: $url = $GLOBALS['base_root'] . '/some/path';

On local (laptop) $GLOBALS['base_root'] resolves correctly, but on CentoOS $GLOBALS['base_root'] resolves to [http://default]

How do we dynamically get the actual current site domain?
This can't be so hard, what are we missing?

2 Answers 2


If this is a fully bootstrapped Drupal site, the superglobal $base_url, should get you what you want. See: https://api.drupal.org/api/drupal/developer!globals.php/global/base_url/7

However, these globals are not initialized until Drupal is fully bootstrapped.

If you need to sniff the base URL before Drupal is fully bootstrapped you can use the PHP $_SERVER superglobal.

For example:

function _get_base_url(){
  $protocol = ($_SERVER['HTTPS'] && ($_SERVER['HTTPS'] != "off")) ? "https" : "http";
  return $protocol . "://" . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'];
  • Yea, I'm still missing something here. In an install hook, I have watchdog('menu_link-base_url', $GLOBALS['base_url']); watchdog('menu_link-base_path', $GLOBALS['base_path']); watchdog('menu_link-base_root', $GLOBALS['base_root']); and that returns: "default" (base_url) "/" (base_path) and "default" (base_root), although the $GLOBALS['base_url'] and $GLOBALS['base_root'] correctly return the current site domain when referenced from page.tpl.php (for debugging). Why different from an install hook on the same site?
    – August1914
    Jul 11, 2013 at 19:17
  • I got what I needed by setting $base_url in settings.php: $base_url = 'example.com'; But it means we need to manage settings.php for different deployment environments Is this the only way the $base_url is set, or does it depend on other php or server settings as well?
    – August1914
    Jul 11, 2013 at 20:09
  • I think it's fine to have different settings.php files for different environments. Usually I never commit settings.php file to any version control systems.
    – Beebee
    Jul 12, 2013 at 10:35
  • If you're installing the module via drush, you may get a default url. If so, you can use a drush alias, or pass the drush parameter --uri=example.com Jul 12, 2013 at 11:49

For the case when Drupal is fully bootstrapped, that is when $base_url works, the url() function is a potentially more elegant alternative:

$make_absolute = array('absolute' => TRUE);
$url = url("some/path", $make_absolute);

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