I'm trying to check if there is a user logged into drupal in a PHP script that resides within a subdirectory of the drupal root. I know that there can be issues with calling the bootstrap anywhere apart from in the drupal root, so I've created a drupal_bridge.inc.php file inside the root containing the following code, which I then call in the PHP script using include.


define("DRUPAL_ROOT",     "/var/www/vhosts/mysite.com/httpdocs/");

$current_wd = getcwd();


print getcwd();

require_once DRUPAL_ROOT . '/includes/bootstrap.inc';

global $base_url;

$base_url = (array_key_exists('HTTPS', $_SERVER) ? 'https://' : 'http://') . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'];



global $user;

if ($user->uid) {
    print "Logged in";
} else {
   print "Logged out";

echo 'INCLUDED';


However, when I visit the PHP script in the browser it says I am logged out. Strangely though if I visit the drupal_bridge.inc.php file directly it can access the user information and it says that I am logged in.

I have set $cookie_domain = .mysite.com in the settings file as well. I have password protected the directory containing the PHP script but I didn't think that made a difference at this level.

Any ideas?

Also, I have looked into turning this in a module but it is not really practical so I would appreciate it if you did not advise doing so.

UPDATE: I just did a print_r($GLOBALS); to see if I could find out what was actually available and I found the following errors, if that helps. http://pastebin.com/YtHPGD75 (too long to post here)

  • your bootstrap and "real" Drupal installation are generating two different sessions, perhaps? echo out the sessionid and compare the two.
    – jdu
    Jul 19, 2013 at 17:20
  • @jdu Yes, I can confirm the two session id's are different. Any idea why this may be?
    – Andy
    Jul 19, 2013 at 20:13
  • can you print_r($user) ? I have a feeling you're loading hte Anon user in your boostrap script.
    – jdu
    Jul 22, 2013 at 12:58
  • @jdu I added print_r($user); to the above code and nothing is printed in the PHP script, but if I go to drupal_bride.inc.php I can see the full object for the user that is currently logged in.
    – Andy
    Jul 22, 2013 at 13:11

3 Answers 3


The bare minimum required is:

define('DRUPAL_ROOT', '/var/www/vhosts/mysite.com/httpdocs/');
$_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] = 'mysite.com';
require_once DRUPAL_ROOT . '/includes/bootstrap.inc';

If you don't want to fully bootstrap and only get the session, see the technique defined in Getting the current user without bootstrapping to DRUPAL_BOOTSTRAP_SESSION

  • Thank you for your answer but unfortunately this issue was not due to the bootstrap code. Please see my answer
    – Andy
    Oct 31, 2013 at 20:28

After some time, and lots of experimentation, I have a solution at last thanks to a discussion on osTicket. Unfortunately the issue was less due to Drupal, more down to osTicket and the fact that I had included the 'drupal bridge' in the wrong file. However an important note to make is that a drupal bridge - a file residing inside the Drupal root directory including bootstrap code - must be used to access session information in external scripts, rather than using the bootstrap code directly.

I hope that somebody will find this useful.

  • Your idea of a bridge/proxy script is clever.
    – MV.
    Feb 24, 2014 at 22:42

setting the $base_url in settings.php rather than leave Drupal to resolve it will solve the problem.

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