(PHP 4 >= 4.1.0, PHP 5, PHP 7, PHP 8)

$_ENVEnvironment variables


An associative array of variables passed to the current script via the environment method.

These variables are imported into PHP's global namespace from the environment under which the PHP parser is running. Many are provided by the shell under which PHP is running and different systems are likely running different kinds of shells, a definitive list is impossible. Please see your shell's documentation for a list of defined environment variables.

Other environment variables include the CGI variables, placed there regardless of whether PHP is running as a server module or CGI processor.


Example #1 $_ENV example

echo 'My username is ' .$_ENV["USER"] . '!';

Assuming "bjori" executes this script

The above example will output something similar to:

My username is bjori!



This is a 'superglobal', or automatic global, variable. This simply means that it is available in all scopes throughout a script. There is no need to do global $variable; to access it within functions or methods.

See Also

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User Contributed Notes 2 notes

gabe-php at mudbugmedia dot com
12 years ago
If your $_ENV array is mysteriously empty, but you still see the variables when calling getenv() or in your phpinfo(), check your http://us.php.net/manual/en/ini.core.php#ini.variables-order ini setting to ensure it includes "E" in the string.
aasasdasdf at yandex dot ru
8 years ago
Please note that writing to $_ENV does not actually set an environment variable, i.e. the variable will not propagate to any child processes you launch (except forked script processes, in which case it's just a variable in the script's memory). To set real environment variables, you must use putenv().

Basically, setting a variable in $_ENV does not have any meaning besides setting or overriding a script-wide global variable. Thus, one should never modify $_ENV except for testing purposes (and then be careful to use putenv() too, if appropriate).

PHP  will not trigger any kind of error or notice when writing to $_ENV.
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