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PHP : Function Reference : Error Handling and Logging Functions : error_reporting


Sets which PHP errors are reported (PHP 4, PHP 5)
int error_reporting ( [int level] )

Example 594. error_reporting() examples


// Turn off all error reporting

// Report simple running errors
error_reporting(E_ERROR | E_WARNING | E_PARSE);

// Reporting E_NOTICE can be good too (to report uninitialized
// variables or catch variable name misspellings ...)
error_reporting(E_ERROR | E_WARNING | E_PARSE | E_NOTICE);

// Report all errors except E_NOTICE
// This is the default value set in php.ini
error_reporting(E_ALL ^ E_NOTICE);

// Report all PHP errors (bitwise 63 may be used in PHP 3)

// Same as error_reporting(E_ALL);
ini_set('error_reporting', E_ALL);


Related Examples ( Source code ) » error_reporting

Code Examples / Notes » error_reporting


[Editor's Note]
Instead of using @ to suppress errors if the file does not exist you should do a conditional include:
if (is_file("nosuchfile.php")) {
Note that when you use the @ to suppress the error of an include file that couldn'd be found, like so:
It also suppresses all the parse errors generated in "nosuchfile.php" if it does exist.
It took us a long time before we discovered why we weren't  getting any parse errors... This is it.
Personally, I don't like this... Maybe it can be changed in a future php version? :)


[Editor's Note: The error suppression operator (@)can be used to suppress errors for a single expression. To use the operator, place it in front of the expression that you wish to suppress error reporting for. Basic use is:
$fp = @ fopen ('non-existant.file', 'r');
See the url below for details.]
Error Suppression Operator - Info


[Editor's Note: E_ALL will contain the result of OR'ing all of the applicable error constants together. For PHP 3, this will be the first 4 E_xxx constants.  For PHP 4, this will be all constants. ]
There is also an E_ALL which is the first 4 E_xxx added up for you...

11-feb-2005 05:55

Under jjuffermans' note, the editors posted the following:
"Instead of using @ to suppress errors if the file does not exist you should do a conditional include:
if (is_file("nosuchfile.php")) {
This is rather obvious, but has an even more obvious problem: is_file doesn't check on the include_path, which one assumes include_once is highly likely to be using.
While there are any number of kludgy workarounds which can be employed to overcome this problem, it's a structural problem in PHP and should be fixed. Preferably @ should only suppress a file not found error, but not any errors inside the included file if it is found, or failing that at the least is_file or file_exists should have the option to look on the include_path for the file.


To the_bug_the_bug at hotmail dot com:
Using integer values like that is not smart. They are subject to change. The constants on the other end will not change regardless of any changes on the integer values.


To be enable to switch between error_reporting during development and release phases, one can define say 'php_error_reporting' in the main configuration file (ini like file: no PHP) for the application as:
# config.ini
# PHP error reporting. supported values are given below.
# 0 - Turn off all error reporting
# 1 - Running errors
# 2 - Running errors + notices
# 3 - All errors except notices and warnings
# 4 - All errors except notices
# 5 - All errors
# config.ini ends
Setting error_reporting in PHP files would be something like the code below, assuming the function getinivar() returns the variable value from the configuration file.
// setting PHP error reporting
switch(getinivar('php_error_reporting')) {
case 0: error_reporting(0); break;
case 1: error_reporting(E_ERROR | E_WARNING | E_PARSE); break;
case 2: error_reporting(E_ERROR | E_WARNING | E_PARSE | E_NOTICE); break;
case 3: error_reporting(E_ALL ^ (E_NOTICE | E_WARNING)); break;
case 4: error_reporting(E_ALL ^ E_NOTICE); break;
case 5: error_reporting(E_ALL); break;
Feroz Zahid.


tip: if you want your error_reporting()-setting to work with your own error handler you could simply check the error number against the current error bitmask.
function myErrorHandler( $errno, $errstr, $errfile, $errline )
 $replevel = error_reporting();
 if( ( $errno & $replevel ) != $errno )
   // we shall remain quiet.
 echo( "error....." );

03-feb-2000 07:31

The E_NOTICE error reporting level reports the use of undefined variables as an error.
For example:
error_level (E_ALL); # Set error reporting to highest level
if ($foo)            # This will generate an error
 print "bar";       # because $foo is not defined
To avoid this behavior, use isset to test if the given
variable has been defined.
For example:
error_level (E_ALL);
if (isset ($foo))
   print "bar";


The example of E_ALL ^ E_NOTICE is a 'bit' confusing for those of us not wholly conversant with bitwise operators.
If you wish to remove notices from the current level, whatever that unknown level might be, use & ~ instead:
error_reporting($errorlevel & ~E_NOTICE);
//...code that generates notices
^ is the xor (bit flipping) operator and would actually turn notices *on* if they were previously off (in the error level on its left). It works in the example because E_ALL is guaranteed to have the bit for E_NOTICE set, so when ^ flips that bit, it is in fact turned off. & ~ (and not) will always turn off the bits specified by the right-hand parameter, whether or not they were on or off.

fernando piancastelli

The error_reporting() function won't be effective if your display_errors directive in php.ini is set to "Off", regardless of level reporting you set. I had to set
display_errors = On
error_reporting = ~E_ALL
to keep no error reporting as default, but be able to change error reporting level in my scripts.
I'm using PHP 4.3.9 and Apache 2.0.


Remember that the error_reporting value is an integer, not a string ie "E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE".
This is very useful to remember when setting error_reporting levels in httpd.conf:
Use the table above or:
ini_set("error_reporting", E_YOUR_ERROR_LEVEL);
echo ini_get("error_reporting");
To get the appropriate integer for your error-level. Then use:
php_admin_value error_reporting YOUR_INT
in httpd.conf
I want to share this rather straightforward tip as it is rather annoying for new php users trying to understand why things are not working when the error-level is set to (int) "E_ALL" = 0...
Maybe the PHP-developers should make ie error_reporting("E_ALL"); output a E_NOTICE informative message about the mistake?


regarding what vdephily at bluemetrix dot com said ( see )
echo $foobar->field;
also initializes $foobar (as an instance of stdClass), so this code will not cause any notices.


On a shared debugging and production server it is convenient to use
<?php error_reporting(E_ALL); ?>
for debugging.
This will not help in case of parsing errors, so make sure you enable at least E_PARSE in your php.ini. Parse errors should not exist in production scripts.
Still, sometimes your script will not get executed even though no parse error is displayed (just a blank page/ no output at all). As far as I know this only happens when you redeclare a user function or class.
function a(){}
function a(){}
This prevents your script from running like a parse error, but is in fact a fatal run-time error (E_ERROR). Other fatal run-time errors will allow your script to apply the error_reporting, when it is executed before the
error occurs (eg. put error_reporting on the first line of code.)


Note that E_NOTICE will warn you about uninitialized variables, but assigning a key/value pair counts as initialization, and will not trigger any error :
$foo = $bar; //notice : $bar uninitialized
$bar['foo'] = 'hello'; // no notice, although $bar itself has never been initialized (with "$bar = array()" for example)
$bar = array('foobar' => 'barfoo');
$foo = $bar['foobar'] // ok
$foo = $bar['nope'] // notice : no such index


It should be noted that in apache.conf files the defined values (constants) don't work.  For E_ALL logging, one would use:
php_admin_value error_reporting 2047


In response to simon at firepages dot com dot au below:
I wrote a shorter more efficient function which will return a string containing the names of the error levels set in the .ini file:
function error_level_tostring($intval, $separator)
$errorlevels = array(
2047 => 'E_ALL',
1024 => 'E_USER_NOTICE',
512 => 'E_USER_WARNING',
256 => 'E_USER_ERROR',
16 => 'E_CORE_ERROR',
8 => 'E_NOTICE',
4 => 'E_PARSE',
2 => 'E_WARNING',
1 => 'E_ERROR');
$result = '';
foreach($errorlevels as $number => $name)
if (($intval & $number) == $number) {
$result .= ($result != '' ? $separator : '').$name; }
return $result;
P.S. With a little modification this function can be made to show the string values of any enumeration.


In phpinfo() error reporting level display like a bit (such as 4095)
Maybe it is a simply method to understand what a level set on your host
if you are not have access to php.ini file
$bit = ini_get('error_reporting');
while ($bit > 0) {
   for($i = 0, $n = 0; $i <= $bit; $i = 1 * pow(2, $n), $n++) {
       $end = $i;
   $res[] = $end;
   $bit = $bit - $end;
In $res you will have all constants of error reporting
$res[]=int(16) // E_CORE_ERROR
$res[]=int(8) // E_NOTICE


If you get a weird mysql warnings like "Warning: mysql_query() []: Your query requires a full tablescan...", don't look for error_reporting settings - it's set in php.ini.
You can turn it off with
in your script
And, as of my opinion, it should be NOTICE, not WARNING level.


I seem to have found a strange bug if you accidentally use the wrong bitwise numerical value.
I am running php 5.1.4 but I used the 8191 numerical value when setting the reporting level. This level is not available in my php version (it only became available in php 5.2.0).
I had intended to use the numerical value for E_ALL.
When running an application that used pear I received the following error:-
Strict Standards: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /usr/share/pear/PEAR.php on line 563
Strict Standards: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /usr/share/pear/PEAR.php on line 566
This error message ONLY displayed the first time the script was invoked. To get the error message back again a server restart had to be carried out. And again after the restart it would only show the first time.
In the script when I changed the numerical value with the constant E_ALL I received no error message at all (this was the only thing that was changed between the 2 tests).
I have no idea if this is something that was caused by an annomoly in pear or wether it is a problem with the way php handles the bitwise for error reporting.


I found some simple mistakes in the functions I posted yesterday, so here are the corrected versions.
And a good advice: never code in the middle of the night ;)
function error2string($value)
$level_names = array(
if(defined('E_STRICT')) $level_names[E_STRICT]='E_STRICT';
foreach($level_names as $level=>$name)
if(($value&$level)==$level) $levels[]=$name;
return implode(' | ',$levels);
function string2error($string)
$level_names = array( 'E_ERROR', 'E_WARNING', 'E_PARSE', 'E_NOTICE',
if(defined('E_STRICT')) $level_names[]='E_STRICT';
foreach($levels as $level)
if(defined($level)) $value|=(int)constant($level);
return $value;


frederick noted this in 2005 but want to stress the point here
If you set error_reporting in httpd.conf or within a script (some PHP versions) then you must use the integer value and not the string:
Example httpd.conf:
E_ALL ^ E_NOTICE would be:
php_value error_reporting 6135
otherwise the error will not display during output.


error_reporting() may give unexpected results if the @ error suppression directive is used.
@include 'config.php';
include ''; // non-existent file
will throw an error level E_WARNING in relation to the non-existent file (depending of course on your configuration settings).  If the suppressor is removed, this works as expected.
Alternatively using ini_set('display_errors', 0) in config.php will achieve the same result.  This is contrary to the note above which says that the two instructions are equivalent.

j dot schriver

error_reporting() has no effect if you have defined your own error handler with set_error_handler()
[Editor's Note: This is not quite accurate.
E_ERROR, E_PARSE, E_CORE_ERROR, E_CORE_WARNING, E_COMPILE_ERROR and E_COMPILE_WARNING error levels will be handled as per the error_reporting settings.
All other levels of errors will be passed to the custom error handler defined by set_error_handler().
Zeev Suraski suggests that a simple way to use the defined levels of error reporting with your custom error handlers is to add the following line to the top of your error handling function:
if (!($type & error_reporting())) return;]


Centos4 (Apache/2.0.52, php-4.3.9)
Maintaining development + production sites side-by-side is  possible. Obviously, the production site wants all error-reporting display switched off, whilst the development site is the total reverse. Unfortunately, the php.ini file is global.
Using `ini_set("display_errors","1");' is not possible (ref: 12-Feb-2005 12:28 below) as any fatal errors in the script mean that it (and included scripts) never get acted upon (see
Unfortunately the suggestion from Fernando Piancastelli (ref: 13-Dec-2004 09:23) did not work for me either. The following *did* work, and allows parse-errors to be displayed on the development site:
error_reporting  =  ~E_ALL
display_errors = Off
display_startup_errors = Off
within an Apache Virtual Host in httpd.conf:
php_flag  display_errors         on
php_flag  display_startup_errors on
php_value error_reporting        2047
The above *should* be surrounded with `<IfModule mod_php4.c> ... </IfModule>' but that did not work either.


A simple and effective way to catch Fatal errors.
From here you can go forward with your own ideas and elaborate a detailed error report.
The principle is simple and ready to test on your system
Fatal errors are not currently catched and you should have display errors off in production sites, but may be you need to test the system so you want a fast an easy way to see fatal errors in your currently running site, without the users seeing those Fatal errors as recomended.
You must have this function
function catchFatalErrors($p_OnOff='On'){
$phperror='><div id="phperror" style="display:none">';
$phperror='</div>><form name="catcher" action="/sos.php" method="post" ><input type="hidden" name="fatal"  value=""></form> <script> document.catcher.fatal.value = document.getElementById("phperror").innerHTML; document.catcher.submit();</script>';
Now activate your fatal error catcher
Just to test write this inexistent function
That's all. As you can see there will be a form posted with action="/sos.php", of course you can name this page at your liking, in this case is at the site's root.
Have ready your page sos.php, and elaborate on that. Of course change the mail address to yours,and display a message to the user at your liking.
if (isset($_POST['fatal'])){
"System Out of Service. Thanks for waiting."
The other fact about this handler is that even if you do not redirect the Fatal Error, prepending
><div style="display:none">
and appending
Then writting yor personal message
" Sorry, fatal bug."
Will hide the fatal error message from the user, but will be visible in the browsers soure code view.
What happens if you redirect the page before displaying the error? I don´t know, have not tested, but at least you could do it to alert you that a fatal error exists and possibly the fatal error is not displayed (leading to security and at the same time catching the fatal error). Then you could activate this error handler with post-redirection to see what's going on.

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