PHP Forms Processing Uploaded Files - Web Development and Design | Tutorial for Java, PHP, HTML, Javascript PHP Forms Processing Uploaded Files - Web Development and Design | Tutorial for Java, PHP, HTML, Javascript


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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

PHP Forms Processing Uploaded Files

PHP Forms

Processing Uploaded Files


You want to process a file uploaded by a user. For example, you’re building a photosharing website and you want to store user-supplied photos.


Example  Uploading a file

          <?php if ($_SERVER['REQUEST_METHOD'] == 'GET') { ?>
            <form method="post" action="<?php echo htmlentities($_SERVER['SCRIPT_NAME']) ?>"
          <input type="file" name="document"/>
          <input type="submit" value="Send File"/>
          <?php } else {
                  if (isset($_FILES['document']) &&
                  ($_FILES['document']['error'] == UPLOAD_ERR_OK)) {
                          $newPath = '/tmp/' . basename($_FILES['document']['name']);
                          if (move_uploaded_file($_FILES['document']['tmp_name'], $newPath)) {
                                 print "File saved in $newPath";
                          } else {
                                 print "Couldn't move file to $newPath";
                  } else {
                          print "No valid file uploaded.";


Uploaded files appear in the $_FILES superglobal array. For each file element in the form, an array is created in $_FILES whose key is the file element’s name. For example, the form has a file element named document, so $_FILES['document'] contains the information about the uploaded file. Each of these per-file arrays has five elements:

        The name of the uploaded file. This is supplied by the browser so it could be a full                    pathname or just a filename.

        The MIME type of the file, as supplied by the browser.

        The size of the file in bytes, as calculated by the server.

        The location in which the file is temporarily stored on the server.

        An error code describing what (if anything) went wrong with the file upload.

The possible values of the error element are:

        Upload succeeded (no error).

        The size of the uploaded file is bigger than the value of the upload_max_filesize
        configuration directive.

        The size of the uploaded file is bigger than the value of the form’s MAX_FILE_SIZE

        Only part of the file was uploaded.

        There was no file uploaded.

        The upload failed because there was no temporary directory to store the file.

        PHP couldn’t write the file to disk.

        Upload stopped by a PHP extension.

The is_uploaded_file() function confirms that the file you’re about to process is a legitimate file resulting from a user upload. Always check the tmp_name value before processing it as any other file. This ensures that a malicious user can’t trick your code into processing a system file as an upload.

You can also move the file to a permanent location; use move_uploaded_file(). It also does a check to make sure that the file being moved is really an uploaded file. Note that the value stored in tmp_name is the complete path to the file, not just the base name. Use basename() to chop off the leading directories if needed.

Be sure to check that PHP has permission to read and write to both the directory in which temporary files are saved (set by the upload_tmp_dir configuration directive) and the location to which you’re trying to copy the file. PHP is often running under a special username such as nobody or apache, instead of your personal username.

Processing files can be a subtle task because not all browsers submit the same information. It’s important to do it correctly, however, or you open yourself up to security problems. You are, after all, allowing strangers to upload any file they choose to your machine; malicious people may see this as an opportunity to crack into or crash the computer.

As a result, PHP has a number of features that allow you to place restrictions on uploaded files, including the ability to completely turn off file uploads altogether. So if you’re experiencing difficulty processing uploaded files, check that your file isn’t being rejected because it seems to pose a security risk.

To do such a check, first make sure file_uploads is set to On inside your configuration file. Next, make sure your file size isn’t larger than upload_max_filesize; this defaults to 2 MB, which stops someone from trying to crash the machine by filling up the hard drive with a giant file. Additionally, there’s a post_max_size directive, which controls the maximum size of all the post data allowed in a single request; its initial setting is 8 MB.

From the perspective of browser differences and user error, if you don’t see what you expect in $_FILES, make sure you add enctype="multipart/form-data" to the form’s opening tag. PHP needs this to process the file information properly.

Also, if no file is selected for uploading, PHP sets tmp_name to the empty string. To be sure a file was uploaded and isn’t empty (although blank files may be what you want, depending on the circumstances), you need to make sure tmp_name is set and size is greater than 0. Last, not all browsers necessarily send the same MIME type for a file; what they send depends on their knowledge of different file types.

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