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(PHP 4, PHP 5)

parse_ini_file — Parse a configuration file


array parse_ini_file ( string $filename [, bool $process_sections ] )

parse_ini_file() loads in the ini file specified in filename , and returns the settings in it in an associative array.

The structure of the ini file is the same as the php.ini's.



The filename of the ini file being parsed.


By setting the last process_sections parameter to TRUE, you get a multidimensional array, with the section names and settings included. The default for process_sections is FALSE

Return Values

The settings are returned as an associative array.


Version Description
5.2.4 Keys and section names consisting of numbers are now evaluated as PHP integers thus numbers starting by 0 are evaluated as octals and numbers starting by 0x are evaluated as hexadecimals.
5.0.0 Values enclosed in double quotes can contain new lines.
4.2.1 This function is now affected by safe mode and open_basedir.


Example#1 Contents of sample.ini

; This is a sample configuration file
; Comments start with ';', as in php.ini

one = 1
five = 5
animal = BIRD

path = "/usr/local/bin"
URL = ""

Example#2 parse_ini_file() example

Constants may also be parsed in the ini file so if you define a constant as an ini value before running parse_ini_file(), it will be integrated into the results. Only ini values are evaluated. For example:


('BIRD''Dodo bird');

// Parse without sections
$ini_array parse_ini_file("sample.ini");

// Parse with sections
$ini_array parse_ini_file("sample.ini"true);


The above example will output something similar to:

    [one] => 1
    [five] => 5
    [animal] => Dodo bird
    [path] => /usr/local/bin
    [URL] =>
    [first_section] => Array
            [one] => 1
            [five] => 5
            [animal] = Dodo bird

    [second_section] => Array
            [path] => /usr/local/bin
            [URL] =>



Note: This function has nothing to do with the php.ini file. It is already processed, the time you run your script. This function can be used to read in your own application's configuration files.

Note: If a value in the ini file contains any non-alphanumeric characters it needs to be enclosed in double-quotes (").

Note: There are reserved words which must not be used as keys for ini files. These include: null, yes, no, true, and false. Values null, no and false results in "", yes and true results in "1". Characters {}|&~![()" must not be used anywhere in the key and have a special meaning in the value.