Introduction

PHP is a server-side scripting language used in web development. As a scripting language, PHP is used to write code (or scripts) to perform tasks. If a script encounters an error, PHP can generate an error to a log file.

In this tutorial, learn how to enable PHP Error Reporting to display all warnings. We also dive into creating an error log file in PHP.

Guide on enabling php errors and reporting

What is a PHP Error?

A PHP error occurs when something goes wrong within the PHP code. It could be something simple as using incorrect syntax, such as forgetting a semicolon which prompts a notice. Or, as complex as calling an incorrect variable and can lead to a fatal error that crashes your system.

How to Display all PHP Errors

If you do not see errors, you may need to enable error reporting.

To enable error reporting in PHP, edit your PHP code file, and add the following lines:

<?php
error_reporting(E_ALL);
?>

You can also use an ini_set command to enable error reporting:

<?php
ini_set('error_reporting', E_ALL);
?>

Edit php.ini to Enable PHP Error Reporting

If you have set your PHP code to display errors and they are still not visible, you may need to make a change in your php.ini file.

On Linux distributions, it is usually located in /etc/php.ini folder.

Open the file in a text editor.

Then, edit the display_errors line to On.

This is an example of the correction in a text editor:

php.ini file to enable error reporting to display notifications

Edit .htaccess File to turn on Error Reporting

The .htaccess file, which acts as a master configuration file, is usually found in the root or public directory. The dot at the beginning means it’s hidden. If you’re using a file manager, you’ll need to edit the settings to see the hidden files.

Open the .htaccess file for editing, and add the following:

php_flag display_startup_errors on
php_flag display_errors on

If these values are already listed, make sure they’re set to on.

Save the file and exit.

Other Useful Commands

To display only the fatal warning, and parse errors, use the following:

<?php
error_reporting(E_ERROR | E_WARNING | E_PARSE);
?>

You can add any other error types you need. Just separate them with the pipe | symbol.

This list contains all the predefined constants for PHP error types.

One useful feature is the “not” symbol.

To exclude a particular error type from reporting:

<?php
error_reporting(E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE)
?>

In this example, the output displays all errors except notice errors.

How to Turn Off PHP Error Reporting

To turn off or diable error reporting in PHP, set the value to zero. For example, use the code snippet:

<?php
error_reporting(0);
?>

How to Create an Error Log File in PHP

Error logs are valuable resources when dealing with PHP issues.

To display PHP error logs, edit the .htaccess file by adding the following:

php_value error_log logs/all_errors.log

If you don’t have access to the .htaccess file, you can edit the httpd.conf or apache2.conf file directly.

This log is typically stored in the /var/log/httpd/ or /var/log/apache2/ directory.

To enable error logging, edit your version of the file and add the following:

ErrorLog “/var/log/apache2/website-name-error.log”

You may substitute httpd for apache2 if needed. Likewise, if you’re using nginx, you can use that directory for the error log.

How to Display PHP Errors on a Webpage

Displaying errors on your webpage is disabled by default. However, turning it on can be helpful for your developers.

To display PHP errors, add the following to your PHP code file:

<?php
ini_set('display_errors', 1);
?>

This displays all errors. You can add additional lines to display specific error levels, for example:

<?php
ini_set('display_errors', 1);
ini_set('display_startup_errors', 1);
?>

Conclusion

This tutorial has provided you with multiple alternatives to enable and show all PHP errors and warnings. By receiving error notifications quickly and accurately, you can improve your ability to troubleshoot issues.