Session Services


Since HTTP driven applications are stateless, sessions provide a way to store information about the user across requests. Winter ships with a variety of session backends available for use through a clean, unified API. Support for popular backends such as Memcached, Redis, and databases is included out of the box.

The session configuration is stored in config/session.php. Be sure to review the well documented options available to you in this file. By default, Winter is configured to use the file session driver, which will work well for the majority of applications.

  • file - sessions are stored in storage/framework/sessions.
  • cookie - sessions are stored in secure, encrypted cookies.
  • database - sessions are stored in a database used by your application.
  • memcached / redis - sessions are stored in one of these fast, cache based stores.
  • array - sessions are stored in a simple PHP array and will not be persisted across requests.

NOTE: The array driver is typically used for running unit tests to prevent session data from persisting.

Reserved keys

Winter uses the flash session key internally, so you should not add an item to the session by that name.

Session usage

Storing data in the session

Using the Session facade you may call a variety of functions to interact with the underlying data. For example, the put method stores a new piece of data in the session:

Session::put('key', 'value');

Pushing to array session values

The push method may be used to push a new value onto a session value that is an array. For example, if the user.teams key contains an array of team names, you may push a new value onto the array like so:

Session::push('user.teams', 'developers');

Retrieving data from the session

When you retrieve a value from the session, you may also pass a default value as the second argument to the get method. This default value will be returned if the specified key does not exist in the session. If you pass a Closure as the default value to the get method, the Closure will be executed and its result returned:

$value = Session::get('key');

$value = Session::get('key', 'default');

$value = Session::get('key', function() { return 'default'; });

Retrieving all data from the session

If you would like to retrieve all data from the session, you may use the all method:

$data = Session::all();

Retrieving data and forgetting it

The pull method will retrieve and delete an item from the session:

$value = Session::pull('key', 'default');

Determining if an item exists in the session

The has method may be used to check if an item exists in the session. This method will return true if the item exists:

if (Session::has('users')) {

Deleting data from the session

The forget method will remove a piece of data from the session. If you would like to remove all data from the session, you may use the flush method:



Regenerating the session ID

If you need to regenerate the session ID, you may use the regenerate method:


Flash data

Sometimes you may wish to store items in the session only for the next request. You may do so using the Session::flash method. Data stored in the session using this method will only be available during the subsequent HTTP request, and then will be deleted. Flash data is primarily useful for short-lived status messages:

Session::flash('key', 'value');

If you need to keep your flash data around for even more requests, you may use the reflash method, which will keep all of the flash data around for an additional request. If you only need to keep specific flash data around, you may use the keep method:


Session::keep(['username', 'email']);
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