Other Changes

PHP Core

Set(raw)cookie accepts $option Argument

setcookie() and setrawcookie() now also support the following signature:

setcookie(string $name, string $value = "", array $options = []): bool
where $options is an associative array which may have any of the keys "expires", "path", "domain", "secure", "httponly" and "samesite".

New Syslog ini Directives

The following ini Directives have been added to customize logging, if error_log is set to syslog:

Specifies what type of program is logging the message.
Specifies the filter type to filter the logged messages, with the supported filter types - all, no-ctrl and ascii. Starting with PHP 7.3.8, raw is also available, restoring the way syslog behaved in previous PHP versions. This filter will also affect calls to syslog().
Specifies the ident string which is prepended to every message.

Garbage Collection

The cyclic GC has been enhanced, which may result in considerable performance improvements.


var_export() now exports stdClass objects as an array cast to an object ((object) array( ... )), rather than using the nonexistent method stdClass::__setState().

debug_zval_dump() was changed to display recursive arrays and objects in the same way as var_dump(). Now, it doesn't display them twice.

array_push() and array_unshift() can now also be called with a single argument, which is particularly convenient wrt. the spread operator.

Interactive PHP Debugger

The unused constants PHPDBG_FILE, PHPDBG_METHOD, PHPDBG_LINENO and PHPDBG_FUNC have been removed.

FastCGI Process Manager

The getallheaders() function is now also available.

Client URL Library

libcurl ≥ 7.15.5 is now required.

Data Filtering

FILTER_VALIDATE_FLOAT now also supports a thousand option, which defines the set of allowed thousand separator chars. The default ("',.") is fully backward compatible with former PHP versions.

FILTER_SANITIZE_ADD_SLASHES has been added as an alias of the magic_quotes filter (FILTER_SANITIZE_MAGIC_QUOTES). The magic_quotes filter is subject to removal in future versions of PHP.


The default transfer mode has been changed to binary.

Internationalization Functions

Normalizer::NONE is deprecated, when PHP is linked with ICU ≥ 56.

Introduced Normalizer::FORM_KC_CF as Normalizer::normalize() argument for NFKC_Casefold normalization; available when linked with ICU ≥ 56.

JavaScript Object Notation

A new flag has been added, JSON_THROW_ON_ERROR, which can be used with json_decode() or json_encode() and causes these functions to throw the new JsonException upon an error, instead of setting the global error state that is retrieved with json_last_error() and json_last_error_msg(). JSON_PARTIAL_OUTPUT_ON_ERROR takes precedence over JSON_THROW_ON_ERROR.

Multibyte String

The configuration option --with-libmbfl is no longer available.

ODBC (Unified)

Support for ODBCRouter and Birdstep including the birdstep.max_links ini directive has been removed.


The opcache.inherited_hack ini directive has been removed. The value has already been ignored since PHP 5.3.0.


The min_proto_version and max_proto_version ssl stream options as well as related constants for possible TLS protocol values have been added.

Regular Expressions (Perl-Compatible)

The PCRE extension has been upgraded to PCRE2, which may cause minor behavioral changes (for instance, character ranges in classes are now more strictly interpreted), and augments the existing regular expression syntax.

preg_quote() now also escapes the '#' character.

Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase Functions (PDO_DBLIB)

The attribute PDO::DBLIB_ATTR_SKIP_EMPTY_ROWSETS to enable automatic skipping of empty rowsets has been added.

The PDO::DBLIB_ATTR_TDS_VERSION attribute which exposes the TDS version has been added.

DATETIME2 columns are now treated like DATETIME columns.

SQLite Functions (PDO_SQLITE)

SQLite3 databases can now be opened in read-only mode by setting the new PDO::SQLITE_ATTR_OPEN_FLAGS attribute to PDO::SQLITE_OPEN_READONLY.

Session Handling

session_set_cookie_params() now also supports the following signature:

where $options is an associative array which may have any of the keys "lifetime", "path", "domain", "secure", "httponly" and "samesite". Accordingly, the return value of session_get_cookie_params() now also has an element with the key "samesite". Furthermore, the new session.cookie_samesite ini option to set the default of the SameSite directive for cookies has been added. It defaults to "" (empty string), so no SameSite directive is set. Can be set to "Lax" or "Strict", which sets the respective SameSite directive.


Building against » tidyp is now also supported transparently. Since tidyp offers no API to get the release date, tidy_get_release() and tidy::getRelease() return 'unknown' in this case.

XML Parser

The return value of the xml_set_external_entity_ref_handler() callback is no longer ignored if the extension has been built against libxml. Formerly, the return value has been ignored, and parsing did never stop.


Building against the bundled libzip is discouraged, but still possible by adding --without-libzip to the configuration.

Zlib Compression

The zlib/level context option for the compress.zlib wrapper to facilitate setting the desired compression level has been added.

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