Session Manager

The session manager, Zend\Session\SessionManager, is the class responsible for all aspects of session management. It initializes configuration, storage, and save handlers. Additionally the session manager can be injected into the session container to provide a wrapper or namespace around your session data.

The session manager is responsible for starting a session, testing if a session exists, writing to the session, regenerating the session identifier, setting the session time-to-live, and destroying the session. The session manager can validate sessions from a validator chain to ensure that the session data is correct.

Initializing the Session Manager

Generally speaking, you will always want to initialize the session manager and ensure that your application was responsible for its initialization; this puts in place a simple solution to prevent against session fixation. Generally you will setup configuration and then inside of an application module bootstrap the session manager.

Additionally you will likely want to supply validators to prevent against session hijacking.

The following illustrates how you may configure the session manager by setting options in your local or global config:

use Zend\Session;

return [
    'session_manager' => [
        'config' => [
            'class' => Session\Config\SessionConfig::class,
            'options' => [
                'name' => 'myapp',
        'storage' => Session\Storage\SessionArrayStorage::class,
        'validators' => [

The following illustrates how you might utilize the above configuration to create the session manager:

use Zend\Mvc\ModuleRouteListener;
use Zend\Mvc\MvcEvent;
use Zend\Session\SessionManager;
use Zend\Session\Config\SessionConfig;
use Zend\Session\Container;
use Zend\Session\Validator;

class Module
    public function onBootstrap(MvcEvent $e)
        $eventManager        = $e->getApplication()->getEventManager();
        $moduleRouteListener = new ModuleRouteListener();

    public function bootstrapSession(MvcEvent $e)
        $session = $e->getApplication()

        $container = new Container('initialized');

        if (isset($container->init)) {

        $serviceManager = $e->getApplication()->getServiceManager();
        $request        = $serviceManager->get('Request');

        $container->init          = 1;
        $container->remoteAddr    = $request->getServer()->get('REMOTE_ADDR');
        $container->httpUserAgent = $request->getServer()->get('HTTP_USER_AGENT');

        $config = $serviceManager->get('Config');
        if (! isset($config['session'])) {

        $sessionConfig = $config['session'];

        if (! isset($sessionConfig['validators'])) {

        $chain   = $session->getValidatorChain();

        foreach ($sessionConfig['validators'] as $validator) {
            switch ($validator) {
                case Validator\HttpUserAgent::class:
                    $validator = new $validator($container->httpUserAgent);
                case Validator\RemoteAddr::class:
                    $validator  = new $validator($container->remoteAddr);
                    $validator = new $validator();

            $chain->attach('session.validate', array($validator, 'isValid'));

    public function getServiceConfig()
        return [
            'factories' => [
                SessionManager::class => function ($container) {
                    $config = $container->get('config');
                    if (! isset($config['session'])) {
                        $sessionManager = new SessionManager();
                        return $sessionManager;

                    $session = $config['session'];

                    $sessionConfig = null;
                    if (isset($session['config'])) {
                        $class = isset($session['config']['class'])
                            ?  $session['config']['class']
                            : SessionConfig::class;

                        $options = isset($session['config']['options'])
                            ?  $session['config']['options']
                            : [];

                        $sessionConfig = new $class();

                    $sessionStorage = null;
                    if (isset($session['storage'])) {
                        $class = $session['storage'];
                        $sessionStorage = new $class();

                    $sessionSaveHandler = null;
                    if (isset($session['save_handler'])) {
                        // class should be fetched from service manager
                        // since it will require constructor arguments
                        $sessionSaveHandler = $container->get($session['save_handler']);

                    $sessionManager = new SessionManager(

                    return $sessionManager;

When you create a new Zend\Session\Container (see Session Container page) in a controller, for example, it will use the session configured above.

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