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

Enabling The Session

To enable sessions, you must uncomment all of the middleware within the $app->middleware() method call in your bootstrap/app.php file.


The session driver is controlled by the SESSION_DRIVER configuration option in your .env file. By default, Lumen is configured to use the memcached session driver, which will work well for the majority of applications. In production applications, you may consider using the memcached or redis drivers for even faster session performance.

The session driver defines where session data will be stored for each request. Lumen ships with several great drivers out of the box:

  • 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, cached 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 tests to prevent session data from persisting.

Driver Prerequisites


When using the database session driver, you will need to setup a table to contain the session items. Below is an example Schema declaration for the table:

Schema::create('sessions', function ($table) {


Before using Redis sessions with Lumen, you will need to install the predis/predis package (~1.0) and illuminate/redis package (~5.1) via Composer.

Other Session Considerations

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

Basic Usage

Accessing The Session

First, let's access the session. We can access the session instance via the HTTP request, which can be type-hinted on a controller method. Remember, controller method dependencies are injected via the Lumen service container:


namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use Illuminate\Http\Request;
use App\Http\Controllers\Controller;

class UserController extends Controller
     * Show the profile for the given user.
     * @param  Request  $request
     * @param  int  $id
     * @return Response
    public function showProfile(Request $request, $id)
        $value = $request->session()->get('key');


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 = $request->session()->get('key', 'default');

$value = $request->session()->get('key', function() {
    return 'default';

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

$data = $request->session()->all();

You may also use the global session PHP function to retrieve and store data in the session:

Route::get('home', function () {
    // Retrieve a piece of data from the session...
    $value = session('key');

    // Store a piece of data in the session...
    session(['key' => 'value']);

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 ($request->session()->has('users')) {

Storing Data In The Session

Once you have access to the session instance, 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:

$request->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:

$request->session()->push('user.teams', 'developers');

Retrieving And Deleting An Item

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

$value = $request->session()->pull('key', 'default');

Deleting Items 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 flash method. Method 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:

$request->session()->flash('status', 'Task was successful!');

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:


$request->session()->keep(['username', 'email']);