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Configure Laravel Session To Use Redis

April 13, 2020 by Areg Sarkissian

Note: These are installation instructions for Laravel 7. The post will get updated as needed for newer versions of Laravel

This post is part of a series of posts listed below that show how to setup your Laravel project to use Redis:

Configure Laravel To Use Php Redis

Configure Laravel Session To Use Redis

Configure Laravel Cache To Use Redis

Configure Laravel Queue To Use Redis

My Laravel Redis Configuration

Create Laravel Project With Multiple Redis Stores

In this article I will show you how to convert the Laravel Session configuration to use Redis.

The session configuration

By default Laravel uses the file driver to store session data on the server. This will not be performant for high traffic sites.

Here is the default setting in config/session.php:

    //selects a driver from the config/session.php file
    'driver' => env('SESSION_DRIVER', 'file'),
    //if redis is selected as the driver then selects the redis driver
    //connection from the config/session.php file
    'connection' => env('SESSION_CONNECTION', null),
    'files' => storage_path('framework/sessions'),

Setting the Laravel session driver

We can change the default Laravel session store configuration to use the Redis key value store for its session by changing the ‘driver’ setting in the config/session.php configuration file by setting the SESSION_DRIVER variable in the .env file to redis:


This changes the default value to use the redis driver defined in config/database.php.

Setting the redis session connection

By default Laravel does not include the SESSION_CONNECTION setting in the .env file.

This means that if we set the Laravel session driver to use redis we should also add the SESSION_CONNECTION setting to the .env file to explicitly set the redis driver connection that the redis driver should use.

The redis driver connections are specified in the config/database.php file.

If we do not explicitly set the SESSION_CONNECTION setting then the default redis connection from the config/database.php file will be used by default because the second parameter to env('SESSION_CONNECTION', null) helper is null.

I like to add a separate connection for the session in the config/database.php file and explicitly set the SESSION_CONNECTION to this connection.

To do so we first add a new connection named session to the available redis connections inside the redis driver section in config/database.php:

'redis' => [
    'session' => [
                'url' => env('REDIS_URL'),
                'host' => env('REDIS_HOST', ''),
                'password' => env('REDIS_PASSWORD', null),
                'port' => env('REDIS_PORT', '6379'),
                'database' => '0',
                'prefix' => 's:'

Note that the session connection in config/database.php always uses a value of 0 for its database setting since redis clusters only support a single database per redis server. In order to differentiate between redis keys for session items vs other types of items, we use a key prefix specified by the additional prefix setting.

Now we can update the .env file to use this connection by adding the following SESSION_CONNECTION setting:


An alternative to adding the SESSION_CONNECTION setting would be just to hard code the connection in the config/session.php file:

    'driver' => env('SESSION_DRIVER', 'file'),
    'connection' => 'session',