Error warnings for PHP are helpful during development, where you can use them for debugging. Showing the same errors and warnings in a production environment could pose a security risk as it could expose sensitive and exploitable information about the system.

Warning and error reporting in PHP are configured via the display_error error_reporting directives. display_error defines if errors are displayed at all, while error_reporting allows you to specify the type or level of errors to show.

Steps to remove error and warning messages in PHP:

  1. Open PHP configuration file using your preferred text editor.
    $ sudo vi /etc/php/7.4/apache2/php.ini
  2. Search for display_error directive.
    ; This directive controls whether or not and where PHP will output errors,
    ; notices and warnings too. Error output is very useful during development, but
    ; it could be very dangerous in production environments. Depending on the code
    ; which is triggering the error, sensitive information could potentially leak
    ; out of your application such as database usernames and passwords or worse.
    ; For production environments, we recommend logging errors rather than
    ; sending them to STDOUT.
    ; Possible Values:
    ;   Off = Do not display any errors
    ;   stderr = Display errors to STDERR (affects only CGI/CLI binaries!)
    ;   On or stdout = Display errors to STDOUT
    ; Default Value: On
    ; Development Value: On
    ; Production Value: Off
    display_errors = On
  3. Set the value to Off if you don't want to see any error or warning messages at all.
    display_errors = Off

    Set the value to On instead to further tune the types of messages to display using error_reporting directive.

  4. Search for error_reporting directive.
    ; Error handling and logging ;
    ; This directive informs PHP of which errors, warnings and notices you would like
    ; it to take action for. The recommended way of setting values for this
    ; directive is through the use of the error level constants and bitwise
    ; operators. The error level constants are below here for convenience as well as
    ; some common settings and their meanings.
    ; By default, PHP is set to take action on all errors, notices and warnings EXCEPT
    ; those related to E_NOTICE and E_STRICT, which together cover best practices and
    ; recommended coding standards in PHP. For performance reasons, this is the
    ; recommend error reporting setting. Your production server shouldn't be wasting
    ; resources complaining about best practices and coding standards. That's what
    ; development servers and development settings are for.
    ; Note: The php.ini-development file has this setting as E_ALL. This
    ; means it pretty much reports everything which is exactly what you want during
    ; development and early testing.
    ; Error Level Constants:
    ; E_ALL             - All errors and warnings (includes E_STRICT as of PHP 5.4.0)
    ; E_ERROR           - fatal run-time errors
    ; E_RECOVERABLE_ERROR  - almost fatal run-time errors
    ; E_WARNING         - run-time warnings (non-fatal errors)
    ; E_PARSE           - compile-time parse errors
    ; E_NOTICE          - run-time notices (these are warnings which often result
    ;                     from a bug in your code, but it's possible that it was
    ;                     intentional (e.g., using an uninitialized variable and
    ;                     relying on the fact it is automatically initialized to an
    ;                     empty string)
    ; E_STRICT          - run-time notices, enable to have PHP suggest changes
    ;                     to your code which will ensure the best interoperability
    ;                     and forward compatibility of your code
    ; E_CORE_ERROR      - fatal errors that occur during PHP's initial startup
    ; E_CORE_WARNING    - warnings (non-fatal errors) that occur during PHP's
    ;                     initial startup
    ; E_COMPILE_ERROR   - fatal compile-time errors
    ; E_COMPILE_WARNING - compile-time warnings (non-fatal errors)
    ; E_USER_ERROR      - user-generated error message
    ; E_USER_WARNING    - user-generated warning message
    ; E_USER_NOTICE     - user-generated notice message
    ; E_DEPRECATED      - warn about code that will not work in future versions
    ;                     of PHP
    ; E_USER_DEPRECATED - user-generated deprecation warnings
    ; Common Values:
    ;   E_ALL (Show all errors, warnings and notices including coding standards.)
    ;   E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE  (Show all errors, except for notices)
    ;   E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE & ~E_STRICT  (Show all errors, except for notices and coding standards warnings.)
    ; Default Value: E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE & ~E_STRICT & ~E_DEPRECATED
    ; Development Value: E_ALL
    ; Production Value: E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_STRICT
    error_reporting = E_ALL
  5. Set error_reporting values to the types of messages to display.
    error_reporting = E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_STRICT
  6. Restart your web server for changes to take effect.
    $ sudo systemctl restart apache2
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