Skip to content

HTTP Requests

Introduction

Laravel's Illuminate\Http\Request class provides an object-oriented way to interact with the current HTTP request being handled by your application as well as retrieve the input, cookies, and files that were submitted with the request.

Interacting With The Request

Accessing The Request

To obtain an instance of the current HTTP request via dependency injection, you should type-hint the Illuminate\Http\Request class on your route closure or controller method. The incoming request instance will automatically be injected by the Laravel service container:

<?php

namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use Illuminate\Http\Request;

class UserController extends Controller
{
    /**
     * Store a new user.
     *
     * @param  \Illuminate\Http\Request  $request
     * @return \Illuminate\Http\Response
     */
    public function store(Request $request)
    {
        $name = $request->input('name');

        //
    }
}

As mentioned, you may also type-hint the Illuminate\Http\Request class on a route closure. The service container will automatically inject the incoming request into the closure when it is executed:

use Illuminate\Http\Request;

Route::get('/', function (Request $request) {
    //
});

Dependency Injection & Route Parameters

If your controller method is also expecting input from a route parameter you should list your route parameters after your other dependencies. For example, if your route is defined like so:

use App\Http\Controllers\UserController;

Route::put('/user/{id}', [UserController::class, 'update']);

You may still type-hint the Illuminate\Http\Request and access your id route parameter by defining your controller method as follows:

<?php

namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use Illuminate\Http\Request;

class UserController extends Controller
{
    /**
     * Update the specified user.
     *
     * @param  \Illuminate\Http\Request  $request
     * @param  string  $id
     * @return \Illuminate\Http\Response
     */
    public function update(Request $request, $id)
    {
        //
    }
}

Request Path & Method

The Illuminate\Http\Request instance provides a variety of methods for examining the incoming HTTP request and extends the Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request class. We will discuss a few of the most important methods below.

Retrieving The Request Path

The path method returns the request's path information. So, if the incoming request is targeted at http://example.com/foo/bar, the path method will return foo/bar:

$uri = $request->path();

Inspecting The Request Path / Route

The is method allows you to verify that the incoming request path matches a given pattern. You may use the * character as a wildcard when utilizing this method:

if ($request->is('admin/*')) {
    //
}

Using the routeIs method, you may determine if the incoming request has matched a named route:

if ($request->routeIs('admin.*')) {
    //
}

Retrieving The Request URL

To retrieve the full URL for the incoming request you may use the url or fullUrl methods. The url method will return the URL without the query string, while the fullUrl method includes the query string:

$url = $request->url();

$urlWithQueryString = $request->fullUrl();

If you would like to append query string data to the current URL, you may call the fullUrlWithQuery method. This method merges the given array of query string variables with the current query string:

$request->fullUrlWithQuery(['type' => 'phone']);

Retrieving The Request Method

The method method will return the HTTP verb for the request. You may use the isMethod method to verify that the HTTP verb matches a given string:

$method = $request->method();

if ($request->isMethod('post')) {
    //
}

Request Headers

You may retrieve a request header from the Illuminate\Http\Request instance using the header method. If the header is not present on the request, null will be returned. However, the header method accepts an optional second argument that will be returned if the header is not present on the request:

$value = $request->header('X-Header-Name');

$value = $request->header('X-Header-Name', 'default');

The hasHeader method may be used to determine if the request contains a given header:

if ($request->hasHeader('X-Header-Name')) {
    //
}

For convenience, the bearerToken method may be used to retrieve a bearer token from the Authorization header. If no such header is present, an empty string will be returned:

$token = $request->bearerToken();

Request IP Address

The ip method may be used to retrieve the IP address of the client that made the request to your application:

$ipAddress = $request->ip();

Content Negotiation

Laravel provides several methods for inspecting the incoming request's requested content types via the Accept header. First, the getAcceptableContentTypes method will return an array containing all of the content types accepted by the request:

$contentTypes = $request->getAcceptableContentTypes();

The accepts method accepts an array of content types and returns true if any of the content types are accepted by the request. Otherwise, false will be returned:

if ($request->accepts(['text/html', 'application/json'])) {
    // ...
}

You may use the prefers method to determine which content type out of a given array of content types is most preferred by the request. If none of the provided content types are accepted by the request, null will be returned:

$preferred = $request->prefers(['text/html', 'application/json']);

Since many applications only serve HTML or JSON, you may use the expectsJson method to quickly determine if the incoming request expects a JSON response:

if ($request->expectsJson()) {
    // ...
}

PSR-7 Requests

The PSR-7 standard specifies interfaces for HTTP messages, including requests and responses. If you would like to obtain an instance of a PSR-7 request instead of a Laravel request, you will first need to install a few libraries. Laravel uses the Symfony HTTP Message Bridge component to convert typical Laravel requests and responses into PSR-7 compatible implementations:

composer require symfony/psr-http-message-bridge
composer require nyholm/psr7

Once you have installed these libraries, you may obtain a PSR-7 request by type-hinting the request interface on your route closure or controller method:

use Psr\Http\Message\ServerRequestInterface;

Route::get('/', function (ServerRequestInterface $request) {
    //
});

{tip} If you return a PSR-7 response instance from a route or controller, it will automatically be converted back to a Laravel response instance and be displayed by the framework.

Input

Retrieving Input

Retrieving All Input Data

You may retrieve all of the incoming request's input data as an array using the all method. This method may be used regardless of whether the incoming request is from an HTML form or is an XHR request:

$input = $request->all();

Retrieving An Input Value

Using a few simple methods, you may access all of the user input from your Illuminate\Http\Request instance without worrying about which HTTP verb was used for the request. Regardless of the HTTP verb, the input method may be used to retrieve user input:

$name = $request->input('name');

You may pass a default value as the second argument to the input method. This value will be returned if the requested input value is not present on the request:

$name = $request->input('name', 'Sally');

When working with forms that contain array inputs, use "dot" notation to access the arrays:

$name = $request->input('products.0.name');

$names = $request->input('products.*.name');

You may call the input method without any arguments in order to retrieve all of the input values as an associative array:

$input = $request->input();

Retrieving Input From The Query String

While the input method retrieves values from the entire request payload (including the query string), the query method will only retrieve values from the query string:

$name = $request->query('name');

If the requested query string value data is not present, the second argument to this method will be returned:

$name = $request->query('name', 'Helen');

You may call the query method without any arguments in order to retrieve all of the query string values as an associative array:

$query = $request->query();

Retrieving JSON Input Values

When sending JSON requests to your application, you may access the JSON data via the input method as long as the Content-Type header of the request is properly set to application/json. You may even use "dot" syntax to retrieve values that are nested within JSON arrays:

$name = $request->input('user.name');

Retrieving Boolean Input Values

When dealing with HTML elements like checkboxes, your application may receive "truthy" values that are actually strings. For example, "true" or "on". For convenience, you may use the boolean method to retrieve these values as booleans. The boolean method returns true for 1, "1", true, "true", "on", and "yes". All other values will return false:

$archived = $request->boolean('archived');

Retrieving Input Via Dynamic Properties

You may also access user input using dynamic properties on the Illuminate\Http\Request instance. For example, if one of your application's forms contains a name field, you may access the value of the field like so:

$name = $request->name;

When using dynamic properties, Laravel will first look for the parameter's value in the request payload. If it is not present, Laravel will search for the field in the matched route's parameters.

Retrieving A Portion Of The Input Data

If you need to retrieve a subset of the input data, you may use the only and except methods. Both of these methods accept a single array or a dynamic list of arguments:

$input = $request->only(['username', 'password']);

$input = $request->only('username', 'password');

$input = $request->except(['credit_card']);

$input = $request->except('credit_card');

{note} The only method returns all of the key / value pairs that you request; however, it will not return key / value pairs that are not present on the request.

Determining If Input Is Present

You may use the has method to determine if a value is present on the request. The has method returns true if the value is present on the request:

if ($request->has('name')) {
    //
}

When given an array, the has method will determine if all of the specified values are present:

if ($request->has(['name', 'email'])) {
    //
}

The whenHas method will execute the given closure if a value is present on the request:

$request->whenHas('name', function ($input) {
    //
});

The hasAny method returns true if any of the specified values are present:

if ($request->hasAny(['name', 'email'])) {
    //
}

If you would like to determine if a value is present on the request and is not empty, you may use the filled method:

if ($request->filled('name')) {
    //
}

The whenFilled method will execute the given closure if a value is present on the request and is not empty:

$request->whenFilled('name', function ($input) {
    //
});

To determine if a given key is absent from the request, you may use the missing method:

if ($request->missing('name')) {
    //
}

Old Input

Laravel allows you to keep input from one request during the next request. This feature is particularly useful for re-populating forms after detecting validation errors. However, if you are using Laravel's included validation features, it is possible that you will not need to manually use these session input flashing methods directly, as some of Laravel's built-in validation facilities will call them automatically.

Flashing Input To The Session

The flash method on the Illuminate\Http\Request class will flash the current input to the session so that it is available during the user's next request to the application:

$request->flash();

You may also use the flashOnly and flashExcept methods to flash a subset of the request data to the session. These methods are useful for keeping sensitive information such as passwords out of the session:

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

$request->flashExcept('password');

Flashing Input Then Redirecting

Since you often will want to flash input to the session and then redirect to the previous page, you may easily chain input flashing onto a redirect using the withInput method:

return redirect('form')->withInput();

return redirect()->route('user.create')->withInput();

return redirect('form')->withInput(
    $request->except('password')
);

Retrieving Old Input

To retrieve flashed input from the previous request, invoke the old method on an instance of Illuminate\Http\Request. The old method will pull the previously flashed input data from the session:

$username = $request->old('username');

Laravel also provides a global old helper. If you are displaying old input within a Blade template, it is more convenient to use the old helper to repopulate the form. If no old input exists for the given field, null will be returned:

<input type="text" name="username" value="{{ old('username') }}">

Cookies

Retrieving Cookies From Requests

All cookies created by the Laravel framework are encrypted and signed with an authentication code, meaning they will be considered invalid if they have been changed by the client. To retrieve a cookie value from the request, use the cookie method on an Illuminate\Http\Request instance:

$value = $request->cookie('name');

Input Trimming & Normalization

By default, Laravel includes the App\Http\Middleware\TrimStrings and App\Http\Middleware\ConvertEmptyStringsToNull middleware in your application's global middleware stack. These middleware are listed in the global middleware stack by the App\Http\Kernel class. These middleware will automatically trim all incoming string fields on the request, as well as convert any empty string fields to null. This allows you to not have to worry about these normalization concerns in your routes and controllers.

If you would like to disable this behavior, you may remove the two middleware from your application's middleware stack by removing them from the $middleware property of your App\Http\Kernel class.

Files

Retrieving Uploaded Files

You may retrieve uploaded files from an Illuminate\Http\Request instance using the file method or using dynamic properties. The file method returns an instance of the Illuminate\Http\UploadedFile class, which extends the PHP SplFileInfo class and provides a variety of methods for interacting with the file:

$file = $request->file('photo');

$file = $request->photo;

You may determine if a file is present on the request using the hasFile method:

if ($request->hasFile('photo')) {
    //
}

Validating Successful Uploads

In addition to checking if the file is present, you may verify that there were no problems uploading the file via the isValid method:

if ($request->file('photo')->isValid()) {
    //
}

File Paths & Extensions

The UploadedFile class also contains methods for accessing the file's fully-qualified path and its extension. The extension method will attempt to guess the file's extension based on its contents. This extension may be different from the extension that was supplied by the client:

$path = $request->photo->path();

$extension = $request->photo->extension();

Other File Methods

There are a variety of other methods available on UploadedFile instances. Check out the API documentation for the class for more information regarding these methods.

Storing Uploaded Files

To store an uploaded file, you will typically use one of your configured filesystems. The UploadedFile class has a store method that will move an uploaded file to one of your disks, which may be a location on your local filesystem or a cloud storage location like Amazon S3.

The store method accepts the path where the file should be stored relative to the filesystem's configured root directory. This path should not contain a filename, since a unique ID will automatically be generated to serve as the filename.

The store method also accepts an optional second argument for the name of the disk that should be used to store the file. The method will return the path of the file relative to the disk's root:

$path = $request->photo->store('images');

$path = $request->photo->store('images', 's3');

If you do not want a filename to be automatically generated, you may use the storeAs method, which accepts the path, filename, and disk name as its arguments:

$path = $request->photo->storeAs('images', 'filename.jpg');

$path = $request->photo->storeAs('images', 'filename.jpg', 's3');

{tip} For more information about file storage in Laravel, check out the complete file storage documentation.

Configuring Trusted Proxies

When running your applications behind a load balancer that terminates TLS / SSL certificates, you may notice your application sometimes does not generate HTTPS links when using the url helper. Typically this is because your application is being forwarded traffic from your load balancer on port 80 and does not know it should generate secure links.

To solve this, you may use the App\Http\Middleware\TrustProxies middleware that is included in your Laravel application, which allows you to quickly customize the load balancers or proxies that should be trusted by your application. Your trusted proxies should be listed as an array on the $proxies property of this middleware. In addition to configuring the trusted proxies, you may configure the proxy $headers that should be trusted:

<?php

namespace App\Http\Middleware;

use Illuminate\Http\Middleware\TrustProxies as Middleware;
use Illuminate\Http\Request;

class TrustProxies extends Middleware
{
    /**
     * The trusted proxies for this application.
     *
     * @var string|array
     */
    protected $proxies = [
        '192.168.1.1',
        '192.168.1.2',
    ];

    /**
     * The headers that should be used to detect proxies.
     *
     * @var int
     */
    protected $headers = Request::HEADER_X_FORWARDED_FOR | Request::HEADER_X_FORWARDED_HOST | Request::HEADER_X_FORWARDED_PORT | Request::HEADER_X_FORWARDED_PROTO;
}

{tip} If you are using AWS Elastic Load Balancing, your $headers value should be Request::HEADER_X_FORWARDED_AWS_ELB. For more information on the constants that may be used in the $headers property, check out Symfony's documentation on trusting proxies.

Trusting All Proxies

If you are using Amazon AWS or another "cloud" load balancer provider, you may not know the IP addresses of your actual balancers. In this case, you may use * to trust all proxies:

/**
 * The trusted proxies for this application.
 *
 * @var string|array
 */
protected $proxies = '*';

Configuring Trusted Hosts

By default, Laravel will respond to all requests it receives regardless of the content of the HTTP request's Host header. In addition, the Host header's value will be used when generating absolute URLs to your application during a web request.

Typically, you should configure your web server, such as Nginx or Apache, to only send requests to your application that match a given host name. However, if you do not have the ability to customize your web server directly and need to instruct Laravel to only respond to certain host names, you may do so by enabling the App\Http\Middleware\TrustHosts middleware for your application.

The TrustHosts middleware is already included in the $middleware stack of your application; however, you should uncomment it so that it becomes active. Within this middleware's hosts method, you may specify the host names that your application should respond to. Incoming requests with other Host value headers will be rejected:

/**
 * Get the host patterns that should be trusted.
 *
 * @return array
 */
public function hosts()
{
    return [
        'laravel.test',
        $this->allSubdomainsOfApplicationUrl(),
    ];
}

The allSubdomainsOfApplicationUrl helper method will return a regular expression matching all subdomains of your application's app.url configuration value. This helper method provides a convenient way to allow all of your application's subdomains when building an application that utilizes wildcard subdomains.