Asked  7 Months ago    Answers:  5   Viewed   41 times

So I have a downloads page where you click a link, it opens /downloads/download/randomhash

randomhash is found in the db, i increment a download counter, and then redirect to the actual file e.g. /uploads/2012/file.png.

Everything works except for the redirect doing what I'd like it to do. I'm not sure why it's not working...

  header("Location: " . $row->uri);
  header("Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=$row->name");

On the first load of the file, it has the appropriate content-disposition header (in firebug), but it doesn't prompt the file to be downloaded (which it should, right??). Any ideas?

Response Headers:

Cache-Control: no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0, public
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=promotion_photo_2.jpg
Content-Encoding: gzip
Content-Length: 20
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 01:01:22 GMT
Expires: Thu, 19 Nov 1981 08:52:00 GMT
Keep-Alive: timeout=5, max=100
Location: /uploads/2012/mediakitD3CF.jpg
Pragma: no-cache
Server: *
Vary: Accept-Encoding
X-Powered-By: *
X-UA-Compatible: IE=Edge,chrome=1



You are setting the Content-Disposition header in the same response which tells the browser where to redirect. My suggestion is to just stream the attachment on the response, with no redirect

header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=file-to-be-downloaded.jpg');
header('Content-type: image/jpeg'); // or what is relevant, ie application/octet-stream
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
answered 7 Months ago

If cURL is enabled, you can use it to get the whole header or just the response code. The following code assigns the response code to the $response_code variable:

$curl = curl_init();
curl_setopt_array( $curl, array(
    CURLOPT_URL => '' ) );
curl_exec( $curl );
$response_code = curl_getinfo( $curl, CURLINFO_HTTP_CODE );
curl_close( $curl );

To get the whole header you can issue a HEAD request, like this:

$curl = curl_init();
curl_setopt_array( $curl, array(
    CURLOPT_HEADER => true,
    CURLOPT_NOBODY => true,
    CURLOPT_URL => '' ) );
$headers = explode( "n", curl_exec( $curl ) );
curl_close( $curl );
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
answered 7 Months ago

This is possible because of output buffers.

Saturday, May 29, 2021
answered 5 Months ago

What you're trying to do is inadvisable check this question; Header Location + Content Disposition

Content-Disposition + Location header

But you can do it, to make it work you will have to buffer your whole response before sending it. You can do this with output buffering


Else the browser may interpret the Location header before the file is downloaded. It's sketchy either way, so you shouldn't want to do this.

Please note that forcing 'save as' using Content-Disposition: attachment; will make sure the client doesn't go/navigate anywhere, so the method below on its own should be fine in any case.

Streaming a file in php

To just quote a guy who has his brains in the right place:

// To use header() with 'content-type', why don't you use mime_content_type() function rather than checking the type on the basis of extension? 
// Example code: 

header("Pragma: public"); 
header('Content-disposition: attachment; filename='.$file); 
header("Content-type: ".mime_content_type($file)); 
header('Content-Encoding: identity'); 

// Use $file to map to whichever type of file. 
// Note: the mime types should already be defined in apache settings


Note that the original answer used Content-Transfer-Encoding which doesn't actually exist in HTTP. The comment below that source explains it:

Saturday, July 31, 2021
answered 3 Months ago

Headers are not the issue. The issue is that you are querying the download url via an ajax call, which will not invoke the browser download dialog. Your options boil down to the following:

  1. Use a form that is submitted to your download url. Instead of having a visible form a user has to interact with, create a form with JavaScript and submit it programmatically by calling form.submit - Handle file download from ajax post

  2. Point window.location to the download url. You can do this in the current window - download file using an ajax request , or in a new one - not working in my case

Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Michal Charemza
answered 2 Months ago
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