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This bug affects 1 person(s).
IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
14766Bug reportsAuthenticationpublic2020-05-19 11:44
Reportervoteref Assigned Toc_schmitz  
Status closedResolutionfixed 
Product Version3.17.x 
Fixed in Version3.20.x 
Summary14766: Limesurvey doesn't correctly handle multiple PHPSESSID cookies

On one of my browsers, I suddenly became unable to log into limesurvey, and trying to answer a survey invariably led, with that same browser, to an error message stating that my session had expired.

I found out that on that browser, I had a PHPSESSID cookie set by my self-hosted limesurvey instance (let's say that its domain name is, *and* another PHPSESSID cookie set by another website, but associated with the higher level domain name "", and having "/" as its path.

When accessing my limesurvey instance after visiting the other website, the browser sends both cookies, which is the expected behaviour per RFC6265 (

After deleting the PHPSESSID cookie associated with the "" domain, the behaviour of limesurvey is back to normal.

So, it looks like limesurvey is mistaking one PHPSESSID cookie for the other. This might be due to the fact that it is not expecting more than 1 PHPSESSID cookie to be sent.

In §4.2.2, RFC6265 states:

"Although cookies are serialized linearly in the Cookie header, servers SHOULD NOT rely upon the serialization order. In particular, if the Cookie header contains two cookies with the same name (e.g., that were set with different Path or Domain attributes), servers SHOULD NOT rely upon the order in which these cookies appear in the header."

It looks like limesurvey's behaviour is somewhat disturbed by the presence of 2 cookies with the same name.
Steps To Reproduce1) open a session on the limesurvey instance (this sets a PHPSESSID cookie associated with;
2) using the developer tools on Chrome or Firefox (or by any other appropriate means), add a "PHPSESSID" cookie associated with the domain name just above the limesurvey instance, so here "", and "/" as the path;
3) logout from the limesurvey instance;
4) try to log back in (it should fail).
Additional InformationThere is an easy workaround: in "config.php", just tell limesurvey to use another name for its session cookie, via the following code snippet:

session' => array (
                        'sessionName' => "MyOwnPrivateCookieName",
TagsNo tags attached.
Bug heat18
Complete LimeSurvey version number (& build)3.17.1+190408
I will donate to the project if issue is resolvedYes
BrowserChrome 73
Database type & versionMySQL 5.7.25
Server OS (if known)Ubuntu 18.04
Webserver software & version (if known)Apache 2.4.29
PHP Version7.2


related to 14769 closedc_schmitz Bug reports missing cookie attribute 

Users monitoring this issue

User List DenisChenu, voteref, somako




2019-04-11 17:21

manager   ~51443

Thank you for reporting it. We will further investigate it.


2019-04-12 11:24

partner   ~51453

Last edited: 2019-04-12 11:28

View 2 revisions

I would be surprised to see a change here.



2019-04-12 11:39

developer   ~51455

we could at least do it on limesurvey pro.
Carsten, an opinion on this one?


2019-04-12 11:41

partner   ~51456

The random setup of a cookie/session name is mentioned in the LS hardening ticket.


2019-07-15 12:38

manager   ~52882

tag @c_schmitz


2019-07-15 15:43

developer   ~52885

Since it can be done in config.php , i think we must create a random one when install.


2019-07-18 13:01

developer   ~52923

I go with denis


2019-07-18 13:48

developer   ~52924

@LouisGac : it‘s in project … but didn't start on install currently ;)
With allowing set another dir for runtime :)

But i want to have a config-base.php file to be copied/updated. More easy for us to update and add new feature when install …


2019-11-11 14:53

administrator   ~54517

Fix committed to master branch:


2019-11-14 17:40

administrator   ~54589

Fixed in Release 3.20.1+191114

Related Changesets

LimeSurvey: master 9dd11ec3

2019-11-11 14:52:43


Details Diff
Fixed issue 14766: Possible collision with PHPSESSID cookies on the same domain Affected Issues
mod - application/controllers/InstallerController.php Diff File

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2019-04-10 21:54 voteref New Issue
2019-04-11 11:57 voteref Issue Monitored: voteref
2019-04-11 17:21 cdorin Assigned To => LouisGac
2019-04-11 17:21 cdorin Priority none => normal
2019-04-11 17:21 cdorin Status new => acknowledged
2019-04-11 17:21 cdorin Note Added: 51443
2019-04-11 17:24 cdorin Priority normal => high
2019-04-12 11:24 jelo Note Added: 51453
2019-04-12 11:28 jelo Note Edited: 51453 View Revisions
2019-04-12 11:39 LouisGac Note Added: 51455
2019-04-12 11:39 LouisGac Assigned To LouisGac => c_schmitz
2019-04-12 11:41 jelo Note Added: 51456
2019-04-12 12:50 DenisChenu Relationship added related to 14769
2019-07-15 12:38 cdorin Note Added: 52882
2019-07-15 15:43 DenisChenu Issue Monitored: DenisChenu
2019-07-15 15:43 DenisChenu Note Added: 52885
2019-07-18 13:01 LouisGac Note Added: 52923
2019-07-18 13:48 DenisChenu Note Added: 52924
2019-09-23 12:18 c_schmitz Status acknowledged => confirmed
2019-11-11 14:53 c_schmitz Changeset attached => LimeSurvey master 9dd11ec3
2019-11-11 14:53 c_schmitz Note Added: 54517
2019-11-11 14:53 c_schmitz Resolution open => fixed
2019-11-11 14:59 c_schmitz Status confirmed => resolved
2019-11-11 14:59 c_schmitz Fixed in Version => 3.20.x
2019-11-14 17:40 lime_release_bot Note Added: 54589
2019-11-14 17:40 lime_release_bot Status resolved => closed
2020-05-19 11:44 somako Issue Monitored: somako