Can I try/catch a warning?


I need to catch some warnings being thrown from some php native functions and then handle them.


array dns_get_record  ( string $hostname  [, int $type= DNS_ANY  [, array &$authns  [, array &$addtl  ]]] )

It throws a warning when the DNS query fails.

try/catch doesn't work because a warning is not an exception.

I now have 2 options:

  1. set_error_handler seems like overkill because I have to use it to filter every warning in the page (is this true?);

  2. Adjust error reporting/display so these warnings don't get echoed to screen, then check the return value; if it's false, no records is found for hostname.

What's the best practice here?

7/29/2019 10:29:31 PM

Accepted Answer

Set and restore error handler

One possibility is to set your own error handler before the call and restore the previous error handler later with restore_error_handler().

set_error_handler(function() { /* ignore errors */ });

You could build on this idea and write a re-usable error handler that logs the errors for you.

set_error_handler([$logger, 'onSilencedError']);

Turning errors into exceptions

You can use set_error_handler() and the ErrorException class to turn all php errors into exceptions.

set_error_handler(function($errno, $errstr, $errfile, $errline, $errcontext) {
    // error was suppressed with the @-operator
    if (0 === error_reporting()) {
        return false;

    throw new ErrorException($errstr, 0, $errno, $errfile, $errline);

try {
} catch (ErrorException $e) {
    // ...

The important thing to note when using your own error handler is that it will bypass the error_reporting setting and pass all errors (notices, warnings, etc.) to your error handler. You can set a second argument on set_error_handler() to define which error types you want to receive, or access the current setting using ... = error_reporting() inside the error handler.

Suppressing the warning

Another possibility is to suppress the call with the @ operator and check the return value of dns_get_record() afterwards. But I'd advise against this as errors/warnings are triggered to be handled, not to be suppressed.

7/3/2019 10:22:04 PM

The solution that really works turned out to be setting simple error handler with E_WARNING parameter, like so:

set_error_handler("warning_handler", E_WARNING);

function warning_handler($errno, $errstr) { 
// do something

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