PHP Echo Line Breaks


What's the difference between \n and \r (I know it has something to do with OS), and what's the best way to echo a line break that will work cross platform?

EDIT: In response to Jarod, I'll be using ths to echo a line break in a .txt log file, though I'm sure I'll be using it in the future for things such as echoing HTML makup onto a page.

8/17/2013 12:28:10 PM

Accepted Answer

  • \n is a Linux/Unix line break.
  • \r is a classic Mac OS (non-OS X) line break. Mac OS X uses the above unix \n.
  • \r\n is a Windows line break.

I usually just use \n on our Linux systems and most Windows apps deal with it ok anyway.

9/11/2015 2:04:34 AM

Use the PHP_EOL constant, which is automatically set to the correct line break for the operating system that the PHP script is running on.

Note that this constant is declared since PHP 5.0.2.

    echo "Line 1" . PHP_EOL . "Line 2";

For backwards compatibility:

if (!defined('PHP_EOL')) {
    switch (strtoupper(substr(PHP_OS, 0, 3))) {
        // Windows
        case 'WIN':
            define('PHP_EOL', "\r\n");

        // Mac
        case 'DAR':
            define('PHP_EOL', "\r");

        // Unix
            define('PHP_EOL', "\n");

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