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virtual — Performs an Apache subrequest to parse and include a file.


int virtual(URI);
string URI: URI to include


TRUE if successful, FALSE on error


This function enables you to perform an Apache subrequest. It performs the same function that mod_include allows you to perform (<!--#include virtual...-->), but you can access the feature from within PHP scripts. This is useful if you want to include the output of a CGI script within your PHP file, for example.

You can't use virtual() on PHP files; use include() instead.


In versions prior to 3.0.13, it was possible to use virtual() on PHP files under some circumstances.


Existing since version 3.0


Example 6. Include the output of a Perl CGI script

$script = "/cgi-bin/";
if (!@virtual($script)) {
    // The @ prevents a PHP error from occurring if the function call fails
    print("ERROR - Unable to include file '$script'!<br>\n");

PHP Functions Essential Reference. Copyright © 2002 by New Riders Publishing (Authors: Zak Greant, Graeme Merrall, Torben Wilson, Brett Michlitsch). This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at The authors of this book have elected not to choose any options under the OPL. This online book was obtained from and is designed to provide information about the PHP programming language, focusing on PHP version 4.0.4 for the most part. The information is provided on an as-is basis, and no warranty or fitness is implied. All persons and entities shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage arising from the information contained in this book.

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