|  support |  documentation |  report a bug |  advanced search |  search howto |  statistics |  random bug |  login
Bug #46143 Serializing SimpleXML removes the root node; asXML on unserailized breaks
Submitted: 2008-09-21 11:37 UTC Modified: 2008-10-16 18:09 UTC
From: firehed at gmail dot com Assigned:
Status: Not a bug Package: SimpleXML related
PHP Version: 5.2.6 OS: OS X 10.5
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
View Add Comment Developer Edit
Welcome! If you don't have a Git account, you can't do anything here.
You can add a comment by following this link or if you reported this bug, you can edit this bug over here.
Block user comment
Status: Assign to:
Bug Type:
From: firehed at gmail dot com
New email:
PHP Version: OS:


 [2008-09-21 11:37 UTC] firehed at gmail dot com
If you serialize a SimpleXMLElement object, the root-level node is lost, causing the unserialize() event to issue a warning-level error (and creating an empty SimpleXMLElement object) and cause most other SimpleXMLElement methods to fail with a warning-level error.

Reproduce code:
$xml = new SimpleXMLElement('<test><foo>1</foo><bar>2</bar></test>');
$serialized = serialize($xml);
$unserialized = unserialize($serialized);
$unserialized->addChild('testing', 'worked');
echo $unserialized->asXML();

Expected result:
<?xml version="1.0"?>

Actual result:
Warning: unserialize() [function.unserialize]: Node no longer exists in /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/serialxml.php on line 4

Warning: SimpleXMLElement::addChild() [function.SimpleXMLElement-addChild]: Node no longer exists in /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/serialxml.php on line 5

Warning: SimpleXMLElement::addChild() [function.SimpleXMLElement-addChild]: Cannot add child. Parent is not a permanent member of the XML tree in /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/serialxml.php on line 5

Warning: SimpleXMLElement::asXML() [function.SimpleXMLElement-asXML]: Node no longer exists in /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/serialxml.php on line 6


Add a Patch

Pull Requests

Add a Pull Request


AllCommentsChangesGit/SVN commitsRelated reports
 [2008-09-21 15:12 UTC] phpwnd at gmail dot com
AFAIK, you cannot serialize a SimpleXMLElement, because it's a resource wrapped inside an object and it would be impossible de restore that resource upon unserialize()-ation. That's why you receive an error: the unserialized object doesn't know where's the original document anymore. Store it in text form instead (asXML()).

Proposed solution #1: prevent SimpleXMLElement serialization, or make it produce an E_NOTICE. The error message could advise the user to store SimpleXMLElements as XML strings instead.

Proposed solution #2: allow serialization, make the serialized representation store the XML as a string and recreate the [copy of the original] document upon deserialization.
 [2008-10-16 18:09 UTC]
Thank you for taking the time to write to us, but this is not
a bug. Please double-check the documentation available at and the instructions on how to report
a bug at

For reasons as stated by phpwnd
 [2011-04-29 13:50 UTC] MartinWillms2000 at aol dot com
I have the same problem when using simplexml and reading a string entry from a 
node. The node contents is the following:


I use the following code to read the node contents into a variable:

$temp_str = $xmlJobFile_cl->recording->target_directory;

Using this code the problem described above occurs. Therefore I think that the 
simplexml node is serialised to $temp_str. Applying a type cast to string 
solved the problem:

$temp_str = (string) $xmlJobFile_cl->recording->target_directory;

>php-config --version

>apache2ctl -v
Server version: Apache/2.2.3
Server built:   Sep 25 2008 11:25:06
PHP Copyright © 2001-2024 The PHP Group
All rights reserved.
Last updated: Mon Jun 17 21:01:30 2024 UTC