Rocket Hazmat Rocket Hazmat - 11 months ago 37
PHP Question

Sending correct file size with PHP download script

I created a file download script in PHP, it works, but web browsers report the file as "Unknown Length". My code is as follows:

function downloadFile($file){
// Set up the download system...
header('Content-Description: File Transfer');
header('Content-Type: '.mime_content_type($file));
header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="'.basename($file).'"');
header('Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary');
header('Expires: 0');
header('Cache-Control: must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0');
header('Pragma: public');
header('Content-Length: '.filesize($file));

// Flush the cache

// Send file to browser


Answer Source

Originally from

The CrimsonBase website verifies downloads by passing them through a robust PHP script similar to the one published by Andrew Johnson in his article about PHP-controlled file downloads.

Andrew makes a very important comment at the end of the article:

"If you compress files with Zlib, mod_deflate and so on the Content-Length header won't be accurate so you'll end up seeing "Unknown size" and "Unknown time remaining" when downloading files."

I would like to stress this: if your browser doesn't appear to be obeying the headers generated by your PHP script—especially Content-Length—it is fairly likely that Apache's mod_deflate extension is enabled.

You can easily disable it for a single script using the following line in an applicable .htaccess file:

SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI ^/download\.php no-gzip dont-vary

where download.php is here assumed to be in the download script located in the server's root directory path (e.g. (That's because the regular expression is ^/download\.php.)