1.20.x common.inc backdrop_parse_url($url)

Parses a system URL string into an associative array suitable for url().

This function should only be used for URLs that have been generated by the system, such as via url(). It should not be used for URLs that come from external sources, or URLs that link to external resources.

The returned array contains a 'path' that may be passed separately to url(). For example:

  $options = backdrop_parse_url($_GET['destination']);
  $my_url = url($options['path'], $options);
  $my_link = l('Example link', $options['path'], $options);

This is required, because url() does not support relative URLs containing a query string or fragment in its $path argument. Instead, any query string needs to be parsed into an associative query parameter array in $options['query'] and the fragment into $options['fragment'].


$url: The URL string to parse, f.e. $_GET['destination'].

Return value

An associative array containing the keys::

  • 'path': The path of the URL. If the given $url is external, this includes the scheme and host.
  • 'query': An array of query parameters of $url, if existent.
  • 'fragment': The fragment of $url, if existent.

See also



Related topics


includes/common.inc, line 709
Common functions that many Backdrop modules will need to reference.


function backdrop_parse_url($url) {
  $options = array(
    'path' => NULL,
    'query' => array(),
    'fragment' => '',

  // External URLs: not using parse_url() here, so we do not have to rebuild
  // the scheme, host, and path without having any use for it.
  if (strpos($url, '://') !== FALSE) {
    // Split off everything before the query string into 'path'.
    $parts = explode('?', $url);
    $options['path'] = $parts[0];
    // If there is a query string, transform it into keyed query parameters.
    if (isset($parts[1])) {
      $query_parts = explode('#', $parts[1]);
      parse_str($query_parts[0], $options['query']);
      // Take over the fragment, if there is any.
      if (isset($query_parts[1])) {
        $options['fragment'] = $query_parts[1];
  // Internal URLs.
  else {
    // parse_url() does not support relative URLs, so make it absolute. E.g. the
    // relative URL "foo/bar:1" isn't properly parsed.
    $parts = parse_url('http://example.com/' . $url);
    // Strip the leading slash that was just added.
    $options['path'] = substr($parts['path'], 1);
    if (isset($parts['query'])) {
      parse_str($parts['query'], $options['query']);
    if (isset($parts['fragment'])) {
      $options['fragment'] = $parts['fragment'];
  // The 'q' parameter contains the path of the current page if clean URLs are
  // disabled. It overrides the 'path' of the URL when present, even if clean
  // URLs are enabled, due to how Apache rewriting rules work. The path
  // parameter must be a string.
  if (isset($options['query']['q']) && is_string($options['query']['q'])) {
    $options['path'] = $options['query']['q'];

  return $options;