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I'd like to read the database settings in wp-config.php. However, if I do a require("wp-config.php"); it loads up the entire WordPress environment.

Is there any way to avoid this?

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Actually you can read all the constants defined in wp-config.php from any place you want. If you have something like this in your wp-config.php

define('DB_NAME', 'some_value');

You can do this for example in your functions.php file

echo DB_NAME;

Constants are globally accessible from everywhere.

So please think about this approach.

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