Having problem setting a $_SESSION variable in php

I am on one of your Linux Ubuntu servers and have tried many different combination of writing the command that creates a session variable $_SESSION using PHP. Cannot get it to work. Only thing I can think of is do I have server permission to create a server session variable?

session_start(); $_SESSION[‘user_id’] = $result[‘user_id’];

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Instead of calling sessionstart() I think you need to call session_start()