How to use SSL in PHP Data Objects (PDO) mysql


If you want to connect securely to your MySQL database using PHP Data Objects (PDO), here is how to connect to MySQL with PHP PDO using an SSL encrypted connection.

$servername = "db_hostname";
$username = "db_username";
$password = "db_password";
$options = array(
	PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_CA => '/path/to/cacert.pem',

try {
    $conn = new PDO("mysql:host=$servername;port=3306;dbname=db_name", $username, $password, $options);
    // set the PDO error mode to exception
    echo "Connected successfully"; 
        var_dump($conn->query("SHOW STATUS LIKE 'Ssl_cipher';")->fetchAll());
        $conn = null;
catch(PDOException $e)
    echo "Connection failed: " . $e->getMessage();
?>Code language: PHP (php)

Please note that the above code should only work correctly on Windows Server, due to path to cacert.pem. See below. The PDO option MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_VERIFY_SERVER_CERT is important to disable checking of the server certificate. If omitted, you’ll receive an error: `SQLSTATE[HY000] [2002]`.

Cross-platform MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_CA usage in PHP

As you may know, in your Windows Server IIS PHP config, you need to set an openssl.cafile directive, providing the path to a Certificate Authority (CA) file. This is not necessary on Linux, where the system default is used. MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_CA needs this path on Windows, and may be omitted on Linux.

To add this logic into your PDO test script, add an extra variable with your OS information and change the MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_CA line:

$OS = ( strtoupper( substr( PHP_OS, 0, 3 ) ) === 'WIN' );
PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_CA => $OS ? 'c:/path/to/cacert.pem' : '',Code language: PHP (php)

Your $options array becomes:

$OS = ( strtoupper( substr( PHP_OS, 0, 3 ) ) === 'WIN' );

$options = array(
	PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_CA => $OS ? 'c:/path/to/cacert.pem' : '',
);Code language: PHP (php)

If $OS === true (e.g $OS === 'WIN') use c:/path/to/cacert.pem as PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_CA file path, else we’re on Linux and omit the path. This way you are sure you can use this PHP code cross-platform on both Windows Server and Linux!

Secure MySQL connections in WordPress with SSL/TLS

In WordPress you can define a MYSQL_CLIENT_FLAGS constant with MYSQLI_CLIENT_SSL as its value. This makes WordPress make SSL/TLS secured connections to your MySQL database.

Add to your wp-config.php file:

define( 'MYSQL_CLIENT_FLAGS', MYSQLI_CLIENT_SSL );Code language: PHP (php)
foto van Jan Reilink

About the author

Hi, my name is Jan. I am not a hacker, coder, developer or guru. I am merely a systems administrator, doing my daily SysOps/DevOps thing at cldin. With over 15 years of experience, my specialties include Windows Server, IIS, Linux (CentOS, Debian), security, PHP, websites & optimization.

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