LXXI. OpenSSL functions


This extension is EXPERIMENTAL. The behaviour of this extension -- including the names of its functions and anything else documented about this extension -- may change without notice in a future release of PHP. Use this extension at your own risk.


This module uses the functions of OpenSSL for generation and verification of signatures and for sealing (encrypting) and opening (decrypting) data. OpenSSL offers many features that this module currently doesn't support. Some of these may be added in the future.


In order to use the OpenSSL functions you need to install the OpenSSL package. PHP-4.0.4pl1 requires OpenSSL >= 0.9.6, but PHP-4.0.5 and greater will also work with OpenSSL >= 0.9.5.


To use PHP's OpenSSL support you must also compile PHP --with-openssl[=DIR].

Runtime Configuration

This extension has no configuration directives defined in php.ini.

Resource Types

Key/Certificate parameters

Quite a few of the openssl functions require a key or a certificate parameter. PHP 4.0.5 and earlier have to use a key or certificate resource returned by one of the openssl_get_xxx functions. Later versions may use one of the following methods:

  • Certificates

    1. An X.509 resource returned from openssl_x509_read()

    2. A string having the format file://path/to/cert.pem; the named file must contain a PEM encoded certificate

    3. A string containing the content of a certificate, PEM encoded

  • Public/Private Keys

    1. A key resource returned from openssl_get_publickey() or openssl_get_privatekey()

    2. For public keys only: an X.509 resource

    3. A string having the format file://path/to/file.pem - the named file must contain a PEM encoded certificate/private key (it may contain both)

    4. A string containing the content of a certificate/key, PEM encoded

    5. For private keys, you may also use the syntax array($key, $passphrase) where $key represents a key specified using the file:// or textual content notation above, and $passphrase represents a string containing the passphrase for that private key

Certificate Verification

When calling a function that will verify a signature/certificate, the cainfo parameter is an array containing file and directory names that specify the locations of trusted CA files. If a directory is specified, then it must be a correctly formed hashed directory as the openssl command would use.

Predefined Constants

The constants below are defined by this extension, and will only be available when the extension has either been compiled into PHP or dynamically loaded at runtime.






X509_PURPOSE_CRL_SIGN (integer)

X509_PURPOSE_ANY (integer)








PKCS7 Flags/Constants

The S/MIME functions make use of flags which are specified using a bitfield which can include one or more of the following values:


PKCS7_TEXTadds text/plain content type headers to encrypted/signed message. If decrypting or verifying, it strips those headers from the output - if the decrypted or verified message is not of MIME type text/plain then an error will occur.
PKCS7_BINARYnormally the input message is converted to "canonical" format which is effectively using CR and LF as end of line: as required by the S/MIME specification. When this options is present, no translation occurs. This is useful when handling binary data which may not be in MIME format.
PKCS7_NOINTERNwhen verifying a message, certificates (if any) included in the message are normally searched for the signing certificate. With this option only the certificates specified in the extracerts parameter of openssl_pkcs7_verify() are used. The supplied certificates can still be used as untrusted CAs however.
PKCS7_NOVERIFYdo not verify the signers certificate of a signed message.
PKCS7_NOCHAINdo not chain verification of signers certificates: that is don't use the certificates in the signed message as untrusted CAs.
PKCS7_NOCERTSwhen signing a message the signer's certificate is normally included - with this option it is excluded. This will reduce the size of the signed message but the verifier must have a copy of the signers certificate available locally (passed using the extracerts to openssl_pkcs7_verify() for example.
PKCS7_NOATTRnormally when a message is signed, a set of attributes are included which include the signing time and the supported symmetric algorithms. With this option they are not included.
PKCS7_DETACHEDWhen signing a message, use cleartext signing with the MIME type multipart/signed. This is the default if the flags parameter to openssl_pkcs7_sign() if you do not specify any flags. If you turn this option off, the message will be signed using opaque signing, which is more resistant to translation by mail relays but cannot be read by mail agents that do not support S/MIME.
PKCS7_NOSIGSDon't try and verify the signatures on a message

Note: These constants were added in 4.0.6.

Table of Contents
openssl_csr_export_to_file -- Exports a CSR to a file
openssl_csr_export -- Exports a CSR to file or a var
openssl_csr_new -- Generates a privkey and CSR
openssl_csr_sign -- Signs a cert with another CERT
openssl_error_string -- Return openSSL error message
openssl_free_key -- Free key resource
openssl_get_privatekey -- Prepare a PEM formatted private key for use
openssl_get_publickey -- Extract public key from certificate and prepare it for use
openssl_open -- Open sealed data
openssl_pkcs7_decrypt -- Decrypts an S/MIME encrypted message
openssl_pkcs7_encrypt -- Encrypt an S/MIME message
openssl_pkcs7_sign -- sign an S/MIME message
openssl_pkcs7_verify -- Verifies the signature of an S/MIME signed message
openssl_pkey_export_to_file -- Gets an exportable representation of a key into a file
openssl_pkey_export -- Gets an exportable representation of a key into a string or file
openssl_pkey_new -- Generates a new private key
openssl_private_decrypt -- Decrypts data with private key
openssl_private_encrypt -- Encrypts data with private key
openssl_public_decrypt -- Decrypts data with public key
openssl_public_encrypt -- Encrypts data with public key
openssl_seal -- Seal (encrypt) data
openssl_sign -- Generate signature
openssl_verify -- Verify signature
openssl_x509_check_private_key -- Checks if a private key corresponds to a CERT
openssl_x509_checkpurpose -- Verifies if a certificate can be used for a particular purpose
openssl_x509_export_to_file -- Exports a CERT to file or a var
openssl_x509_export -- Exports a CERT to file or a var
openssl_x509_free -- Free certificate resource
openssl_x509_parse -- Parse an X509 certificate and return the information as an array
openssl_x509_read -- Parse an X.509 certificate and return a resource identifier for it