PHP 7.0 and MySQL Libraries

At work, we have some servers running unsupported operating systems. New servers are being built, and applications are being migrated from the old servers to the new. I started with a fairly easy scenario – a PHP web site running on Windows 2008 is moving to 2012. The new web server was handed off to me, and I loaded PHP. With PHP 5.6 active support ending at the end of this year, it made sense to install PHP 7. Copied code, tested site. Umm, massive fail.

Way back in PHP 5.5, the ext/mysql stuff (ext\php_mysql.dll for Windows folks) was deprecated. And if you are like me, you had a lot of old code from back when that was the way to connect to a MySQL database. And as your MySQL was upgraded past 4.1, you had the DBA’s setting old_password on your ID so your code continued to work.  But the old mysql libraries have been removed in PHP 7… and you need to use MySQLi or pdo_mysql to communicate with your database now.

Which one? Depends on what you need – I’ve been using PDO because I don’t need a procedural API (MySQLi provides a procedural API, PDO does not). PDO supports a dozen or so database drivers, MySQLi is just MySQL … so I’ll be able to use the same basic code to connect to MySQL, MS SQL, Oracle, and db2 (plus a handful of others that I don’t anticipate actually using, but who knows what the future holds).

I found a site ( where the individual has benchmarked MySQLi and PDO and doesn’t find much difference on INSERT statements but does see a non-negligible difference on prepared and non-prepared SELECT statements. His post is fairly old, so I ran timed tests on my server using our existing data and found PDO was within a couple of milliseconds. Using either library requires some recoding, but it is fairly straightforward and I was using a script to rebuild my script with the new functions. So I have a nice new server with nice new PHP and nice new MySQL queries using PDO … hit the page to test it and I get a generic error. Add a few lines to my code so I get some sensible errors



Voila – umm, this is gonna be a problem:

Next PDOException: SQLSTATE[HY000][2054] The server requested authentication 
method unknown to the client 
in D:\vhtml\PKIHome\IssuedDeviceCerts\index.php:46

Stack trace:

PDO->__construct('mysql:host=acil...', 'uidsuppressed', 'pwdsuppressed',Array)

The ‘server requested authentication method unknown to the client” means that the new PDO and MySQLi (yes, I’ve tried both) cannot use the password as required for the currently running production code. And the library used in the currently running production code cannot use the password as required for PDO or MySQLi. I cannot just convert the code to the new method, drop it on the new server, cut over, and decommission the old box. There are two approaches that can be used:


#1 Recode against a development MySQL database

#2 Get new IDs using the new storage scheme


#1 If you have a development MySQL database, you can add a hosts file entry (or have your OS support team do so) to point your production database host to the development server. The development server should be refreshed with data from the production databases. The existing IDs that use the old password storage schema can be updated with the new password storage scheme (either you provide the current password or a new password can be set). You will then need to update your PHP code to use either PDO or MySQLi. The implementation CRQ to move to your new server then involves (a) having the DBAs update the production user ID to the new password storage scheme, (b) removing the hosts file from your server.


Advantage – You don’t need to change to a new user ID in your code.

Disadvantage – anything that uses this ID needs to be updated simultaneously. When the new password storage schema is used on the account, any client requiring the old password storage scheme will fail. If your ID is used for one specific application on one server, then this isn’t a big deal. If you
use the ID to write data from a batch server or middleware platform, and then read the data from a PHP site … you need to recode both to use a library that understands the new password storage scheme.


#2 The other option is to get a new ID created that uses the new password storage scheme and have the same permissions granted for that ID. You can then recode individual pages as they are moved to the new server, and the old ID can be removed when all of the sites using it have been moved.


Advantage –You don’t need to move everything at once.

Disadvantage – you are making more changes to your code and replacing all of your user IDs (if you have a MyODBC driver to link an Access table into the database or if you use the MyPHPAdmin site … you’ll need to remember the new account now).


This isn’t a fatal error that prevents the upgrades from being done, but it sure turned into more of an undertaking than I had originally anticipated! If you should happen to use PHP and MySQL using the old libraries and have a PHP 7 installation planned … it really isn’t just copy some files & update some function calls.


One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.