PHP 7.1.0 Release Candidate 4 Released


(PHP 4 >= 4.2.0, PHP 5, PHP 7)

openssl_pkey_get_privateGet a private key


resource openssl_pkey_get_private ( mixed $key [, string $passphrase = "" ] )

openssl_get_privatekey() parses key and prepares it for use by other functions.



key can be one of the following:

  1. 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).
  2. A PEM formatted private key.


The optional parameter passphrase must be used if the specified key is encrypted (protected by a passphrase).

Return Values

Returns a positive key resource identifier on success, or FALSE on error.

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User Contributed Notes 3 notes

kristof1 at mailbox dot hu
2 years ago
It's actually "file://key.pem" when you want to give a relative path using unix systems. It will be three '/' in case of absolute path (e.g "file:///home/username/..."). But this path consists of two '/' originated from "file://" and one '/' from the fact that home is a subfolder of the unix filesystem's root directory ("/home/username/..."). This two part will be concatenated and you will get three '/' characters following each other.

So you only have to concatenate "file://" with an existing path string in every case.
geoff at hostfission dot com
1 day ago
Since this function can be used to load a PEM encoded string also, those that are using it relying on user input should be sure to check that the passed data is indeed a PEM encoded string and not a malicious file path.

The following should be sufficient.

= trim($_POST['private']);
  if (
strpos($private, '-----') !== 0) return false;
5 years ago
Please note that "file://path/to/file.pem" in documentation means file protocol + file path. In UNIX like OS, that is something like file:///rsa_private_key.pem. There is THREE slashes in the path string, not TWO.
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