ramblings about cars, tech, web development and more. BOTB Winner in 2010

Connect Codeigniter PHP7.3 to MSSQL

Wow, That’s a few hours of my life I won’t get back but, hopefully, you will after reading this article.

Due to some hideous compatibility issues and the obvious security issues associated with PHP5.6 I took the plunge and updated our server to Ubutntu 14 to Ubuntu 16 and installed PHP7.3.

So good so far.  The phpinfo() worked just fine but I had issues with connecting my Codeingiter App to the onsite MSSQL database.  When I say issues it just said mssql_connect not found.  Luckily I’d heard about this so I didn’t panic and got googling for a quick fix.

Well after a number of hours of chasing the wrong path I came across a VERY SIMPLE solution and here it all is laid out ready to roll!

Step 1: Follow ALL the instructions on this page.  Make sure you install the ODBC driver etc https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/connect/php/installation-tutorial-linux-mac?view=sql-server-ver15#installing-the-drivers-on-ubuntu-1604-1804-and-1810

Step 2.  Modify your Codeigniter database.php to reflect the following:

$db[‘mssql’][‘hostname’] = ‘sqlsrv:Server=SERVERNAME;Database=DBNAME’;
$db[‘mssql’][‘username’] = ‘USERNAME’;
$db[‘mssql’][‘password’] = ‘PASSWORD’;
$db[‘mssql’][‘database’] = ‘DBNAME’;
$db[‘mssql’][‘dbdriver’] = ‘pdo’;
$db[‘mssql’][‘dbprefix’] = ”;
$db[‘mssql’][‘pconnect’] = FALSE;
$db[‘mssql’][‘db_debug’] = TRUE;
$db[‘mssql’][‘cache_on’] = FALSE;
$db[‘mssql’][‘cachedir’] = ”;
$db[‘mssql’][‘char_set’] = ”;
$db[‘mssql’][‘dbcollat’] = ”;
$db[‘mssql’][‘swap_pre’] = ”;
$db[‘mssql’][‘autoinit’] = TRUE;

That SHOULD then work!  If not leave a message in the comments and lets see what we can find together.

PS I did have PHP 7.0 running according to PHPINFO but I quickly changed that to PHP7.3, use a phpinfo file to check your config!


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  1. I used this for swapping my PHP version::

    Disable PHP7.0 module on Apache:

    sudo a2dismod php7.0

    Now enable PHP7.3:

    sudo a2enmod php7.3

    Now restart Apache:

    sudo systemctl restart apache2

  2. don britton

    Hi Alun, when you were able to get Codeigniter to connect to MSSQL were you using CI3 or CI4? I have an upcoming project that would be similar in nature but would really like to use CI4 if at all possible.


    • It was CI3 in this instance.

      CI4 supports MSSQL but you need the SQLSRV driver. I believe this is what you would need.


      CI4 doesn’t have a lot of support a the moment so it’s worth looking at the Laravel community as Laravel uses SQLSRV for it’s connections to MSSQL

      I’ve completely moved to Laravel these days bar a few legacy apps so can’t help a lot more I’m afraid.

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