The 5th Annual China PHP Conference


(PHP 5 < 5.4.0, PECL sqlite >= 1.0.0)

sqlite_openOpens an SQLite database and create the database if it does not exist


resource sqlite_open ( string $filename [, int $mode = 0666 [, string &$error_message ]] )

Object oriented style (constructor):

final public SQLiteDatabase::__construct ( string $filename [, int $mode = 0666 [, string &$error_message ]] )

Opens an SQLite database or creates the database if it does not exist.



The filename of the SQLite database. If the file does not exist, SQLite will attempt to create it. PHP must have write permissions to the file if data is inserted, the database schema is modified or to create the database if it does not exist.


The mode of the file. Intended to be used to open the database in read-only mode. Presently, this parameter is ignored by the sqlite library. The default value for mode is the octal value 0666 and this is the recommended value.


Passed by reference and is set to hold a descriptive error message explaining why the database could not be opened if there was an error.

Return Values

Returns a resource (database handle) on success, FALSE on error.


Example #1 sqlite_open() example

if ($db sqlite_open('mysqlitedb'0666$sqliteerror)) { 
sqlite_query($db'CREATE TABLE foo (bar varchar(10))');
sqlite_query($db"INSERT INTO foo VALUES ('fnord')");
$result sqlite_query($db'select bar from foo');
} else {



On Unix platforms, SQLite is sensitive to scripts that use the fork() system call. If you do have such a script, it is recommended that you close the handle prior to forking and then re-open it in the child and/or parent. For more information on this issue, see » The C language interface to the SQLite library in the section entitled Multi-Threading And SQLite.


It is not recommended to work with SQLite databases mounted on NFS partitions. Since NFS is notoriously bad when it comes to locking you may find that you cannot even open the database at all, and if it succeeds, the locking behaviour may be undefined.

Note: Starting with SQLite library version 2.8.2, you can specify :memory: as the filename to create a database that lives only in the memory of the computer. This is useful mostly for temporary processing, as the in-memory database will be destroyed when the process ends. It can also be useful when coupled with the ATTACH DATABASE SQL statement to load other databases and move and query data between them.

Note: SQLite is safe mode and open_basedir aware.

See Also

  • sqlite_popen() - Opens a persistent handle to an SQLite database and create the database if it does not exist
  • sqlite_close() - Closes an open SQLite database
  • sqlite_factory() - Opens an SQLite database and returns an SQLiteDatabase object

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User Contributed Notes 3 notes

10 years ago
the above example dows not! work since sqlite_query() does not accept one argument, but only 2.

so correct is:

if ($db = sqlite_open('mysqlitedb', 0666, $sqliteerror)) {
sqlite_query($db,'CREATE TABLE foo (bar varchar(10))');
sqlite_query($db,"INSERT INTO foo VALUES ('fnord')");
$result = sqlite_query($db,'select bar from foo');
} else {
  die (
2 months ago
If you are using PHP7 or up, use PDO instead. this seems to be outdated since newer than 5.4
Phillip Berndt
10 years ago
If you miss to set the permissions mentioned by ivoras Sqlite will drop an error message saying "Malformed database scheme", which is somehow misleading.

(I mentioned this as some [I did] might search for this error message)
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