[Solved] file_get_contents(): SSL operation failed with code 1, Failed to enable crypto

I’ve been trying to access this particular REST service from a PHP page I’ve created on our server. I narrowed the problem down to these two lines. So my PHP page looks like this:

$response = file_get_contents("*&outSR=102100&searchExtent=&f=json");

echo $response; ?>

The page dies on line 2 with the following errors:

  • Warning: file_get_contents(): SSL operation failed with code 1.
    OpenSSL Error messages: error:14090086:SSL
    routines:SSL3_GET_SERVER_CERTIFICATE:certificate verify failed in
    …php on line 2

    • Warning: file_get_contents(): Failed to enable crypto in …php on
      line 2
    • Warning:
      failed to open stream: operation failed in …php on line 2

We’re using a Gentoo server. We recently upgraded to PHP version 5.6. It was after the upgrade when this problem appeared.

I found when I replace the REST service with an address like; my page works just fine.

In an earlier attempt I set “verify_peer”=>false, and passed that in as an argument to file_get_contents, as described here: file_get_contents ignoring verify_peer=>false? But like the writer noted; it made no difference.

I’ve asked one of our server administrators if these lines in our php.ini file exist:

  • extension=php_openssl.dll
  • allow_url_fopen = On

He told me that since we’re on Gentoo, openssl is compiled when we build; and it’s not set in the php.ini file.

I also confirmed that allow_url_fopen is working. Due to the specialized nature of this problem; I’m not finding a lot of information for help. Have any of you come across something like this? Thanks.

Enquirer: Joe


Solution #1:

This was an enormously helpful link to find:

An official document describing the changes made to open ssl in PHP 5.6
From here I learned of one more parameter I should have set to false: “verify_peer_name”=>false

Note: This has very significant security implications. Disabling verification potentially permits a MITM attacker to use an invalid certificate to eavesdrop on the requests. While it may be useful to do this in local development, other approaches should be used in production.

So my working code looks like this:


$response = file_get_contents("*&outSR=102100&searchExtent=&f=json", false, stream_context_create($arrContextOptions));

echo $response; ?>
Respondent: Joe

Solution #2:

You shouldn’t just turn off verification. Rather you should download a certificate bundle, perhaps the curl bundle will do?

Then you just need to put it on your web server, giving the user that runs php permission to read the file. Then this code should work for you:

$arrContextOptions= [
    'ssl' => [
        'cafile' => '/path/to/bundle/cacert.pem',
        'verify_peer'=> true,
        'verify_peer_name'=> true,

$response = file_get_contents(

Hopefully, the root certificate of the site you are trying to access is in the curl bundle. If it isn’t, this still won’t work until you get the root certificate of the site and put it into your certificate file.

Respondent: elitechief21

Solution #3:

I fixed this by making sure that that OpenSSL was installed on my machine and then adding this to my php.ini:

Respondent: andlin

Solution #4:

You can get around this problem by writing a custom function that uses curl, as in:

function file_get_contents_curl( $url ) {

  $ch = curl_init();

  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_AUTOREFERER, TRUE );
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0 );
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1 );
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url );
  curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, TRUE );

  $data = curl_exec( $ch );
  curl_close( $ch );

  return $data;


Then just use file_get_contents_curl instead of file_get_contents whenever you’re calling a url that begins with https.

Respondent: Ben Shoval

Solution #5:

Working for me, I am using PHP 5.6. openssl extension should be enabled and while calling google map api verify_peer make false
Below code is working for me.

$url = ""
      . $latitude
      . ","
      . $longitude
      . "&sensor=false&key="
      . Yii::$app->params['GOOGLE_API_KEY'];

$data = file_get_contents($url, false, stream_context_create($arrContextOptions));

echo $data;
Respondent: Dipti

Solution #6:

If your PHP version is 5, try installing cURL by typing the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install php5-curl
Respondent: ARUNBALAN NV

Solution #7:

You basically have to set the environment variable SSL_CERT_FILE to the path of the PEM file of the ssl-certificate downloaded from the following link :

It took me a lot of time to figure this out.

Respondent: Kshitij Mittal

Solution #8:

following below steps will fix this issue,

  1. Download the CA Certificate from this link:
  2. Find and open php.ini
  3. Look for curl.cainfo and paste the absolute path where you have download the Certificate. curl.cainfo ="C:wamphtdocscertcacert.pem"
  4. Restart WAMP/XAMPP (apache server).
  5. It works!

hope that helps !!

Respondent: shakee93

Solution #9:

Just wanted to add to this since I ran into the same problem and nothing I could find anywhere would work (e.g downloading the cacert.pem file, setting cafile in php.ini etc.)

If you are using NGINX and your SSL certificate comes with an “intermediate certificate”, you need to combine the intermediate cert file with your main “” file and it should work. Apache has a setting specific for intermediate certs, but NGINX does not so it must be within same file as your regular cert.

Respondent: SlickTheNick

Solution #10:

Reason for this error is that PHP does not have a list of trusted certificate authorities.

PHP 5.6 and later try to load the CAs trusted by the system automatically. Issues with that can be fixed. See for more information.

PHP 5.5 and earlier are really hard to setup correctly since you manually have to specify the CA bundle in each request context, a thing you do not want to sprinkle around your code.
So I decided for my code that for PHP versions < 5.6, SSL verification simply gets disabled:

$req = new HTTP_Request2($url);
if (version_compare(PHP_VERSION, '5.6.0', '<')) {
    //correct ssl validation on php 5.5 is a pain, so disable
    $req->setConfig('ssl_verify_host', false);
    $req->setConfig('ssl_verify_peer', false);
Respondent: cweiske

Solution #11:

Had the same error with PHP 7 on XAMPP and OSX.

The above mentioned answer in is good, but it did not completely solve the problem for me. I had to provide the complete certificate chain to make file_get_contents() work again. That’s how I did it:

Get root / intermediate certificate

First of all I had to figure out what’s the root and the intermediate certificate.

The most convenient way is maybe an online cert-tool like the ssl-shopper

There I found three certificates, one server-certificate and two chain-certificates (one is the root, the other one apparantly the intermediate).

All I need to do is just search the internet for both of them. In my case, this is the root:

thawte DV SSL SHA256 CA

And it leads to his url So I just put this cert into a textfile and did the same for the intermediate. Done.

Get the host certificate

Next thing I had to to is to download my server cert. On Linux or OS X it can be done with openssl:

openssl s_client -showcerts -connect </dev/null 2>/dev/null|openssl x509 -outform PEM > /tmp/

Now bring them all together

Now just merge all of them into one file. (Maybe it’s good to just put them into one folder, I just merged them into one file). You can do it like this:

cat /tmp/thawteRoot.crt > /tmp/chain.crt
cat /tmp/thawteIntermediate.crt >> /tmp/chain.crt
cat /tmp/tmp/ >> /tmp/chain.crt

tell PHP where to find the chain

There is this handy function openssl_get_cert_locations() that’ll tell you, where PHP is looking for cert files. And there is this parameter, that will tell file_get_contents() where to look for cert files. Maybe both ways will work. I preferred the parameter way. (Compared to the solution mentioned above).

So this is now my PHP-Code

        "cafile" => "/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/share/openssl/certs/chain.pem",
        "verify_peer"=> true,
        "verify_peer_name"=> true,

$response = file_get_contents($myHttpsURL, 0, stream_context_create($arrContextOptions));

That’s all. file_get_contents() is working again. Without CURL and hopefully without security flaws.

Respondent: n.r.

Solution #12:

After falling victim to this problem on centOS after updating php to php5.6 I found a solution that worked for me.

Get the correct directory for your certs to be placed by default with this

php -r 'print_r(openssl_get_cert_locations()["default_cert_file"]);'

Then use this to get the cert and put it in the default location found from the code above

wget -O <default location>
Respondent: Edward DiGirolamo

Solution #13:

Had the same ssl-problem on my developer machine (php 7, xampp on windows) with a self signed certificate trying to fopen a “https://localhost/…”-file. Obviously the root-certificate-assembly (cacert.pem) didn’t work.
I just copied manually the code from the apache server.crt-File in the downloaded cacert.pem and did the openssl.cafile=path/to/cacert.pem entry in php.ini

Respondent: hangerer

Solution #14:

Another thing to try is to re-install ca-certificates as detailed here.

# yum reinstall ca-certificates
# update-ca-trust force-enable 
# update-ca-trust extract

And another thing to try is to explicitly allow the one site’s certificate in question as described here (especially if the one site is your own server and you already have the .pem in reach).

# cp /your/site.pem /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/anchors/
# update-ca-trust extract

I was running into this exact SO error after upgrading to PHP 5.6 on CentOS 6 trying to access the server itself which has a cheapsslsecurity certificate which maybe it needed to be updated, but instead I installed a letsencrypt certificate and with these two steps above it did the trick. I don’t know why the second step was necessary.

Useful Commands

View openssl version:

# openssl version
OpenSSL 1.0.1e-fips 11 Feb 2013

View PHP cli ssl current settings:

# php -i | grep ssl
Openssl default config => /etc/pki/tls/openssl.cnf
openssl.cafile => no value => no value
openssl.capath => no value => no value
Respondent: site

Solution #15:

Regarding errors similar to

[11-May-2017 19:19:13 America/Chicago] PHP Warning: file_get_contents(): SSL operation failed with code 1. OpenSSL Error messages:
error:14090086:SSL routines:ssl3_get_server_certificate:certificate verify failed

Have you checked the permissions of the cert and directories referenced by openssl?

You can do this


To get something similar to this

array(8) {
  string(21) "/usr/lib/ssl/cert.pem"
  string(13) "SSL_CERT_FILE"
  string(18) "/usr/lib/ssl/certs"
  string(12) "SSL_CERT_DIR"
  string(20) "/usr/lib/ssl/private"
  string(12) "/usr/lib/ssl"
  string(0) ""
  string(0) ""

This issue frustrated me for a while, until I realized that my “certs” folder had 700 permissions, when it should have had 755 permissions. Remember, this is not the folder for keys but certificates. I recommend reading this this link on ssl permissions.

Once I did

chmod 755 certs

The problem was fixed, at least for me anyway.

Respondent: Aleks

Solution #16:

I had the same issue for another secure page when using wget or file_get_contents. A lot of research (including some of the responses on this question) resulted in a simple solution – installing Curl and PHP-Curl – If I’ve understood correctly, Curl has the Root CA for Comodo which resolved the issue

Install Curl and PHP-Curl addon, then restart Apache

sudo apt-get install curl
sudo apt-get install php-curl
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload

All now working.

Respondent: Aubs

Solution #17:

At first you need to have enabled curl extension in PHP. Then you can use this function:

function file_get_contents_ssl($url) {
    $ch = curl_init();
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER, FALSE);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, false);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, true);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_REFERER, $url);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, TRUE);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, 3000); // 3 sec.
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 10000); // 10 sec.
    $result = curl_exec($ch);
    return $result;

It works similar to function file_get_contents(..).


echo file_get_contents_ssl("");


<!doctype html>
    <title>Example Domain</title>
Respondent: Martin

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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