mssql + PHP issue - URGENT.

Jamie McDonald jmack at
Mon Apr 26 15:51:47 UTC 2010

Hello all,

I've just managed to convince the management to let us run Linux boxes as
our new frontend webservers - they are ubuntu-server 9.10 boxes configured
for fail over using heartbeat and DRBD.

Our database servers however have remained as Microsoft SQL 2008 servers.

The issue I am having is that with the testing of our webserver's I cannot
seem to connect to an MS SQL 2008 Express db server, every time I get the

*"Warning*: mssql_connect()
Unable to connect to server:,1433 in *
/shared/var/www/oursite/inc/oursite_dbcon.php* on line *2*
Could not connect to database: "

The PHP code used to connect is a standard connection string i.e.

"mssql_connect(",1433","username","passw0rd") or die ("Could not
connect to database: ".mssql_get_last_message());"

The web server has has 'apt-get install php5-sybase' run on it and apache
restarted so the object has been loaded - this is also confirmed by
its presence on the output from phpinfo();.

I have disabled the firewall on the SQL2008 server - and can see the port
1433 listening on the test sql server (my workstation) from the webserver. I
am also able to telnet to port 1433 on the SQL server from the webserver.
The username and password are also correct - I have quadruple checked this.

I've been googling all afternoon and seem to be finding conflicting
information regarding the ability of PHP to connect directly to an MSSQL
database. Some sites seem to suggest you must use a DSN via an odbc
connection but other sites suggest the old school connection string method
should work fine just as you would if using mysql. I really don't want to
start modfying the developers code, as far as I'm concerned this codebase
worked fine under windows/iis so it should run in our new Linux environment.

If anyone can give me any clarification on this issue I would be very
thankful as these servers are going to be racked this week and I do not want
to have the powers that be decide we should revert to Windows Server / IIS.

Kind Regards,
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