There are several tutorials on the web that you can follow in order to get PHP 5.4 on OS/X to connect to MS SQL Server.

While helpful, some of them contain bad or incomplete information.

I recommend using FreeTDS. I recommend generally following this tutorial, but with a few caveats:

  • The tutorial uses Zend Server CE's web stack, which I no longer use. Instead, I used Liip's super-simple PHP binary package. This will save you from having to re-compile PHP with ODBC support, or hunt down a packaged version of PHP that comes with it (I couldn't find one that worked). This PHP package works with the OS/X bundled Apache. That means you need to be placing your web documents in /Library/WebServer/Documents in OS/X Lion or Mountain Lion.

  • Several tutorials specify incomplete or incorrect odbc.ini files. A proper odbc.ini DSN entry for SQL Server 2005 and 2008 looks like this:

Driver = FreeTDS
TDS_Version = 7.2
Description = Your Database
Server =
Port = 1433
Database = DatabaseName
Trace = No

Obviously, fill in YourDSN, Your Database,, and DatabaseName with the appropriate values for the database you want to connect to.

  • Once you get odbc.ini and odbcinst.ini created using the Featurebug tutorial above, you'll need to set two environment variables, which point PHP to the correct paths:

You can probably do this in httpd.conf or in php.ini instead.

You can test your work by turning error reporting on and using the odbc_connect() function.


23 October 2012