Encrypt a MySQL database table

NOTE: We are in the process of modifying the file structure and configuration for many Bitnami stacks. On account of these changes, the file paths stated in this guide may change depending on whether your Bitnami stack uses native Linux system packages (Approach A), or if it is a self-contained installation (Approach B). To identify your Bitnami installation type and what approach to follow, run the command below:

 $ test ! -f "/opt/bitnami/common/bin/openssl" && echo "Approach A: Using system packages." || echo "Approach B: Self-contained installation."

The output of the command indicates which approach (A or B) is used by the installation, and will allow you to identify the paths, configuration and commands to use in this guide. Refer to the FAQ for more information on these changes.

NOTE: Table encryption support is only available for InnoDB tables stored as individual files (the innodb_file_per_table option, enabled by default).

Follow the steps below to configure table encryption support:

  • Edit the configuration file, which depending on your installation type will be in one of the following locations:

    • For Bitnami installations following Approach A (using Linux system packages): /opt/bitnami/mysql/conf/my.cnf
    • For Bitnami installations following Approach B (self-contained installations): /opt/bitnami/mysql/my.cnf
  • Add the following lines to the configuration file, within the [mysqld] section, to activate the keyring_file plugin:

    NOTE: The keyring file will be automatically created in the above location when the first table is encrypted. Keep a backup of this file as the data stored in the encrypted tables cannot be recovered without it.

  • Restart the MySQL server:

      $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ restart mysql
  • Confirm that the keyring_file plugin is active by running the query below in the MySQL client:


You should now be able to create an encrypted table by adding the ENCRYPTED=‘Y’ clause to any CREATE TABLE command. Here is an example:

CREATE TABLE mytable (id INT, value VARCHAR(255)) ENCRYPTION='Y'

Tables which are not already encrypted can be encrypted by using an ALTER TABLE command, such as the one below:

Last modification December 21, 2022