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Security in MySQL  /  ...  /  Using the keyring_encrypted_file Encrypted File-Based Keyring Plugin

6.4.7 Using the keyring_encrypted_file Encrypted File-Based Keyring Plugin


The keyring_encrypted_file plugin is an extension included in MySQL Enterprise Edition, a commercial product. To learn more about commercial products, see

The keyring_encrypted_file keyring plugin stores keyring data in an encrypted, password-protected file local to the server host.

As of MySQL 8.0.34, this plugin is deprecated and subject to removal in a future release of MySQL. Instead, consider using the component_encrypted_keyring_file component for storing keyring data (see Section 6.4.5, “Using the component_keyring_encrypted_file Encrypted File-Based Keyring Component”).


For encryption key management, the keyring_encrypted_file plugin is not intended as a regulatory compliance solution. Security standards such as PCI, FIPS, and others require use of key management systems to secure, manage, and protect encryption keys in key vaults or hardware security modules (HSMs).

To install keyring_encrypted_file, use the general instructions found in Section 6.4.3, “Keyring Plugin Installation”, together with the configuration information specific to keyring_encrypted_file found here.

To be usable during the server startup process, keyring_encrypted_file must be loaded using the --early-plugin-load option. To specify the password for encrypting the keyring data file, set the keyring_encrypted_file_password system variable. (The password is mandatory; if not specified at server startup, keyring_encrypted_file initialization fails.) The keyring_encrypted_file_data system variable optionally configures the location of the file used by the keyring_encrypted_file plugin for data storage. The default value is platform specific. To configure the file location explicitly, set the variable value at startup. For example, use these lines in the server my.cnf file, adjusting the .so suffix and file location for your platform as necessary and substituting your chosen password:


Because the my.cnf file stores a password when written as shown, it should have a restrictive mode and be accessible only to the account used to run the MySQL server.

Keyring operations are transactional: The keyring_encrypted_file plugin uses a backup file during write operations to ensure that it can roll back to the original file if an operation fails. The backup file has the same name as the value of the keyring_encrypted_file_data system variable with a suffix of .backup.

For additional information about the system variables used to configure the keyring_encrypted_file plugin, see Section 6.4.19, “Keyring System Variables”.

To ensure that keys are flushed only when the correct keyring storage file exists, keyring_encrypted_file stores a SHA-256 checksum of the keyring in the file. Before updating the file, the plugin verifies that it contains the expected checksum. In addition, keyring_encrypted_file encrypts file contents using AES before writing the file, and decrypts file contents after reading the file.

The keyring_encrypted_file plugin supports the functions that comprise the standard MySQL Keyring service interface. Keyring operations performed by those functions are accessible at two levels:

Example (using the SQL interface):

SELECT keyring_key_generate('MyKey', 'AES', 32);
SELECT keyring_key_remove('MyKey');

For information about the characteristics of key values permitted by keyring_encrypted_file, see Section 6.4.13, “Supported Keyring Key Types and Lengths”.