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Note: this project is no longer being actively maintained. Security vulnerabilities may exist in this code. Use at your own risk.

This library is a fork of pysqlcipher targeted for use with Python 3, although support for Python 2 is still maintained. It is still in the beta state, although this library contains minimal new code and instead heavily pulls from the core Python sqlite source code while linking against libsqlcipher.

Original code (c) 2004-2007 Gerhard Häring

Packaging for SQLCipher (c) 2013-2014 Kali Kaneko

Python 3 packaging for SQLCipher (c) 2015 David Riggleman


You have to pass the PRAGMA key before doing any operations:

from pysqlcipher3 import dbapi2 as sqlite
conn = sqlite.connect('test.db')
c = conn.cursor()
c.execute("PRAGMA key='password'")
c.execute('''create table stocks (date text, trans text, symbol text, qty real, price real)''')
c.execute("""insert into stocks values ('2006-01-05','BUY','RHAT',100,35.14)""")

You can quickly verify that your database file in indeed encrypted:

hexdump -C test.db
ab 7f 61 7a 33 9d 07 f4  08 68 c9 b0 4f e3 34 60  |..az3....h..O.4`|
bb 9d 9c 3d 9e ce 69 57  b6 2f 36 c4 fd 13 bd 61  |...=..iW./6....a|
77 bf e3 1d 65 b5 ea f7  d2 fc 98 31 23 66 a0 1e  |w...e......1#f..|
a4 4f fa 66 49 36 84 a1  3e 0c 21 98 84 07 eb 07  |.O.fI6..>.!.....|

Build against libsqlcipher

This is the default install option. For production use, you should build against libsqlcipher, which must be installed on your system prior to installation. Consult your operating system documentation for how to install SQL Cipher. You can also manually build SQL Cipher by cloning and following the build instructions.

Build against amalgamation

For convenience during development, you can use a sqlcipher amalgamation during the install. You will need to obtain the amalgamation from external sources or build it yourself from

To build using the amalgamation, you can do it like this:

python build_amalgamation

And then:

python install

32 Bit Windows Setup Instructions (using Visual Studio)

  1. Install Visual Studio 2015: if you do not have a paid license, the Community Edition will work fine. Make sure to select all the C++ options during the installation process.
  2. Install OpenSSL: you can either download the source and build locally or install a prebuilt OpenSSL binary from (use the latest version)
  3. Confirm that the OPENSSL_CONF environment variable is set properly: this should not be root OpenSSL path (ex: C:\openssl-Win32), but instead should be the path to the config file (ex: C:\openssl-Win32\bin\openssl.cfg)
  4. Copy the OpenSSL folder (C:\openssl-Win32\include\openssl) to the VC include directory (ex: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\VC\include): confirm the following path exists (\VC\include\openssl\aes.h)
  5. Install the latest version of Python 3 (32-bit): if you have Python 64-bit installed, you may have to uninstall it before installing Python 32-bit.
  6. Use the SQL Cipher 3 amalgamation: if needed, directions for building SQL Cipher can be found on the following tutorial:
  7. Follow the general instructions for building the amalgamation

64 Bit Windows Setup Instructions (using Visual Studio)

Follow the same instructions as above except for the following:

  1. Make sure that you are using OpenSSL-Win64
  2. Set the PATH to the Win64 environment
  3. Copy the OpenSSL folder
  4. Build the amalgamation and install with the latest Python x64
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