Kafka, PHP and SASL_SSL

When you want to connect to a Kafka cluster from PHP there are numerous examples showing how to use php-rdkafka, but unauthenticated. But what happens when you need to let a customer connect to a Kafka setup and IP whitelisting is not enough? Not much easily locatable information is out there.

Why not correct this by combing through various web pages and the librdkafka source code:


$conf = new RdKafka\Conf();
$conf->set('security.protocol', 'SASL_SSL');
$conf->set('sasl.mechanisms', 'PLAIN');
$conf->set('sasl.username', 'USERNAME_HERE');
$conf->set('sasl.password', 'PASSWORD_HERE');
$conf->set('ssl.ca.location', '/usr/local/etc/ca-cert.pem');
$conf->set('ssl.cipher.suites', 'TLSv1.2');

$rk = new RdKafka\Producer($conf);

$topic = $rk->newTopic("kafka-test-topic");

for ($i = 0; $i < 10; $i++) {
    $topic->produce(RD_KAFKA_PARTITION_UA, 0, "Message $i");

while ($rk->getOutQLen() > 0) {


Still this may not be enough if it is the case that your Kafka server is on OpenSSL-1.0.2 (CentOS 7 for example) and your php client is on OpenSSL-1.1.0 (like the php:7.2-cli docker image). In such a case you need to alter your client’s openssl.cnf to comment out the following line:

;CipherString = DEFAULT@SECLEVEL=2

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