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How to get images out of mysql database with php and use them on my webpages

Retrieving Images From Mysql Database With php

Author: D.Shaun Morgan

  • PHP Version - PHP 5x
  • Mysql Version - 5
Tutorial Outline:

Download Test Scripts

  1. Creating a Test Mysql Database
  2. Php Script to Load Images in Mysql Database
  3. Method 1 - Php Script to fetch images from mysql database
  4. Method 2 - Php Script to fetch images from mysql database
  5. Example of calling php script with img HTML tag
  6. Explanation of Image Script
  1. Create folder called "test"
  2. Create files "test01.php, test02.php, test03.php, test04.php & db_connection.php"
  3. Copy/Save test image into "test folder" a folder called "test"
See Also:
  1. How to store images in MySql database

This tutorial expands on another database/image how-to How to Store Images in Mysql Database. In the Images In tutorial I showed you the basic steps to opening a file (your image file) and reading it into a variable ($img), converting that file using php's base64_encode() function, and sticking that file into a Mysql database. Now, you will learn how to bring those images back out of a Mysql database, and render them to a web browser.

This Tutorial will cover two different ways to fetch and render images from a MySQL database

Create a mysql database with a table matching (Database Example)

CREATE TABLE `pictures` ( `id` int(8) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT, `pic` blob NOT NULL, `ext` varchar(4) NOT NULL, `gender` varchar(7) NOT NULL, PRIMARY KEY (`id`), KEY `id` (`id`) )

Database Description

  1. Database name is "test_imgs"
  2. Table name is pictures
  3. "id" is primary, key, not null, and auto_increment
  4. "pic" blob not null
  5. "ext" is varchar(4) not null
  6. "gender" is varchar(7) not null
  7. I will assume English mysql defaults for everything else.
  8. Practice script "test.php"

Database Example

id pic ext gender
1 retergfghfghterhgcfnt
jpg female

Now - Create a directory on your web server and call it "test"

Create a file named "test01.php" in the"test" directory, and copy the Uploading Images Script to it.

The Uploading Images Script, originated in another php tutorial about Putting Images in a Mysql Database.

Uploading Images Script - test01.php

Copy test image intotest folder.

Test Image

testpic.jpg test image 1

Create a file named "test02.php", copy the contents of the PHP Image Rendering Script to it, then save it to the test directory.

PHP Image Rendering Script

Method 1# - rendering database images with php and MySQL.

This method determines what type of image is retrieved from the database, and uses the php header() function to setup and render the images.

PHP Image Render Script - Method 1 - test02.php

Method 2# - Image Rendering

Create a file named "test03.php" copy the Second Method Script to it. (See below)

Second Method Script - test03.php

Create a file named " db_connection.php" copy the Database Connection Parameters below

Database Connection Parameters

Create a file named "test04.php" copy the HTML for test_04.php (See below)

HTML for test_04.php

Explanation of Scripts

After building the database, and uploading all the example files and images to your server:

1. Navigate and execute test01.php script

testpic.jpg will be uploaded to your MySql server with an id of "1".

Picture Table

2. Click Method 1 to view your image. This particular script sends headers and render the jpg image via php script.

3. Next - Hit the Browser Back Button and click Method 2.

Notice that on the test04.php page, I inserted src="test_03.php" in the img tag. Doing this causes the test_03.php script to execute; the img tag sets up the headerfor theweb-browser.

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Author: Ravi Lohia | Website URL: |
On using the function imagecreatefromstring() function it shows an error, "Call to undefined function imagecreatefromstring()".What should I do now.


Check your syntax , and make sure that your php installation supports this image function. Typically if you are wanting to create images in php you will need to have what is call the GD libray installed and available.

Look at the following link:
Author: Cegonsoft | Website URL: |
Hi all,

I have stored images in database.. But while retrieving images, I couldn't get full picture..

Am just getting half of the image only.. This is my code.. Can anyone give me suggestions..

#connect to mysql server
$link = mysql_connect localhost , root ,

if $link {
die Not connected : . mysql_error

$db_selected = mysql_select_db images , $link

if $db_selected {
die Database error : . mysql_error

$sql = SELECT FROM testimage where sno=4
#the result of the query
$result = mysql_query $sql or die Invalid query: . mysql_error

while $image = mysql_fetch_assoc $result {
$a=$image[ image ]
$b=$image[ name ]
header Content-type: $b
echo $a

Author: pradeep | Website URL: |
i would like to know the inserting image into mysql database using php .i hope i will get the info in detail.
Author: ankit | Website URL: |
I have tried the above code and getting following error while retrieving images

Warning: imagecreatefromstring [function.imagecreatefromstring]: Empty string or invalid image


The most likely reason for this would be that the image that you retrieved from the database was either formatted wrong or most likely in your case -- the string that you passed the imagecreatefromstring() function was null or empty.

Look back over your code and make sure that you are getting the image and using the base64decose function before passing it.

Author: andrew | Website URL: |
Hi I have used this code to store and retrieve images.
Insertion happened successfully...but while I am selecting I could not view the image.

I can view a corrupted image.


Re: Admin

Could be the gd library module in your PHP installation. When retrieving an image and displaying it you can either write a piece of code to send the proper headers to your web browser or you could just recreate the image into your file system, as a temporary file and link to it with regular HTML. The latter probably incurring more of a performance hit.
Author: andrews | Website URL: |
Hi I used the given code to insert and view images.Insertion when successfully but when i view I get only a corrupted image like [X] .Please help
, filesize $testpic
fclose $handle

Re: Admin

Did you create an html page and point your " img src " to the page where the image retrieval code is living? Have you checked your PHP install for gd support? are you certain that you retrieved anything from your database? Look in your database and make sure the image got saved. You should see a string of charcacters. That is the bas64encoding. when you take that back of your database you will convert it back to a string and pass that into an image creation function.

$db_img = base64_decode($db_img); //print_r($db_img );

$db_img = imagecreatefromstring($db_img);

header("Content-Type: image/jpeg");



point your img src tag to the file that has the file retrieval code.

img src=location of img retrieval code
Author: Ushang Thakker | Website URL: |
when i navigate to test02.php i get this error
Warning: imagecreatefromstring [function.imagecreatefromstring]: Data is not in a recognized format

when i printed the $db_img i got :

please help urgent

Re: Admin

make sure you used the base64_decode function before the imagecreatefromstring
Author: kam | Website URL: |
steps to store image to mysql by php
Author: Delly | Website URL: |
Greetings, I m trying to create a website to display my photographs. I d like to create a kind of image gallery with thumbnail that can be clicked and then open the large image. Please Whats the best way to get along this? Cheers, Drelly
Author: iqra | Website URL: |
thats cool ...can you please upload for showing image on webpage?
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good really helpful....
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