"mbstring PHP extension was not found..."



I just noticed the following error at the bottom of my phpMyAdmin page:

The mbstring PHP extension was not found and you seem to be using a multibyte charset. Without the mbstring extension phpMyAdmin is unable to split strings correctly and it may result in unexpected results.

The page also shows:

Create new database: No Privileges

Can anyone tell me what/why this is, and how to resolve it?



I am not sure how you would have gotten a characterset that is incompatible. Did you load a database onto your MySQL server here that came from some other host? I usually choose “utf8_general_ci” as my collation type and don’t have any problems.

Regarding the “create new database” functionality from within phpMyAdmin, this is normal behavior. You have to create all databases through your control panel and will then be able to access them through phpMyAdmin.

This only involves creating the empty database. After that’s done you’ll be able to create all the tables, etc through phpMyAdmin as usual.


Thanks for the reply.

The only things I’ve done recently is a one-click install of WordPress on one subdomain, and a manual Drupal 6.1 installation on another, both for testing purposes at this point. I’ve played with a couple of themes and features, but nothing in the database, nor any tweaking of code. I wouldn’t know where to begin to track it down, and I don’t know what that character set stuff is about. I’m not a complete noob, just unfamiliar with some database and php details. Any ideas how I might correct this?

I mentioned the “create new database” because I noticed it also in red, so I thought it might be relevant. Thanks for the clarification, I never noticed that disabled before.

Thank you for any help.



I poked around in phpMyAdmin, and I see that the WordPress one-click install made the collation in that database latin1_swedish_ci

Could that be the problem? If so, can I change it somehow without causing problems with WordPress?

Any help would be appreciated!



Hi there,

I am having the exact same problem: mbstring PHP extenxion is missing and I think because of that I am having problems getting the right $_SERVER[‘SCRIPT_FILENAME’] in php.

any help out there ?!

thanks in advance !!



Is the right forum for this question? I tried to find a solution on Google, but I don’t understand much of it… possibly something about Zend Optimizer running on the server? Is this something that can be fixed by me in htaccess or something, or is it for support? Any help would be much appreciated.



Does anyone know how I can resolve this error?


From the look of how this thread has gone, I’d guess you’ve pretty well tapped out all of our knowledge. My advice would be to file a support ticket.

Please let us know what support says back so that we can all learn something in case this happens again :slight_smile:


This is the reply I got from DH Support:

Thank you for contacting Dreamhost. This warning message is being displayed because the phpMyAdmin is confused bout which version of PHP mbstring library we are running on the server. There is no need to worry though, our admins are aware of the warning and have confirmed that there is no risk to your databases. So you can safely ignore this warning for now.


My site suddenly said that it could not connect to the MySQL database, leaving my site down for a few hours. When I found this thread, I took the advice given by a previous post to change the language to utf-general. When I did that, it fixed the database connection problem.

Just thought I’d pipe in since DH Support said there was no affect to the database.


I have a few clients with their own accounts on DH and my own account as well, all with Wordpress One-Click installs.

For some reason it seems they’re all using latin1_swedish_ci collation while the mySQL connection collation is utf8_unicode_ci.

For two different accounts, both using PHP5, mySQL and WP installs, on the server tethys I am getting the ‘mbstring PHP extension was not found’ error and on the server kenobi I am not.

Looking at runtime info they seem to perform similarly, tethys showing some more sluggish performance. I have only “in passing” experience with mySQL though and don’t know where to look. For my part, my site with db on tethys was performing extremely poorly - I submitted a support ticket. I’ve found that checking all the suggested ‘tips’ in the support section for your ticket and reporting the results in your ticket shows that you checked obvious stuff and seems (in my experience) to get better response.

In fact, in the time it took me to write this the site’s response has improved greatly. Someone kicked that server back into shape or maybe it was some errant process that concluded/fixed itself. The error message in phpMyAdmin is still there but my site works so I’m not going to try to fix what’s not broken on my side. That’s server config stuff and should be handled by DH.