PHP, curl and SSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO

Using the following curl block I was getting an unexpected response from the server.

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$ch = curl_init($post_url);
curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_POST, 1 );
curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, "orderXML=".$xmlRequest );
curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1 );
curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 3000 );
curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_VERBOSE, 1 );
$xmlResponse = curl_exec( $ch );

Pretty simple call. It’s attempting to communicate with an url over https which is where the problem lies. Here is the response I was receiving.

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Curl error number: 35
Curl error: error:14077410:SSL routines:SSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO:sslv3 alert handshake failure

Simple call. Confusing problem. Simple solution. Add the following line before the curl_exec.

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curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_SSLVERSION, 1);

Checking the documentation, it says this: CURLOPT_SSLVERSION – The SSL version (2 or 3) to use. By default PHP will try to determine this itself, although in some cases this must be set manually.

I tried setting the value to 2 but it didn’t work.

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Curl error number: 4
Curl error: OpenSSL was built without SSLv2 support

And setting it to 3 didn’t either.

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Curl error number: 35
Curl error: error:1408F10B:SSL routines:SSL3_GET_RECORD:wrong version number

I wish I could tell you why setting it to 1 worked for me, but I don’t understand it. It just works for me where the documented values do not.

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