Recently, @utelle, the author of SQLite3 Multiple Ciphers reached out to me about creating a new SQLitePCLRaw bundle. We worked together with @ericsink to make it part of the main SQLitePCLRaw project. Today, I’m super excited to announce the initial preview of SQLitePCLRaw.bundle_e_sqlite3mc. But before we talk about that, let’s talk a little about what SQLite3 Multiple Ciphers is.

SQLite3 Multiple Ciphers is an extension to SQLite for reading and writing encrypted databases. It supports five different encryption schemes including the ones for System.Data.SQLite, SQLCipher, and wxSQLite3. It’s also cross-platform which means it can be used with Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS.

The new package makes it super easy to use with various .NET libraries.

Microsoft.Data.Sqlite + Dapper

Start using it with Microsoft.Data.Sqlite and Dapper by installing the right packages. Be sure to use the package ending in .Core and not the main Microsoft.Data.Sqlite once. This avoids installing two conflicting bundles into your project.

dotnet add package Microsoft.Data.Sqlite.Core
dotnet add package SQLitePCLRaw.bundle_e_sqlite3mc
dotnet add package Dapper

After that, you can simply use the Password keyword in your connection string to create and open an encrypted database. This uses the default encryption scheme.

using Dapper;
using Microsoft.Data.Sqlite;

using var connection = new SqliteConnection("Data Source=example.db;Password=Password12!");
var version = connection.ExecuteScalar<string>("select sqlite3mc_version()");


For SQLite-net, be sure to use the sqlite-net-base package instead of the main one to avoid conflicting bundles.

dotnet add package sqlite-net-base
dotnet add package SQLitePCLRaw.bundle_e_sqlite3mc

SQLite-net has a convenient key parameter you can pass to the connection string.

using SQLite;


var connection = new SQLiteConnection(new("example.db", storeDateTimeAsTicks: true, key: "Password12!"));
var version = connection.ExecuteScalar<string>("select sqlite3mc_version()");

EF Core

On EF Core, again, use the package ending in .Core to avoid conflicting bundles.

dotnet add package Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Sqlite.Core
dotnet add package SQLitePCLRaw.bundle_e_sqlite3mc

Under the covers, EF Core uses Microsoft.Data.Sqlite, so again, you can just specify the Password keyword in the connection string.

options.UseSqlite("Data Source=example.db;Password=Password12!");

Existing Databases

At the beginning, I mentioned SQLite3 Multiple Ciphers supports multiple encryption schemes. Let’s look at how to configure the scheme.


If you have an existing database encrypted by System.Data.SQLite, you can open it by using a URI filename in your connection string and specifying the rc4 cipher.

Data Source=file:example.db?cipher=rc4;Password=Password12!

It looks a little funny, but it should work. See the docs for additional options that can be specified in the URI.

I think being able to read encrypted databases created by System.Data.SQLite will unblock several projects that have been wanting to move to Microsoft.Data.Sqlite or EF Core and go cross-platform.


If you have a database created by SQLCipher (including SQLitePCLRaw.bundle_e_sqlcipher), you can open it by specifying sqlcipher in the connection string.

Data Source=file:example.db?cipher=sqlcipher&legacy=4;Password=Password12!

SQLite3 Multiple Ciphers is not intended to be a drop-in replacement for SQLCipher, but it’s a great tool for working with existing SQLCipher databases.

The legacy option is just to avoid breaks in the future when SQLCipher changes their defaults. Again, be sure to check the docs for additional options that can be specified.


I’m really excited to have a new encryption option for SQLite in .NET. Please give it a try and let us know if you run into any issues.