Introduction to unixODBC

The unixODBC package is an Open Source ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity) sub-system and an ODBC SDK for Linux, Mac OSX, and UNIX. ODBC is an open specification for providing application developers with a predictable API with which to access data sources. Data sources include SQL Servers and any data source with an ODBC Driver. unixODBC contains the following components used to assist with the manipulation of ODBC data sources: a driver manager, an installer library and command line tool, command line tools to help install a driver and work with SQL, drivers and driver setup libraries and a suite of graphical tools used to administer ODBC, test drivers and browse data sources.

Package Information

unixODBC Dependencies


Qt-3.3.8b (required to build the GUI tools), Pth-2.0.7, and Mini SQL



There is a circular dependency with Qt and unixODBC. If you need to build the Qt unixODBC plugin module, you will have to build and install unixODBC once without the GUI tools to satisfy the Qt build. Then, after Qt has been installed, you'll need to build and install unixODBC again if you wish to build the GUI tools.

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/unixodbc

Installation of unixODBC

Install unixODBC by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --sysconfdir=/etc/unixodbc \
            --enable-fdb \
            --disable-gui &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

find doc -name "Makefile*" -exec rm {} \; &&
chmod 644 doc/{lst,ProgrammerManual/Tutorial}/* &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/unixODBC-2.2.12 &&
cp -v -R doc/* /usr/share/doc/unixODBC-2.2.12

Command Explanations

--enable-fdb: This parameter enables support for file-based data access.

--disable-gui: This parameter disables building the GUI tools. Remove it if you have Qt installed and wish to build the GUI tools.

Configuring unixODBC

Config Files


Configuration Information

The files in /etc/unixodbc are meant to be configured by the system administrator (or the ODBC site administrator if appropriate privileges are granted to /etc/unixodbc). These files are not meant to be directly edited. The ODBC installer library is responsible for reading and writing the unixODBC config files.

Unfortunately, there are no man or info pages for the various programs available in the unixODBC package. Along with the information in the “Short Descriptions” below and the documentation installed in /usr/share/doc/unixODBC-2.2.12, there are many README files throughout the source tree where the use and functionality of the programs can be found. Additionally, you can use the parameter -? with the non-GUI tools for syntax and usage information. Lastly, the unixODBC web site at http://www.unixodbc.org/ has very good information.


Installed Programs: DataManager, DataManagerII, ODBCConfig, dltest, isql, iusql, odbc_config, odbcinst and odbctest
Installed Libraries: libboundparam.so, libesoobS.so, libgtrtst.so, libmimerS.so, libnn.so, libodbc.so, libodbccr.so, libodbcdrvcfg1S.so, libodbcdrvcfg2S.so, libodbcinst.so, libodbcinstQ.so, libodbcminiS.so, libodbcmyS.so, libodbcnnS.so, libodbcpsql.so, libodbcpsqlS.so, libodbctxt.so, libodbctxtS.so, liboplodbcS.so, liboraodbcS.so, libsapdbS.so, libtdsS.so and libtemplate.so
Installed Directories: /etc/unixodbc and /usr/share/doc/unixODBC-2.2.12

Short Descriptions


is a graphical program which can be used to browse/explore ODBC data sources.


is an enhanced version of DataManager.


is a graphical program used to make configuration of ODBC data sources extremely easy.


is a utility used to check a share library to see if it can be loaded and if a given symbol exists in it.


is a utility which can be used to submit SQL to a data source and to format/output results. It can be used in batch or interactive mode.


provides the same functionality as the isql program.


is used to find out details about the installation of the unixODBC package.


is a utility created for install script/RPM writers. It is a command line interface to key functionality in the libodbcinst library. It does not copy any files (i.e., libraries) but it will modify the ODBC System Information for the user.


is a graphical program used to test the ODBC API.

Last updated on 2007-08-15 18:06:57 -0500