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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

How to install FireBird Database on CentOS/Rocky Linux 8

Install FireBird Database on CentOS 8

In this article, you will learn how to install FireBird database on CentOS 8 server. It is a complete step by step guide to install FireBird including resolution of each installation error.


This Article Provides:


What is FireBird Database? :

FireBird is an open source RDBMS (Relational Database Management System). FireBird is originally a fork of Borland's open source edition of Interbase in 2000, but since then FireBird code has been changed a lot.

Furthermore, you should be aware that Firebird 3 won't open databases that were created by older versions. So before taking down your existing setup, you should back up all your databases in order that you can restore them later under Firebird 3.

Install FireBird Database on CentOS 8

FireBird Database Features:

Some of the notable features of FireBird database are:

  • Full support for stored procedures and triggers
  • Referential integrity
  • Full ACID compliant transactions
  • Support for External Functions
  • Careful writes - fast recovery, no need for transaction logs
  • Incremental backups
  • Full cursor implementation in PSQL
  • Third-party tools, including GUI administrative tools and replication tools


Environment Specification:

We are using a KVM based CentOS 8 virtual machine with following specification.

  • CPU - 3.4 Ghz (2 cores)
  • Memory - 2 GB
  • Storage - 20 GB
  • Operating System - CentOS 8.1
  • Hostname – firebird-02.centlinux.com
  • IP Address - /24


Update CentOS 8 Software Packages:

Connect with firebird-02.centlinux.com as root user by using a ssh tool.

Update CentOS 8 software packages by using the dnf command.

# dnf update -y


Install LibTomMath Library on CentOS 8:

FireBird database requires LibTomMath library, a free open source portable number theoretic multiple-precision integer library.

LibTomMath package is not available in standard yum repositories. Therefore, we need to install the EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) first.

# dnf install epel-release -y

Build cache for EPEL and other yum repositories.

# dnf makecache
CentOS-8 - AppStream                            4.0 kB/s | 4.3 kB     00:01
CentOS-8 - Base                                 3.3 kB/s | 3.9 kB     00:01
CentOS-8 - Extras                               1.7 kB/s | 1.5 kB     00:00
Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux Modular 8 - 4.1 kB/s | 6.6 kB     00:01
Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 8 - x86_64  5.5 kB/s | 6.7 kB     00:01
Metadata cache created.

We can now install LibTomMath library from EPEL repository by using dnf command.

# dnf install -y libtommath


Install FireBird Database on CentOS 8:

FireBird 3.0.5 is the latest stable release that is available at the time of this writing. Downloads are available for various platforms in this page, so you can download FireBird for your respective operating system.


Copy the link of the FireBird compressed tarball and download it by using wget command.

# wget https://github.com/FirebirdSQL/firebird/releases/download/R3_0_5/Firebird-
--2020-05-11 01:55:07--  https://github-production-release-asset-2e65be.s3.amazonaws.com/54005538/16a06c80-331a-11ea-92da-1c925f600370?X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIAIWNJYAX4CSVEH53A%2F20200510%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20200510T205508Z&X-Amz-Expires=300&X-Amz-Signature=2a96bb0157c8e155b02158bedc67321caa798088b10c76497fdf998eb65f5d8d&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&actor_id=0&repo_id=54005538&response-content-disposition=attachment%3B%20filename%3DFirebird-
Resolving github-production-release-asset-2e65be.s3.amazonaws.com (github-production-release-asset-2e65be.s3.amazonaws.com)...
Connecting to github-production-release-asset-2e65be.s3.amazonaws.com (github-production-release-asset-2e65be.s3.amazonaws.com)||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 8561290 (8.2M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: âFirebird-â

Firebird- 100%[===================>]   8.16M   663KB/s    in 18s

2020-05-11 01:55:27 (466 KB/s) - âFirebird-â saved [8561290/8561290]

Extract FireBird tarball using tar command.

# tar xf Firebird-

We can install FireBird database by using install.sh script. But during FireBird installation, we have encountered following errors.

/opt/firebird/bin/gsec: error while loading shared libraries: libtommath.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory


/opt/firebird/bin/gsec: error while loading shared libraries: libncurses.so.5: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

The reason behind the above errors is that the FireBird is looking for older versions of these libraries, while in CentOS 8 the new versions of these libraries has been installed.

To overcome these issues, we simply create the softlinks to the new version of these shared libraries.

# ln -s /usr/lib64/libtommath.so.1.1.0 /usr/lib64/libtommath.so.0
# ln -s /usr/lib64/libncurses.so.6.1 /usr/lib64/libncurses.so.5

Now, go to FireBird setup directory and start installation.

# cd Firebird-
# ./install.sh

Firebird Installation

Press Enter to start installation or ^C to abort
Extracting install data
Updated /etc/services
Please enter new password for SYSDBA user: Str0ngPa55word
Install completed

Installer creates a systemd service for FireBird database.  The FireBird database engine is run in Superserver mode by default. However, you can customize it by using /etc/firebird/firebird.conf configuration file.  For more basic information about Firebird database, we recommend you to read The Firebird Book Second Edition: Volume 1: Firebird Fundamentals by Helen Borrie.

Check the status of the FireBird database service.

# cd
# systemctl status firebird-superserver.service
â firebird-superserver.service - Firebird Database Server ( SuperServer )
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/firebird-superserver.service; enabl>
   Active: active (running) since Mon 2020-05-11 02:07:57 PKT; 2min 21s ago
  Process: 27710 ExecStart=/opt/firebird/bin/fbguard -pidfile /var/run/firebir>
 Main PID: 27712 (firebird)
    Tasks: 4 (limit: 5916)
   Memory: 2.0M
   CGroup: /system.slice/firebird-superserver.service
           ââ27711 /opt/firebird/bin/fbguard -pidfile /var/run/firebird/firebi>
           ââ27712 /opt/firebird/bin/firebird

May 11 02:07:57 firebird-02.centlinux.com systemd[1]: Starting Firebird Databa>
May 11 02:07:57 firebird-02.centlinux.com systemd[1]: firebird-superserver.ser>
May 11 02:07:57 firebird-02.centlinux.com systemd[1]: firebird-superserver.ser>
May 11 02:07:57 firebird-02.centlinux.com systemd[1]: Started Firebird Databas>

Installer does not include the FireBird binaries directory in the PATH environmental variable. We need to do it by ourselves.

Edit .bash_profile of root user.

# vi ~/.bash_profile

Locate PATH variable and update it as follows.


Save and exit.

We need to execute .bash_profile once, to update PATH environment variable for current session.

# source ~/.bash_profile

Check version of FireBird database.

# firebird -z
Firebird TCP/IP server version LI-V3.0.5.33220 Firebird 3.0

If you are planning to access your FireBird database server across the network, then you have to enable the FireBird default service port in Linux firewall.

# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=3050/tcp
# firewall-cmd --reload

FireBird database has been installed on CentOS 8 server.


FireBird Basic Commands:

Connect to sample FireBird database i.e. employee by using isql command as sysdba user.

# isql -u sysdba -p Str0ngPa55word employee
Database: employee, User: SYSDBA

We can list database users by using following command.

SQL> show users;
Users in the database

Currently, we have only one user in the database, that is why the command provided a single user list.

Check the version of iSQL and FireBird database.

SQL> show version;
ISQL Version: LI-V3.0.5.33220 Firebird 3.0
Server version:
Firebird/Linux/AMD/Intel/x64 (access method), version "LI-V3.0.5.33220 Firebird 3.0"
on disk structure version 12.0

List down the tables in the employee database.

SQL> show tables;
       COUNTRY                                CUSTOMER
       DEPARTMENT                             EMPLOYEE
       EMPLOYEE_PROJECT                       JOB
       PROJECT                                PROJ_DEPT_BUDGET
       SALARY_HISTORY                         SALES

Query data from COUNTRY table by using SELECT statement.

SQL> select * from country;

=============== ==========
USA             Dollar
England         Pound
Canada          CdnDlr
Switzerland     SFranc
Japan           Yen
Italy           Euro
France          Euro
Germany         Euro
Australia       ADollar
Hong Kong       HKDollar
Netherlands     Euro
Belgium         Euro
Austria         Euro
Fiji            FDollar
Russia          Ruble
Romania         RLeu

Our CentOS 8 based FireBird database has been working fine.

We have successfully installed FireBird database on CentOS/Rocky Linux 8 server. If you feel difficuly understanding the CentOS 8 commands provided in this article, we recommend you should attend RHEL 8/CentOS 8 Linux System Administration (RHCSA) Level I training at Udemy.

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