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Installing Firebird From Source On Linux

This ‘How To’ article outlines the steps required to compile and install the Firebird database server on a Linux machine.

Download the latest version of the source code from

At the time of writing this article, the latest version was

Replace the URL below with the latest version, or get the source code package onto the Linux machine with some other method.

$ wget ""

Extract the downloaded package.

$ tar xjvf Firebird-

The file list will flow through on the screen while they get extracted.

Change the working folder to the Folder that got created in the extraction.

$ cd Firebird-

Before running the Firebird configure script, make sure your build environment is set up with the required packages.

On Ubuntu, you can run the following command to install the required packages:

$ sudo apt-get build-dep firebird2.1-classic

(While the above command references a older version of Firebird, the packages required are still the same).

Also make sure that xinetd has been installed, as Firebird uses it to start up the server process. If it is not currently installed, use the following command to install it:

$ sudo apt-get install xinetd

Run the configuration script to prepare for compilation, and to make sure all required library’s are installed.

$ ./configure

If you get the following error appearing:

configure: error: termcap support not found

you will need to install the libncurses5-dev package:

$ sudo apt-get install libncurses5-dev

If you did get that error, and installed libncurses, run the configure command again.

Confirm that all the configuration options in the configuration summary are as you need.

Sample configuration summary output:

The Firebird2 package has been configured with the following options:

                   Architecture : ClassicServer
                          Debug : disabled
                    Raw devices : enabled
                   Service name : gds_db
                   Service port : 3050
                   GPRE modules : c_cxx.cpp

                    Install Dir : /usr/local/firebird

Run the ‘make’ command to start compiling Firebird.

$ make

This process may take awhile…

Finally, run the ‘make install’ command to install the newly compiled Firebird package to the system folders on your Linux installation.

$ sudo make install

You will be asked to enter in the new password for the SYSDBA user. Set this to anything you want, however keep in mind that the default is “masterkey”, and unfortunately some applications may be hard coded to use this.

Firebird should now be installed on the system and ready to use.

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