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 optional 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.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.

Package Information

unixODBC Dependencies


Mini SQL

Installation of unixODBC

Install unixODBC by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --sysconfdir=/etc/unixODBC &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

find doc -name "Makefile*" -delete                &&
chmod 644 doc/{lst,ProgrammerManual/Tutorial}/*   &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/unixODBC-2.3.12 &&
cp      -v -R doc/* /usr/share/doc/unixODBC-2.3.12

Command Explanations

--enable-drivers: This parameter enables building the drivers that were installed by default in previous versions.

--enable-drivers-conf: This parameter enables building the driver configuration libraries that were installed by default in previous versions.

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 not many man, or any 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-2.3.12, 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 -? for syntax and usage information. Lastly, the unixODBC web site at http://www.unixodbc.org/ has very good information.


Installed Programs: dltest, isql, iusql, odbc_config, odbcinst, and slencheck
Installed Libraries: libodbc.so, libodbccr.so, and libodbcinst.so
Installed Directories: /etc/unixODBC and /usr/share/doc/unixODBC-2.3.12

Short Descriptions


is a utility used to check a shared 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 utility which attempts to check whether an ODBC driver was built with 32-bit or 64-bit SQLLEN types