Administering Databases - Firebird

Many excellent graphical tools—both free and commercial—are available for Firebird database administration. For further information about these offerings. An updated catalog is maintained on the Contributed Downloadable pages.

Firebird comes with a range of command-line tools for server and database administration. In general, they work the same way in both the Linux /UNIX and MS-DOS shells. On Linux/UNIX, case-sensitivity of commands, parameters, and switches is a consideration. On Windows, it is not an issue.

The interactive query tool isql is introduced in this chapter and is fully documented in Chapter Interactive SQL Utility (isql). The other command-line tools are summarized in the following sections.


fbmgr/ibmgr is the command and shell interface to the Superserver daemon process on Linux, for starting and stopping the Firebird Superserver on Linux. The shell script fbmgr (ibmgr in Firebird 1.0.x) provides an interface to the server executable, fbmgr.bin (ibmgr.bin in v.1.0.x). Details are provided in this chapter.


This is the command-line interface to the Superserver service on Windows NT platforms for installing, starting, and stopping the Firebird Superserver on Windows. Details are provided in this chapter.


This utility is for backing up and restoring databases. Because it operates at the structural and data format levels, gbak is the only correct utility to use for safe backups. It also detects corruption, frees disk space left tied up by deletions, resolves uncompleted transactions, and enables you to split databases into multiple files. It is also used to make a transportable backup for restoring your database to a different platform or for upgrading the on-disk structure of databases.


This user and password maintenance tool is the command-line interface to the security. fdb database, for managing user accounts on the Firebird server. For details about using gsec, refer to ChapterServer Protection.


This is a set of general housekeeping utilities for reconfiguring database properties, doing minor repairs, performing various cleanup tasks, etc. It also provides the means for the administrator to shut down individual databases before a server shutdown. It can be used in conjunction with gbak for recovering from some types of database corruption— see the section “Database Repair How-To” in Appendix IV.


This statistics reporting tool extracts and displays index and data statistics for a database. For details about using gstat, refer to the “Optimization Topic” at the end of Chapter Indexes.


This utility retrieves statistics from the lock file that Firebird maintains to control the consistency of database changes by multiple transactions. It can be a useful analysis tool when deadlocks are a problem.

For details about using fb_lock_print, refer to ChapterUnderstanding the Lock Manager.

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