Other Things You Need to Know - Firebird


Default User Name and Password

The SYSDBA user has all privileges on the server. The installation program will install the SYSDBA user into the security database (security.fdb).

On Windows and in the v.1.0.x Linux versions, the password is masterkey.


On the v.1.5 and higher Linux versions, the installer generates a random password during installation, sets it in the security database, and stores it in-clear in the text file SYSDBA.password. Either memorize it or use it to get access to the security database and change it to something easier to remember.

How to Change the SYSDBA Password

If you are on a Linux or another system that can run a bash script, cd to the ../bin directory of your installation and find the script named changeDBAPassword.sh. All you need to do is run this script and respond to the prompts. The first time you run the script, you will need to enter the password that the installer wrote in SYSDBA.password—it is in the Firebird root directory:

[bin]# sh changeDBAPassword.sh


[bin]# ./changeDBAPassword.sh

Using gsec Directly

The following procedure will work on both Windows and Linux. On Linux, you need to be logged into the operating system as Superuser (root) to run gsec. Let’s say you decide to change the SYSDBA password from masterkey to icuryy4me (although, on Firebird 1.5 for Linux, the installed password will not be masterkey, but something much more obscure!). You would need to follow these steps to do so:

  1. Go to a command shell on your server and change to the directory where the command-line utilities are located.
  2. Type the following on Windows, treating it as case-sensitive:
    gsec -user sysdba -password masterkey

    Type the following on POSIX platforms:

    ./gsec -user sysdba -password masterkey

    You should now see the shell prompt for the gsec utility:

  3. Type this command:

    GSEC> modify sysdba -pw icuryy4me

  4. Press Enter. The new password icuryy4me is now encrypted and saved, and masterkey is no longer valid.
  5. Now quit the gsec shell:
GSEC> quit

Because Firebird ignores all characters in a password past the eighth character, icuryy4m will work, as will icuryy4monkeys.

Linux/UNIX Users and Groups

From Firebird 1.5, the root user is no longer the default user that runs the server software. This means you need to put non -root users into the firebird group to enable them to access databases.

To add a user (for example, “sparky”) to the firebird group, the root user needs to enter:

$ usermod -G firebird sparky

The next time sparky logs on, he or she can start working with Firebird databases.

To list the groups that a user belongs to, type the following at the command line:

$ groups


An Admin Tool

The Firebird kit does not come with a GUI admin tool. It does have a set of commandline tools, executable programs that are located in the ./bin directory of your Firebird installation. Their use is described in detail in Part Nine.

The excellent GUI tools available for use with a Windows client machine are too numerous to describe here. A few GUI tools written in Borland Kylix, for use on Linux client machines, are also in various stages of completion.

A list of the better-known admin tools for Firebird appears in Appendix V. For upto-date listings, select the Contributed link from the Downloads area, and then choose the Administration Tools link.

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