Firebird does not require the intense and constant reconfiguration that many other heavy-duty RDBMSs do. However, a range of configuration options is available for customizing a Firebird server and the host system on which it runs for your special needs.
The Firebird configuration file is named firebird.conf in all Firebird versions from 1.5 onward. In prior versions, its name depends on the operating system:
Several new parameters were added to version 1.5.
When a Firebird server process starts up, it reads the configuration file and adjusts its runtime flags to any non-default values contained in the configuration file. The file will not be read again until the next time the server is restarted. The default configuration parameters and their values are listed in the configuration file, commented out by # comment markers. It is not necessary to uncomment the defaults in order to make them visible to the server’s startup procedure.
Changing Configuration Parameters
It should be unnecessary to change any defaults until and unless you need to customize something. This procedure is not recommended if you lack a clear understanding of the effects.
A handful of default configuration settings that may be showstoppers for some legacy applications or non-default installations are discussed briefly here. A complete reference to all configuration parameters can be found in Chapter Configuration and Special Features. The configuration file can be edited with any plain text editor (e.g., vim in Linux or Notepad in Windows). Do not copy the file from a Windows machine to a Linux one, or vice versa, because the two systems store line breaks differently.
Parameter entries in firebird.conf are in the form
parameter_name = value
where parameter_name is a string that contains no white space and names a property of the server being configured, and value is a number, Boolean (1=True, 0=False), or string that specifies the value for the parameter.
To set any parameter to a non-default setting, delete the comment (#) marker and edit the value.
The Firebird 1.0.x ibconfig/isc_config parameter names and syntaxes are not interchangeable with those in firebird.conf. The format, size, and number of parameters are more restrictive.
The ibconfig/isc_config format is
where the white space between the name and the value can be tabs or spaces, as desired, to please the eye. Each line of the file is limited to 80 characters. Unused parameters and installation defaults are commented with #.
On Linux, you should assume tha parameter names are case-sensitive.
The Firebird Root Directory
The root directory of your Firebird installation is used in many ways, both during installation and as an attribute that server routines, configuration parameters, and clients depend on. Because several ways exist to tell the server where to find a value for this attribute, developers and system administrators should be aware of the precedence trail that the server follows at startup, to determine it correctly.
and looks for the field DefaultInstance. If it finds a valid directory path in this field, this is the value used. Other platforms do not have an equivalent signpost.
Parameters Relating to File Access
Firebird has several parameters for protecting its files and databases from accidents and unauthorized access. If you are porting an existing database application or admin tool to Firebird 1.5, it may be important for you to refer to the section “The Firebird Configuration File” in Chapter Configuration and Special Features for detailed information about these parameters:
The default installation configures this to Full, mimicking v.1.0.x behavior. Alternative options can restrict the server’s access to aliased databases only, or to databases located in specified filesystem trees.
Other Parameters of Interest
The following parameters might be of interest in some hardware configurations:
By default, the affinity mask is set to use the first CPU in the array.
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