Installing Firebird

The following steps describe how to install Firebird to your PC. We followed steps in the Firebird 2.5 Quick Start Guide that is accessible after installation from Start Button > All Programs > Firebird 2.5. We have tried to condense these instructions here, covering only the Windows operating systems. Please refer to the Guide if these instructions do not work for you.

  1. Log onto your PC. You may need to use an admin account in order to install software and to change the Firebird password.
  2. Install Firebird Superserver from Use the "Windows executable installer for full Superclassic/Classic or Superserver, recommended for first-time users" and choose the 32-bit or 64-bit version depending on your PC.
    You could also download the embedded version now for future use if you want to be able to access your databases from a machine that is not running the Firebird server. Just put all the files in the embedded download into your program folder on a memory stick with your database and then you will be able to execute your database front-end program on other computers running Windows.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions. Install to where it suggests and choose the option to start automatically.
    After Firebird has finished installing, you will be ready to test it using the following steps.
  4. Note: You may make a lot of use of the Command Prompt in your work with Firebird databases. To copy text in quick edit mode simply select the text then press Enter or right-click. To paste from the clipboard, position the cursor over the Command Prompt window then right-click. To enable quick edit mode select the menu item properties then the Options tab and check the QuickEdit Mode checkbox.
    Open the Command Prompt and change the directory to the Firebird bin with a command such as
    cd "c:\program files\firebird\firebird_2_5\bin"
  5. Type isql at the prompt then press Enter to be able to issue interactive SQL commands to the test database as follows. (All lines after the first will have the prompt CON> (continuation) instead of SQL> until you press Enter after a semicolon, which terminates the command).
  6. CONNECT 'C:\Program Files\Firebird\Firebird_2_5\examples\empbuild\EMPLOYEE.fdb' user 'sysdba' password 'masterkey';
    If you obtain a message like the following your server is working.
    Database: 'C:\Program Files\Firebird\Firebird_2_5\examples\empbuild\EMPLOYEE.fdb', User: sysdba
  7. Type EXIT; then press Enter.
  8. Note: When using isql, user and pass have no leading hyphen and the values for user and password are within single quotes. The gsec commands that follow need a leading hyphen for -user and -pass and sysdba, masterkey, NEWPASS and pp4s are not within quotes.
    Use the gsec utility to change the password by typing this command at the command prompt, replacing NEWPASS by your unforgettable password.
    gsec -user sysdba -pass masterkey -mo sysdba -pw NEWPASS
  9. Use the gsec utility to create a new user by typing at the command prompt, replacing NEWPASS by your unforgettable password.
    gsec -user sysdba -pass NEWPASS -add student -pw pp4s
  10. Copy fbClient.dll from where you have installed it (e.g. C:\Program Files\Firebird\Firebird_2_5\bin) to your system folder.

There is a shortcut to the Firebird ISQL Tool accessible from the start menu, but it does not give access to the gsec utility and is not configured for QuickEdit. Select the shortcut Start Button > All Programs > Firebird 2.5 > Firebird ISQL Tool.

The next step is to create a Firebird database, as demonstrated in the following section.

Programming - a skill for life!

Creating, editing, and searching a Firebird database, printing a report, stored procedures and ClientDataSets