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Running Firebird and InterBase together

Setting things up
Switching between InterBase and Firebird

Setting things up

The procedure listed here must be executed once to set up Firebird 1.5 and InterBase in such a way that you can use them both:

  1. Install InterBase if it hasn't been already.

  2. Find all instances of GDS32.DLL on your local machine and make sure to keep only one copy of this file: the one that belongs to your current InterBase version. Place it in the bin subdir under the InterBase installation directory. This will typically be C:\Program Files\Interbase corp\Interbase\bin or C:\Program Files\Borland\InterBase\bin.

  3. If you haven't installed Firebird 1.5 yet:

    1. Important: If you have a Firebird 1.5 Release Candidate: get the final release! If you can't or won't do that, read appendix A now and you'll be linked back here later.

    2. Install Firebird 1.5 using the installation program (i.e. run the downloaded .exe file). On the setup screen titled “Select Additional Tasks”, make sure the box “Generate client library as GDS32.DLL” is checked.

    3. Copy any UDFs your databases need to the udf subdir of your Firebird installation directory.

  4. Check your Startup folder (Menu Start -> Programs -> Startup) to see if it contains any links to the InterBase or Firebird servers and Guardians; if so, remove them.

    Windows NT/2000/XP only: If InterBase and/or Firebird is installed as a service, disable the automatic service startup both for the service itself and for the Guardian service. To do this, you can use the Windows Services Manager or the InterBase/Firebird Manager on the Control Panel. Don't uninstall the services themselves, though!

  5. If you are using IBX in your applications, and you have different versions of the application(s) in different directories, then copy the InterBase version of GDS32.DLL into your IB application directories. If you fail to do this, you will be obliged to specify the computer name whenever you connect to IB databases via IBX applications. As far as other database access components are concerned, we're not sure if there are any issues (let alone how to solve them).

Switching between InterBase and Firebird

If you have successfully completed the setup steps, you can start up InterBase and Firebird at will; just take care they don't run at the same time. There are several ways to start and stop the database servers:

  • Easiest, most powerful and therefore recommended: go to and get DBServerToggler. This little feller, when started, nestles itself in the System Tray and does all the dirty work for you. You start and stop either server with the click of a button; if you start a server, DBServerToggler will first halt the other one if it's running. You can choose between application mode and service mode for each server independently. Add DBServerToggler to your Startup folder and you'll have it at your fingertips at all times.

  • Alternatively you can use the InterBase and Firebird Managers on the Control Panel. Just don't forget to stop the running server before you start the other one!

  • If a server is installed as a service (Windows NT/2000/XP only), you can start and stop it from the Windows Services Manager, or from the command line as shown below. (Note: each box contains one command, to be given on a single line, and without any hyphens.)

    Server Start/stop via Guardian Start/stop directly
    InterBase net start/stop InterBaseGuardian net start/stop InterBaseServer
    Firebird 1.5 net start/stop FirebirdGuardianDefaultInstance net start/stop FirebirdServerDefaultInstance


    If you have started an InterBase version up to 5.6 via the Guardian, you must give two net stop... commands to take it down: first for the Guardian, then for the server. With InterBase 6.0 and Firebird, stopping the Guardian automatically takes down the server as well.

  • To run a server as an application, you can also use the command line. Here's how:

    Server Start via Guardian Start directly Stop
    InterBase ibguard -a ibserver -a Via systray icon
    Firebird 1.5 fbguard -a fbserver -a Via systray icon

    The executables ib/fbguard.exe and ib/fbserver.exe are found in the bin subdirs underneath the InterBase and Firebird installation directories.

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Firebird Documentation IndexFirebird-InterBase Coexistence → Running Firebird and InterBase together