Copy of the Firebird information file for Firebird 1.5

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Firebird Database Server 1.5 Final Release

This document is a guide to installing this package of Firebird 1.5 on the Win32 platform. These notes refer to the installation package itself, rather than Firebird 1.5 in general.


If you used one of the installable binaries from Sourceforge to install RC2 it is recommended that you uninstall directly from the installation directory with unins000.exe.

Do not use the Control Panel as the path to the uninstaller. There appears to be a bug that prevents the server service from being shut down if the uninstaller is run from there. This only applies to the uninstaller with RC2 from Firebird on Sourceforge. Later installable binaries can be uninstalled via any available means.


Before installation

It is recommended that you UNINSTALL all previous versions of Firebird 1.0, Firebird 1.5 or InterBase before installing this package.

New features of the installer in Firebird 1.5

  • This installer now combines the super server and classic server binaries into a single installation package. You can choose to install one or the other, but not both. To switch server type you need to uninstall and re-install.
  • The rules for library installation have changed considerably. They are explained in detail in .\docs\README.Win32LibraryInstallation.txt which will be available to you after installation. As a result of these new rules the installer checks for an existing install of Firebird or InterBase.
    1. If Firebird 1.5 is already installed it will attempt to install over it. If the server is running it will halt the install.
    2. If another version of Firebird or InterBase is already installed it will warn the user. If the user continues the installer will install Firebird and set up registry entries but it will not configure Firebird to run, either as a service or as an application. This must be done manually.
    3. The installer has a new command-line option /force which allows those with a 'devil may care' attitude to override the above.
  • If an amended firebird.conf exists in the installation directory it is saved as: firebird.conf.saved.n where n is a number. The installer always installs the default firebird.conf file. This is to guarantee consistency to the installation process. Otherwise the installer would have to parse the existing (and possibly broken) configuration file.

Deprecated features related to installation

  • Firebird 1.0 reserved a new registry key for Firebird use. It was: HKLM\SOFTWARE\FirebirdSQL. This is now deprecated and will be deleted by the installer. If you have applications which rely on this key you should add it back manually. However, it is preferable if you rebuild your application to read the new key.
  • Earlier Firebird 1.5 release candidates installed fbclient.dll in the <system> directory. This practice is now deprecated. An option to install it into the <system> directory is available at install time. However, it is preferable if you rebuild your applications to conform to the new usage of fbclient.


  • It is preferred that this package be uninstalled correctly using the uninstallation application supplied. This can be called from the Control Panel. Alternatively it can be uninstalled by running unins000.exe directly from the installation directory.
  • If Firebird is running as an application (instead of as a service) it is recommended that you manually stop the server before running the uninstaller. This is because the uninstaller cannot stop a running application. If a server is running during the uninstall the uninstall will complete with errors. You will have to delete the remnants by hand.

Other notes

Firebird requires WinSock2. All Win32 platforms should have this, except for Win95. A test for the Winsock2 library is made during install. If it is not found the install will fail. You can visit this link:;EN-US;q177719

to find out how to go about upgrading.

Installation from a batch file

The setup program can be run from a batch file. The following parameters may be passed:

/SP- Disables the This will install... Do you wish to continue? prompt at the beginning of Setup.

/SILENT, /VERYSILENT Instructs Setup to be silent or very silent. When Setup is silent the wizard and the background window are not displayed but the installation progress window is. When a setup is very silent this installation progress window is not displayed. Everything else is normal so for example error messages during installation are displayed and the startup prompt is (if you haven't disabled it with the '/SP-' command line option explained above).

If a restart is necessary and the '/NORESTART' command isn't used (see below) and Setup is silent, it will display a Reboot now? messagebox. If it's very silent it will reboot without asking.

/NORESTART Instructs Setup not to reboot even if it's necessary.

/DIR="x:\dirname" Overrides the default directory name displayed on the Select Destination Directory wizard page. A fully qualified pathname must be specified. If the Setup section directive DisableDirPage was set to yes, this command line parameter is ignored.

/GROUP="folder name" Overrides the default folder name displayed on the Select Start Menu Folder wizard page. If the Setup section directive DisableProgramGroupPage was set to yes, this command line parameter is ignored.

/NOICONS Instructs Setup to initially disable the Don't create any icons check box on the Select Start Menu Folder wizard page.

/COMPONENTS="comma separated list of component names" Choose from -

  • SuperserverComponent,
  • ClassicServerComponent,
  • ServerComponent,
  • DevAdminComponent and
  • ClientComponent

Overrides the default components settings. Using this command line parameter causes Setup to automatically select a custom type. A full install requires combining components. For example:

 /COMPONENTS="SuperserverComponent, ServerComponent, DevAdminComponent, ClientComponent"

would be required for a full install.

/FORCE Tells the installer to ignore its analysis of the existing environment. It will attempt to install and configure Firebird 1.5 as if no previous version of Firebird or InterBase was installed.

This can be useful if you have a seriously broken installation that you cannot uninstall. Or it could be another way to aggravate your users by breaking a perfectly good working install of InterBase. It's your choice.

/NOCPL Don't install the Control Panel Applet. This is useful for two reasons:

  • Installing/Uninstalling the CPL applet will often require a system restart.
  • You may wish to use an alternative CPL applet.

/NOGDS32 Don't install a copy of the client library into the system directory, even if installation analysis concludes it is OK to do so.

/COPYFBCLIENT Copy the fbclient.dll to the system directory. This is recommended for client installs if you are sure that you will only ever be accessing a single server version. If your client applications are likely to take advantage of accessing different server versions this is not recommended. See doc/README.Win32LibraryInstallation.txt for more information.

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