Copy of the Installation Readme for Firebird 2.1

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Firebird database server 2.1

This document is a guide to installing this package of Firebird 2.1 on the Windows platform. These notes refer to the installation package itself, rather than Firebird 2.1 in general. In addition, these notes are primarily aimed at users of the binary installer.

It is assumed that readers of this document are already familiar with Firebird 2.0. If you are evaluating Firebird 2.1 as part of a migration from Fb 1.5 you are advised to review the Fb 2.0 documentation to understand the changes made between 1.5 and 2.0.


Before installation

It is recommended that you UNINSTALL all previous versions of Firebird or InterBase before installing this package. It is especially important to verify that fbclient.dll and gds32.dll are removed from <system32>.

Problems with installation of MS VC runtime libraries

Much work has been done to ensure that the MS Visual C runtime libraries are correctly installed by the binary installer. However, in case of problems it may be necessary to deploy the official vcredist.exe. The correct versions for this build of Firebird can be found here:

and x64 here:

Other known installation problems

  • It is only possible to use the binary installer to install the default instance of Firebird 2.1. If you wish to install additional, named instances you should manually install them with the zipped install image.
  • Unfortunately, the installer cannot reliably detect if a previous version of Firebird Classic server is running.
  • There are known areas of overlap between the 32-bit and 64-bit installs:
    • The service installer (instsvc) uses the same default instance name for 32-bit and 64-bit installations. This is by design. Services exist in a single name space.
    • If the 32-bit and 64-bit control panel applets are installed they will both point to the same default instance.
    • When installing under Vista be sure to install as an administrator. ie, if using the binary installer right click and choose Run as administrator. Otherwise the installer will be unable to start the Firebird service at the end of installation.


  • 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.
  • Uninstallation leaves four files in the install directory:
    • aliases.conf
    • firebird.conf
    • firebird.log
    • security2.fdb
This is intentional. These files are all potentially modifiable by users and may be required if Firebird is re-installed in the future. They can be deleted if no longer required.
  • A new feature of the uninstaller is an option to run it with the /CLEAN parameter. This will check the shared file count of each of the above files. If possible it will delete them.
  • Uninstallation will not remove the MS VC runtime libraries from the system directory. These can be removed manually via the control panel, but this should not be required under normal circumstances.

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. Please see this document: installation_scripted.txt for full details.

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