I have been a big fan of the Firebird database for a while now. It is a fast, reliable and maintenance free database which suits my needs. While it is very good at a couple of things, one of the features that I like is the fact that the entire database is stored in one file. In principle this is not important, but it is pretty clean and can be very useful.
Unfortunately though, there are no Ubuntu (or Debian) packages to easily install Firebird 2. There is the deceptively called “firebird2” package, but this actually contains v1.5. With all the improvements which have made it to v2 (notable for me, speed increases, better indexes and index use and improved unicode support, 64 bit support) I really want to be using the latest version, so…
If you go to the the official site, you can download the version you want in tar.gz format. For me that was the superserver for amd64 variant.
When you have this in your current directory, as root you can do the following. You will have to replace using the correct file/version you downloaded and at some point the system will ask the database administrator password.
apt-get install libstdc++5
tar -xzvf FirebirdSS-188.8.131.5264-0.amd64.tar.gz
< database administrator password is asked here >
chown firebird:firebird /data/firebird
You need to add the libstdc++ library as this is a firebird dependency which may not be available. I also created a “/data/firebird” directory to put the database files. The firebird engine should now be up and running and you can connect to it using a client like flamerobin.