Server Configuration Using Environment Variables

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This section describes the environment variables that InterBase recognizes. When defining environment variables, keep these rules in mind:

  • Environment variables must be in the scope of the ibserver process.
  • On Windows, define environment variables as system variables in the Windows Control Panel|System dialog.
  • On UNIX, the easiest way to define environment variables is to add their definitions to the system-wide default shell profile.


If you do not provide a user name and password when you connect to a database or when you run utilities such as gbak, gstat, and gfix, InterBase looks to see if the ISC_USER and ISC_PASSWORD environment variables are set; if they are, InterBase uses that user and password as the InterBase user.

Although setting these environment variables is convenient, do not do so if security is at all an issue.

The INTERBASE Environment Variables


The INTERBASE variable is used both during installation and during runtime. During installation, it defines the path where the InterBase product is installed. If this path is different from /usr/interbase, all users must have the correct path set at runtime. During runtime, use the INTERBASE variable to set the InterBase install directory. The INTERBASE environment variable is used on Windows for local connections. The INTERBASE environment variable is used by the client to identify the local instance of InterBase Server to attach to.


The INTERBASE_TMP variable can be used to set the location of InterBase sort files on the server. There are other options for defining the location of these files. See Configuring Sort Files.


INTERBASE_LOCK sets the location of the InterBase lock file and INTERBASE_MSG sets the location of the InterBase message file. These two variables are independent of each other and can be set to different locations.


The IB_PROTOCOL is used to specify which port you want the InterBase Server to use during runtime. It is also used by the InterBase Manager to identify which InterBase Server to manage. It is used by the InterBase clients to identify the instance of InterBase server to connect to.

The TMP Environment Variable

The TMP environment variable defines where InterBase stores temporary files, if the INTERBASE_TMP variable is not defined.

UNIX and Linux Host Equivalence

On UNIX and Linux machines, you must provide a host equivalence for localhost, since even local connections go through TCP/IP. To do this, place a line in the /etc/hosts file:  localhost

If your local machine has additional names, include them in the line:  localhost  mymachine_name

See Also

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