The InterBase Security Database

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The InterBase server stores the names and passwords of its authorized users in a special security database that resides in the InterBase home directory. By default, it is named admin.ib.

InterBase XE implements stronger password protection on InterBase databases. See Implementing Stronger Password Protection.

You can use another name for the security database if you wish. If you change this name, you must add an entry to the ibconfig file, setting ADMIN_DB to the new name.

ADMIN_DB newname.ib
In older versions of InterBase, the security database was named isc4.gdb. Because files with a gdb extension automatically get backed up whenever they are touched in some versions of Windows XP, using this extension degrades database performance. Therefore, InterBase recommends using a different extension for database names.

Every user of an InterBase server requires an entry in the InterBase security database. The gsec security utility lets you display, add, modify, or delete information in the security database. IBConsole provides a graphical interface for the same functionality. The following table describes the contents of the security database:

Column Required Description

User name


The name that the user supplies when logging in; maximum length is 31 bytes.



The user’s password

  • Case sensitive
  • Only the first eight bytes are significant
  • Maximum length: 32 bytes.



An integer that specifies a user ID.



An integer that specifies a group ID.

Full name


User’s real name (as opposed to login name)

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