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odbc.ini - Man Page

unixODBC data source configuration files


/etc/odbc.ini is a system-wide configuration file for ODBC Data Source Names (DSNs).

$HOME/.odbc.ini is a user-specific configuration file for ODBC Data Source Names (DSNs).

Paths to both configuration files can be overridden by unixODBC build options. Call odbcinst -j to determine the default configuration file paths on your system.



Many ODBC drivers come with .ini file templates. Using odbcinst to install these templates is recommended.

File Format

odbc.ini follows the pesudo-standard ini file syntax convention of one or more [section headings], each followed by zero or more key = value attributes.

[ODBC Data Sources] section

This mandatory section lists each data source name (DSN) as a key. The associated values serve as comments. Each entry must be matched by an ini file [section] describing the data source.

Data Source Name [section]

Each data source is identified by a [section header], which is the DSN name used by applications. Each DSN definition section may contain values for the keys:

· Driver (REQUIRED)

The name of the ODBC driver to use for the DSN. The name must exactly match the [section name] of the driver definition stored in odbcinst.ini (and listed by odbcinst -q -d).

· Description

Human-readable data source description.

· Database

Database name or identifier. The meaning is driver-specific and can specify a file path, Unix socket path, an identifier relative to a server name, etc.

· Servername

Server name. The meaning is driver-specific but generally specifies a DNS name, IP network address or driver-specific discovery identifier.

For a full list of supported parameters, refer to the HTML-formatted "Administrator Manual" shipped with unixODBC, the documentation for your ODBC driver and any data-source templates supplied by your driver.


An example odbc.ini configuration file is shown in the "Administrator Manual" shipped with unixODBC.

See Also

unixODBC(7), odbcinst(1), isql(1), iusql(1), odbcinst.ini(5)

"The unixODBC Administrator Manual (HTML)"


The authors of unixODBC are Peter Harvey <pharvey@codebydesign.com> and Nick Gorham <nick@lurcher.org>.

For a full list of contributors, refer to the AUTHORS file.

Referenced By

isql(1), odbc_config(1), odbcinst(1), odbcinst.ini(5), unixODBC(7).

Sun 10 Jan 2021 version 2.3.12 unixODBC manual pages