Installation, Registration, and Licensing Information for Embarcadero ® InterBase® XE

By: Sam Patterson

Abstract: Installation, Registration, and Licensing Information for Embarcadero ® InterBase® XE

Published September, 2010


    All platforms

    General Information

For a list of recent bug fixes and updated contact information, please refer to the Readme.html.

For a list of add-ons and licenses you can obtain for InterBase products, see Chapter 2, Licensing, in the InterBase Operations Guide. You receive all six InterBase user guides in PDF format at the time of purchase.

Check for a variety of information and resources of interest to those who develop and maintain InterBase databases and applications.

Embarcadero maintains several active newsgroups for InterBase users. To access them, go to

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    System Requirements/Prerequisites

The following table lists the system requirements for installing and running InterBase XE.

System Area



Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
Microsoft Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (32-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2008
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
Sun Solaris 10
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (32-bit and 64-bit)
SUSE Linux 10 and 11
Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6


Microsoft Windows and Linux: Intel x86 or x86-64
Sun Solaris: SPARC
Mac OS X: Intel x86

JDK Compatibility

All platforms: JDK 1.6

Hard disk space

20 MB for compact installation
35 MB for full installation

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    Server/Client Compatibility

InterClient XE server is certified to work with a compatible InterBase XE client. Since there are no breaking API changes, earlier versions of InterBase clients may work with the current version of the server also.

IMPORTANT! Mixing InterBase client and server versions is not supported. It is strongly recommended that compatible client and server versions are used for local connections on Windows.

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    Installation and Registration

You can install InterBase after downloading it from the web, or by using the InterBase XE installer (installing from a CD or DVD).

The InterBase XE installer installs InterBase on Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OSX. As part of this installation, you have the opportunity to register the product. InterBase XE must be registered before you can start the server; though there is a way to use it without registering during the grace period (read below). If the server is started without entering any licensing information an error message with the registration key is logged in interbase.log. This registration code along with your serial number may then be used to register your software on any computer by going to

Installing and registering the product provides a base level of functionality; the exact level of functionality depends on whether you are installing the Desktop Edition, ToGo Edition, or the Server Edition. It is important to note that the Desktop and TOGo editions are only available for the Windows operating systems.

To add more users, more processors, or strong encryption, you need to purchase additional appropriate licenses from the Embarcadero shop site or from your sales representative. The license key and registration are explained in the "Licensing" chapter of the Operations Guide. You will find this and the other InterBase books in the <interbase_home>/doc directory. See Licensing users, processors, and strong encryption below for more details.

There is a registration limit imposed on every Serial Number. For any unforeseen circumstance, if you encounter this limit while registering your Serial Number, please visit to get a temporary increment and register once again. It is not common for one to hit this limit.

Note: For older InterBase version users - InterBase XE licenses are not compatible with earlier InterBase version licenses. InterBase XE requires new license purchase.

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    Downloading and Installing

The following instructions guide you through the process of downloading, installing, and registering InterBase XE.

  • Download InterBase XE to your local computer or server.
  • Extract the .zip file to a new directory.
  • Run the install_windows.exe,, or applications depending upon the platform you are installing on.
  • Follow the instructions below for Registration.
  • Start InterBase and your product is activated.

Note about the InterBase ToGo Edition: The InterBase ToGo edition includes two (2) zip files: and The file  includes all the files you need for development using the InterBase ToGo edition. The file includes the minimal set of files required to deploy the InterBase ToGo edition. To install the InterBase ToGo edition, extract the appropriate zip file to a location as specified in the "Client/Server Concepts" chapter of the InterBase Developer's Guide.  

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    Using the Installer

The following instructions guide you through the process of installing and registering InterBase using the cross-platform installer. You are encouraged to use this installer when possible. A console (command-line) installer is available for Linux and Solaris users who have environments that are not compatible with a GUI installer. However, to use the command-line installer on a Solaris or Linux computer, you must also have a copy of X-Windows installed. See Command-line installation for instructions on how to run the installation from a console window.

  1. Preparing to install:
    • If you are installing InterBase XE on a machine for the first time, you need to register the product as part of the installation. This applies to upgrades from previous versions, as well as completely new installations. To prepare for the registration phase of the install, be sure you have the following available:
      • The Serial Number that is provided to you in an email sent after downloading the trial version of the product or when you have purchased the product.
      • Your Embarcadero Developer Network user name and password. If you have registered an Embarcadero product before, you are a member of the Embarcadero Developer Network and have a user name and password for it. You may be a member of the Network if you joined it online even if you have never previously registered an Embarcadero product. If you are not a member of DN, you will have an opportunity to join during the registration phase of your installation.
    • If you are upgrading from a previous version, you should also perform the following actions:
      • Before un-installing a previous InterBase version, back up any existing databases using your existing version of InterBase. InterBase XE uses an on-disk structure, ODS 15.0. This is required to accommodate new system tables, and changes to existing system tables. Databases created with earlier versions of InterBase are not automatically upgraded to ODS 15.0 when an InterBase XE server attaches to these databases. To migrate these databases to the new ODS, backup these databases with the older version of InterBase and restore them using InterBase XE IBConsole or gbak.
      • It is highly recommended that you upgrade to the latest ODS. ODS Versions 10, 11, and 12 are still enabled but are not supported. Versions 13 and 15 are certified and supported.
      • Make a backup copy of your security database (admin.ib by default).
      • Make a backup copy of your ibconfig file.
      • Stop the InterBase server and un-install InterBase.
      • As with any installation, Embarcadero strongly recommends that you stop all running applications, including your virus checker.
      • UNIX and Linux users must log in as root to install. Windows and Mac OSX users must be logged in as a user with Administrative privileges.
  2. Run the install program: On Windows platforms, run install_windows.exe. On Linux platforms, run; on Solaris platforms, run; on Mac OSX platform, run
  3. When you first run the install program, the opening panel displays the following options:


What it does

Install Embarcadero InterBase XE

Installs the main InterBase XE product.

InterBase XE on the web

Connects you to

Setup Information

Displays this file. InterBase strongly recommends that you look this over before proceeding with the installation.


Exits Installation.

  1. Select the "Install Embarcadero InterBase XE Server" button and follow the prompts to accept the license agreement. In the Choose Install Set panel, choose "Server and Client," "Client Only," "Register," or "Custom."
  2. Choose an install location and click Next to proceed to the review panel. In most cases, the defaults chosen for you by the Install Wizard will be appropriate. If you see anything that you need to change, click the Back button to return to the earlier panels.
  3. Once the Review panel shows you the desired configuration, click Install. The installer completes the product installation and then displays the Product Registration dialog.
    • If you have your Serial Number and Embarcadero Developer Network membership information available, you should perform the registration at this time.
    • If you do not have a DN membership, you will have the opportunity to create one during the registration. If you cannot register at this time, choose Cancel. When you are ready to register, run the InterBase installer again and choose Register from the Install Set panel, or invoke the License Manager tool upon start-up.
    • Please note that if you are unable to register at this time, at least make sure that you Add the Serial Number you have received using the License Manager tool; this will allow InterBase to function, with default licensing parameters, for a grace period of 14 days before registration becomes mandatory.
    • On Linux and Solaris, if you wish to register from a shell command line, please execute the command

<interbase_home>/bin/LicenseManagerLauncher -i Console

  1. In the Registration panel, enter the Serial Number and Key from the email you received from Embarcadero.
  2. InterBase XE includes a registration grace period of 14 days if you add a valid serial number after installing the product, but do not choose to register at that time. If you use the License Manager utility to add your serial number, be sure to choose the File > Save command afterward or the grace period will not be in effect.


  1. Enter your Embarcadero Developer Network account credentials in the Login or Email and Password fields. If you have not previously created an EDN account, or have forgotten your password, click I need to create... or I’ve lost my password.
  2. Click Register and your activation file should be downloaded and installed automatically. If this does not happen, click the Trouble Connecting? link in the Product Registration dialog.

Click here to view frequently asked questions about registering your InterBase XE product.

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    Install Drivers

Return to the opening panel if it is still displayed and choose the connectivity drivers that you want to install. Otherwise, run the InterBase installer again and choose the "Install InterBase Connectivity Drivers" button. Choose a driver to install and follow the prompts. Note that the JDBC driver is automatically installed, so it is not displayed as a driver choice.

The InterBase installer provides the following drivers:

ADO.NET driver for InterBase

DataDirect ODBC Driver

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    Using the Wise Installer to Embed InterBase

InterBase XE includes a Windows/English-only installer to help make embedding InterBase easy. The installer is located in the: Disk1\InstData\Windows\VM directory of the CD and is named, "ib_install.exe".

Command line options for ib_install.exe:

/S (run installer in silent mode)

/M=<filename> (this file contains custom settings for your installation)

You can define custom parameter values (say values.txt) as follows. The default values are:





where the variables are defined as:

MAINDIR - The location of the InterBase Root Directory
TCP_PORT - default is 3050
INSTANCE - default is gds_db
COMPONENTS - This is a comma separated list of the Components that will be installed.

The options for COMPONENTS are:

A = Server and Client

B = Client only

C = Documentation

D = Registration (will not work in silent install mode)

For example, if the following values are saved in a file named values.txt, and you execute the command: ib_install.exe /s /m=values.txt, you will launch the silent installer with the settings from this file. If the values file is not found, the Silent Install will assume the default values as detailed above.





You can also provide custom values via such files to the GUI installer by executing ib_install.exe without the /s flag.

Note: To include a license activation file (*.slip) with your installation, save the activation file into the directory where the ib_install.exe file is located.

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    Installing on Unix or Japanese Versions

Using the Java Installer for UNIX installations, as well as Japanese Windows installations.

    Property Files

The installer is named ib_install.exe on Windows platforms and ib_install.bin on UNIX Platforms. Using a property file that contains the variables for a specific install can customize the installer. Property files should be placed in the same directory as the installer. Sample property files are available under the extras directory of the InterBase CD.

    Calling the Installer with a Property File

Windows example (Japanese installation only):

 ib_install.exe -f

UNIX example:

 ib_install.bin -f



The mode that InstallAnywhere-based installer should run in



Console (UNIX platforms only)




The Install set that wish to use:

Server (Server and Client)

Client (Client Only)

Register (can only used in GUI mode)



SLIP_FILENAME (Value Added resellers only)

The location of the slip file that you will be using for InterBase.




This is the install location for InterBase.

The default is C:\\Embarcadero\\InterBase


Set to No by Default. If you want to take advantage of the InterBase XE Multi-Instance feature, set MULTI_INSTANCE=Yes. It is important to set the LABEL and PORT variables to something other than the default to not interfere with other version of InterBase running on the system


Default is 3050. This only needs to be set if MULTI_INSTANCE is set to Yes. Please choose a Port number that will not interfere with other programs on the server machine


Default is gds_db. This only needs to be set if MULTI_INSTANCE is set to Yes.

    Server Features

All Features are installed as Default and can only be disabled by setting the Feature to False.

Server: This includes the server, the guardian, the license file, the message file, the configuration file, and database information tools

Client: This includes the client library, the license file, and the message file

Graphical tools: Graphical tools for InterBase and the associated help files. Short name is GT. To disable set GT=FALSE

Development support: Development tools for InterBase, including gpre. Short name is DS. To disable set DS=FALSE

Documentation: InterBase Documentation. Short name is DOCS. To disable set DOCS=FALSE

Command line tools: This includes database management tools, database query tools, and user management tools. Short name is CLT. To disable set CLT=FALSE

Examples: Example databases and example programs that use embedded SQL, dynamic SQL, and the InterBase API. Short name is EXAMPLES. To disable set EXAMPLES=FALSE

InterClient JDBC: The type 4 driver allows access to all features of InterBase through JDBC. Also includes samples and docs. Short name is JDBC. To disable set JDBC=FALSE

Register: Used to register InterBase (GUI only) short name is REG. To disable set REG=FALSE. You must set REG to FALSE even if you are doing a silent or console installation file:

Here is an example of a silent install without DOCS, JDBC, and Registration. You will notice that it specifies a slip file location, uses Label of gds_db1 and Port number of 3060










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    Client Features

Client: This includes the client library, the license file, and the message file.

Graphical tools: Graphical tools for InterBase and their associated help files. Short name is GT. To disable set GT=FALSE

Command line tools: This includes database management tools, database query tools, and user management tools. Short name is CLT. To disable set CLT=FALSE

InterClient JDBC: The type 4 driver allows access to all features of InterBase through JDBC. Also includes samples and docs. Short name is JDBC. To disable set JDBC=FALSE file:

Silent Client install without JDBC to non-default location





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    Finishing Up

This completes your InterBase installation and registration. You now need to install any licenses that you have purchased for users, processors, and Internet use. Please see Licensing Users and Processors for information on licensing.

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    Command-Line Installation

If your Linux or Solaris environment does not support the GUI installer, you can use the following steps to perform a console installation.

Use the TAR package to install InterBase (see .tar install instructions for Linux and Solaris) or use the InstallAnywhere-based installer. The InstallAnywhere-based installer requires X Window System libraries to be available. If they are not available, you will get the error "Installer User Interface Mode not Supported".

In addition, InterBase XE has a 14-day grace period for registration, but this feature requires a GUI and is not available to Linux and Solaris installations that do not have a GUI.

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Installing InterBase

  1. If an InterBase server is running, shut it down and uninstall any previous versions of InterBase.
  2. On your InterBase CD-ROM, go to the directory for your platform (Linux or Solaris) and run ib_install.bin with the -i flag.

ib_install.bin -i Console

Follow the prompts.

  1. When installation is complete, you must register InterBase in order to start the server.
    • On Linux and Solaris, if you wish to register from a shell command line, please execute the command

<interbase_home>/bin/LicenseManagerLauncher -i Console

For some platform-specific issues related to installation, please see the sections below:

Linux and Solaris


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    Licensing Users, Processors, and Strong Encryption

For more information about InterBase options, please visit the Embarcadero InterBase Portal. The Licensing chapter in Operations Guide PDF manual covers this topic in more detail.

You will have the following basic functionality after you register:

Desktop and ToGo Edition(s): Permits local connections only (same machine), enables eight cores/processors and eight simultaneous connections.

Server Edition: Enables eight CPU cores/processors and one user (4 connections).

You can purchase licenses to enable additional simultaneous users and additional processors through the Embarcadero web site or through your sales representative.

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    Linux and Solaris

    .tar Install


Execute the setup script.

Choose to install Server and Client or Install Client only.

Follow the prompts to configure:

Installation directory

Multi-instance option

Instance name and port

Run InterBase as a service

The script installs InterBase to the chosen location, sets the correct variables to allow InterBase to run remotely, and links to InterBase libraries.

Note: The installer must be run with “root” privileges.

Note: Command line registration is not available.

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    InterBase XE Multi-Instance Install Setup

In a Multi-Instance install the /usr/interbase symbolic link is not automatically created. Set the INTERBASE and LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables to use that particular instance of InterBase. This does not apply to "single" instance installations.

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    Saving Customization Files

If you are planning to install the InterBase XE software over an older version installed on the server machine, and you want to preserve the customization files, copy them to a safe place, for example:

gbak -b /usr/interbase/admin.ib /tmp/admin.ibk

cp /usr/interbase/ib_license.dat /tmp

cp /usr/interbase/ibconfig /tmp

You can skip this step if you haven't customized these files in a previous installation.

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    Saving Older Versions

If InterBase is running on your server, shut it down. To save the current version, rename the directory, for example:

mv /usr/interbase /usr/

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    Running InterBase as a Service

To run InterBase as a service, run:

/usr/interbase/examples/ -s[tart]

When you choose to run InterBase as a service, the InterBase server starts automatically whenever the machine is running in a multi-user mode.

To remove InterBase as a service, run:

/usr/interbase/examples/ -r[emove]

You must then start the InterBase server manually whenever you need it.

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    Mac OS X

    InterBase XE Mac OS X Multi-Instance Install Setup

In a multi-instance install the /usr/interbase symbolic link is not automatically created to your install location. Set the INTERBASE and DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables to use that particular instance of InterBase. This does not apply to "single" instance installations.

    Running InterBase as a Service

When you install the product, InterBase is setup automatically to run as a service. You will notice that the /Library/StartupItems/ folder on your machine has an entry to run the InterBase server whenever the system boots up.

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    Known Issues

The following issues are still in the process of being resolved.

    UNICODE Character Sets

The 16-bit UNICODE character sets UNICODE_LE and UNICODE_BE only work for Server character sets. These character sets cannot be used as a client character set. If your client needs full UNICODE character support, please use UTF8 instead of UNICODE_LE and UNICODE_BE for the client character set (aka LC_CSET). A client can use the UTF8 (or other native) client character set to connect with a UNICODE database.

InterBase XE supports no defined UNICODE collations in this release. The default collation is binary sort order for UNICODE.

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Copyright © 1986-2010 Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. All Embarcadero brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of Embarcadero Technologies in the United States and other countries. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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