HOWTO: IBM DB2, ODBC, and Linux (*nix) configuration

The DB2 ODBC driver works like anything else IBM. Nonstandard to the rest of the universe. How to set up ODBC:

Unix admin needs to do:
Retrieve the config file locations:

$ odbcinst -j
unixODBC 2.2.14
DRIVERS............: /etc/odbcinst.ini
SYSTEM DATA SOURCES: /etc/odbc.ini
USER DATA SOURCES..: /home/jason/.odbc.ini
SQLULEN Size.......: 8
SQLLEN Size........: 8

/etc/odbcinst.ini : list of the available drivers and default configuration for each driver
/etc/odbc.ini : list of the instances/databases for *all* users aka “System DSNs”
${HOME}/.odbc.ini : list of the instances/databases specific to *you* aka “User DSNs”

Add/update the following lines in the /etc/odbcinst.ini file (or wherever the file is as reported by odbcinst -j). Make sure there is no whitespace at the beginnings of the lines.

Description = DB2 Driver
Driver = /opt/ibm/db2/db2_v9.7/lib64/

The driver line should point to the full path of (any *nix but aix) or libdb2o.a (aix).

Add/update the following lines in the ${HOME}/.odbc.ini file:


You need to catalog the database (assuming you already cataloged the node [db2host in my case] – see

 # catalog database database_name as database_alias at node node_name
catalog database MYDB2DB as MYDB2DB at node db2host

Test connectivity to the remote database:

db2 connect to MYDB2DB user testuser using test_password

Ensure we’re using the unixODBC isql:

$ /usr/bin/isql --version
unixODBC 2.2.14

Validate using unixodbc “isql”:

$ /usr/bin/isql -v MYDB2DB testuser test_password
| Connected!                            |
|                                       |
| sql-statement                         |
| help [tablename]                      |
| quit                                  |
|                                       |

The DSN for the entry is simply “dbi:ODBC:MYDB2DB” if you’re using Perl. Later versions of the db2 client allow you to specify the connect options in the DSN like so:

my $odbc_connect_str = "dbi:ODBC:"
               . "DRIVER=/opt/ibm/db2_v10.5/lib64/;
               . "Protocol=tcpip;"
               . "Hostname=mydbhost;"
               . "Port=67033;"
               . "DATABASE=MYDB2DB";
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