IBM's Universal Database

Getting DB2 up and running on Linux.

Have you been trying to install DB2 Universal Database on a Linux-based workstation? Did you run into some troubles? As I scan around the DB2 and Linux newsgroups, I hear from many of users who are getting frustrated when trying to get DB2 running on Linux. How did this problem get so big? Well, the Linux phenomenon is relatively new and ever-changing. Recently, all sorts of vendors are flocking to market their distributions, with slight differences between them all. Combine that with what seems to be quarterly releases and you can see how communication channels between the Linux vendors and the people who build applications to run on them get clogged. While efforts are being made between application developers and Linux vendors to define this communication pipe, you can use the information in this article to get yourself up and running in no time at all.

DB2 for Linux is officially supported on the following Linux distributions: Caldera OpenLinux, Red Hat Linux, TurboLinux and SuSE Linux. This article will take you through the steps involved in installing DB2 on each of the supported Linux distributions. In the article, I assume you have not previously installed a version of DB2 and you are not maintaining any of the default users created by a default DB2 Installation. The three user IDs that will be created during a DB2 installation are: db2inst1, db2fenc1 and db2as. If you have any of these users on your system, be sure to remove them and their associated directories before installing DB2. This article also assumes you are familiar with the rpm command, used to install packages. If you are not familiar with this command, refer to your Linux documentation.

In order to run DB2 on Linux, the following are required:

  • Linux kernel 2.0.35 or higher

  • RPM (package manager)

  • pdksh package (public domain Korn shell)

  • glibc version 2.0.7 or higher

  • libstdc++ version 2.8.0

Preparing Your Linux Workstation for a DB2 Installation

The following sections will highlight any actions you need to perform on your Linux workstation to enable it for a DB2 installation. If a requirement exists by default on your system, I will not make note of it in the sections that follow. Keep in mind that the lag time between when this article was written and when you are going to read it may be a couple of months. In that time, some of the levels or links I have referred to here may have changed.

DB2 and Caldera OpenLinux

The information I am providing in this section is based on a Caldera OpenLinux version 2.3, or simply Caldera, Standard Installation type. If you installed a different installation type on your Linux workstation, you may have to add some of the required packages to your workstation.

The pdksh package is missing from the default Standard Installation. This package is available on the Caldera CD-ROM; however, it is not compatible with DB2. IBM and Caldera are working to solve this problem, but in the meantime, I recommend you download a pdksh package from a Red Hat mirror site—it will work just fine. I am sure Caldera Systems will post a fix sometime on their FTP site at

For now, go to the mirror site at Download the pdksh-5.2.14-1.i386.rpm package and install it with the rpm command using the -nodeps option. If you try to install this package without the -nodeps option, you will receive an error stating that this package has a requirement on the glibc package. This error is only a result of the different naming conventions used by Caldera Systems and Red Hat. A glibc package is installed by default.

For DB2 version 6, you require libstdc++ 2.80, DB2 v6 will not run with libstdc++ 2.9.0. Caldera version 2.3 by default installs with libstdc++ 2.9.0. The required libstdc++ 2.8.0 is located on the CD-ROM in the /col/contrib/RPMS directory as a package called libstdc++-compat-2.8.0-1.i386.rpm.

If you are running Caldera version 2.2, I recommend that you upgrade to version 2.3; it will make your DB2 installation much easier. In the event you do not want to do this, there are some things you will need to note on top of the issues I mentioned for Caldera version 2.3.

First, the libstdc++-compat-2.8.0-1.i386.rpm package, is not on the CD-ROM. You can get it from Caldera at

Finally, DB2 requires a file called to work. This file is usually shipped with every Linux distribution. Some problems with federal export laws caused Caldera version 2.2 to ship without this file. To add this file to your workstation, download the package glibc-crypt-2.1-3i.i386.rpm from I could not find this fix on Caldera's FTP site.

Once you have completed these tasks, your Caldera version 2.2 workstation is ready for a DB2 installation.