Using ODBC in the core

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FreeSWITCH can be configured to use ODBC to connect to a remote database instead of using the default SQLite databases.

Attention: PostgreSQL is natively supported since FreeSWITCH 1.2.5, head over to PostgreSQL_in_the_core to learn more(In other words: if you use PostgreSQL and >= FreeSWITCH 1.2.5, you no longer need the guide below).

MySQL is not supported natively, you still need ODBC and this howto(No native Support of MySQL is planned for the close future)


Setup unixODBC

To use unixODBC you will need to install:

  • unixODBC
  • An ODBC driver for your chosen database.

Several popular databases are supported including MySQL, PostgreSQL and others.


Before you begin you will need to install and configure your chosen database ensuring you've set the correct permissions for access.

For additional help configuring your database, see:

Note - the following configuration has been tested on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server (64-bit) with PostgreSQL 8.4/9.1 and MySQL 5.1.

1. Install unixODBC

 sudo apt-get install unixodbc-dev

2. Install the unixODBC driver

You will need to obtain the ODBC for your chosen database. Instructions for obtaining the drivers for MySQL or PostgreSQL are provided below.

For MySQL:

sudo apt-get install libmyodbc

For PostgreSQL

sudo apt-get install odbc-postgresql

3. Configure /etc/odbc.ini & /etc/odbcinst.ini

Add the following with the correct information into your odbc.ini file located at /etc/odbc.ini

/etc/odbc.ini for MySQL

ImportantIf you are running on a 32-bit Linux installation, use the following configuration, but change all references to /usr/lib64/ in to /usr/lib/ in the examples provided.

Driver		= /usr/lib64/odbc/
SERVER		= localhost
PORT		= 3306
DATABASE	= freeswitch   
OPTION		= 67108864
USER		        = root            
PASSWORD	= password    
/etc/odbcinst.ini for MySQL
Description	= MySQL driver
Driver		= /usr/lib64/odbc/
Setup		= /usr/lib64/odbc/
UsageCount	= 1
FileUsage       = 1
Threading       = 0

If it is available on your system, you must use Driver = /usr/lib64/odbc/ in your odbcinst.ini.

Also note, (see bug below on bottom of page); If you are using the FreeSWITCH pooled resources, then you definitely need Threading = 0 for high call volume. What this does is it "disables a global mutex in the ODBC core that only allows 1 concurrent operation per process regardless of the concurrent connections." (i.e. It slows down when you have too many connections trying at one time)

As far as has been tested, when making changes to the odbcinst.ini, you do not need to restart FreeSWITCH to effect the changes.

/etc/odbc.ini for PostgreSQL

ImportantIf you are running on a 32-bit Linux installation, use the following configuration, but change all references to /usr/lib64/ in to /usr/lib/ in the examples provided.

; WARNING: The old psql odbc driver is now renamed
; in version 08.x. Note that the library can also be installed under an other
; path than /usr/local/lib/ following your installation.
Driver		= /usr/lib64/odbc/
Description=Connection to LDAP/POSTGRESQL
/etc/odbcinst.ini for PostgreSQL
Description	= PostgreSQL driver for Linux & Win32
Driver	 	= /usr/lib64/odbc/

4. Testing your connection

Once you've set up the .ini files in and have your ODBC drivers installed, you can test your ODBC connection is working correctly by entering:

isql -v freeswitch

If a connection is successfully established you should see something similar to:

| Connected!                            |
|                                       |
| sql-statement                         |
| help [tablename]                      |
| quit                                  |
|                                       |

5. Compile Freeswitch & Set Modules to Use ODBC

You will need to compile/recompile freeswitch so that ODBC is detected and included within the installation. You will then need to edit the freeswitch configuration to utilize the ODBC connection you just defined.

See #Compile FreeSWITCH with ODBC support below for more information.

PostgreSQL 8.4 on Debian Squeeze

Note: We've experienced some major stability issues with the unixODBC-debian-package 2.2.14p2-1 from the repository. FreeSWITCH would die anywhere between a few days to weeks. Upgrading to a manually compiled unixODBC 2.3.0-pre fixed this problem and has been tested stable for the last 2 months. --Peletiah 13:04, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Install PostgreSQL and ODBC

    apt-get install postgresql unixodbc odbc-postgresql

You also have to install unixodbc-dev, which by default depends on libodbcinstq1c2 which would install x11-common and other packages for GUI-Support. To avoid this, you have to create a fake libodbcinstq1c2-package, see instructions below. If you don't care, do apt-get install unixodbc-dev and continue with odbc-configuration:

Fake libodbcinstq1c2-package with equivs

If you don't want to install X11 on a headless server, create a fake-libodbcinstq1c2-package with equivs. Please read the documentation at to make sure you don't damage your system.

install equivs:

 apt-get install equivs
 cd /tmp

create a control-file for the fake-package:

 equivs-control libodbcinstq1c2

edit the control-file so it looks like this:

 Section: libs
 Priority: optional
 # Homepage: <enter URL here; no default>
 Standards-Version: 3.6.2
 Package: libodbcinstq1c2
 Version: 2.2.14p2-1
 Description: Qt-based ODBC configuration library
  This package contains the libodbcinstQ library, a library used by
  some Qt-based GUI configuration tools for managing ODBC drivers

build the fake-package:

 equivs-build libodbcinstq1c2

install the package that has been created:

 dpkg -i libodbcinstq1c2_2.2.14p2-1_all.deb

and finally, install unixodbc-dev without X11 :-)

 apt-get install unixodbc-dev

Create /etc/odbcinst.ini by command

odbcinst -i -d -f /usr/share/psqlodbc/odbcinst.ini.template

Create /etc/odbc.ini Like this

Description         = PostgreSQL Unicode
Driver              = PostgreSQL Unicode
Trace               = No
TraceFile           = /tmp/psqlodbc.log
Database            = freeswitch
Servername          =
UserName            =
Password            =
Port                = 5432
ReadOnly            = Yes
RowVersioning       = No
ShowSystemTables    = No
ShowOidColumn       = No
FakeOidIndex        = No
ConnSettings        =

Edit /etc/odbcinst.ini

[PostgreSQL ANSI] 
Description     = PostgreSQL ODBC driver (ANSI version)
Driver          = /usr/lib/odbc/
Setup           = /usr/lib/odbc/
Debug           = 0
CommLog         = 0
UsageCount      = 0
Threading       = 0

[PostgreSQL Unicode]
Description     = PostgreSQL ODBC driver (Unicode version)
Driver          = /usr/lib/odbc/
Setup           = /usr/lib/odbc/
Debug           = 0
CommLog         = 0
UsageCount      = 0
Threading       = 0

In order to not have postgres log everything it does change CommLog to 0

Test the connection with

 isql freeswitch

CentOS 5.2

Install unixODBC and the MySQL ODBC Connector

yum install unixODBC-devel mysql-connector-odbc
  • Make symlink from /usr/lib[64]/ to /usr/lib[64]/
  • Run odbcinst -j. This will show you list of config files.
  • Uncomment the MySQL sample driver confirguration in /etc/odbcinst.ini.
  • Add the following with the correct information into your odbc.ini file located at /etc/odbc.ini
Driver   = MySQL
SERVER   = localhost
PORT     = 3306
DATABASE = myDatabase
OPTION  = 67108864
Socket   = /var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock

Note: If you are connecting your freeswitch server to a remote MySQL database, you can take out the last line from the above setting. Take off the "Socket = /var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock" line.

Note: OPTION allows you to set client specific FLAGS, in the example 67108864 (FLAG_MULTI_STATEMENTS) is set - See [1] for all flags. The number represents the addition of all flag numbers that you want enabled.

Note: On CentOS is OPTION (without S), instead of OPTIONS.

For some tips on setting up your dsn up in unixODBC see Mod_spidermonkey_odbc#unixodbcc

  • Test your ODBC setup by running the utility isql
    • isql maxpowersoft_odbc myUser myPass


Install the following ports and follow instructions as detailed within the CentOS section

  • /usr/ports/databases/mysql-connector-odbc
  • /usr/ports/databases/unixODBC

Go to Mod_spidermonkey_odbc#General_Configuration for instructions to configure unixODBC

Create the FreeSWITCH Database

  1. Create a database in mysql or pgsql (Note: Do NOT use utf8_bin collation! Especially important with Enterprise_deployment_IP_Failover)
  2. Create a user
  3. Do not worry about creating the actual tables. FreeSWITCH will take care of this part itself if they do not exist.

MySQL Client 4.x => MySQL Server 5.x

If you're getting an error about authentication method not being supported, use old password format in db.

UPDATE mysql.user
SET password=OLD_PASSWORD('somepassword')
WHERE user='someuser'
AND host='somehost';

Compile FreeSWITCH with ODBC support

UnixODBC support will be autodetected by ./configure, and if found, will be compiled into FreeSWITCH.


Now (2012-11) that FreeSWITCH supports multiple core database options (PostgreSQL, ODBC, SQLite), the format for the DSN has changed so that FreeSWITCH knows which database type to use.

The following DSN (data source name) formats are valid for ODBC databases:

DSN with username and password

<param name="core-db-dsn" value="database:username:password"/>


<param name="core-db-dsn" value="odbc://database:username:password"/>

DSN with username

Note the colon at the end.

  <param name="core-db-dsn" value="database:username:"/>


<param name="core-db-dsn" value="odbc://database:username"/>

DSN only

Note the two colons at the end.

 <param name="core-db-dsn" value="database::"/>


<param name="core-db-dsn" value="odbc://database"/>
Informational Tip

The following formats NO LONGER WORK (since v1.2.4)

<param name="core-db-dsn" value="database"/>
<param name="core-db-dsn" value="database:password"/>



DSN-less connections are also possible. Such connections don't require setting up in odbc.ini.

Essentially the syntax is the same options you would have in odbc.ini name-value pairs, separated by ;

MyODBC example (OPTION=67108864 enables batched statements):

<param name="core-db-dsn" value="odbc://DRIVER=mysql;SERVER=a.b.c.d;UID=username;PWD=secretpassword;DATABASE=freeswitch;OPTION=67108864">


ODBC not available

Message: "mod_sofia: ODBC IS NOT AVAILABLE!" means "FreeSWITCH is compiled without ODBC support."

Message: "[unixODBC][Driver Manager]Data source name not found, and no default driver specified" Either: a) Double check that the name of the [dsn] is exactly the same in your config files

OR b) Try linking your ODBC config files to your FreeSWITCH install directory.

Link ODBC*.ini to FreeSWITCH Directory

mkdir /usr/local/freeswitch/etc
ln -s /etc/odbcinst.ini /usr/local/freeswitch/etc/odbcinst.ini
ln -s /etc/odbc.ini /usr/local/freeswitch/etc/odbc.ini

idle in transaction

There's a known issue with PostgreSQL and ODBC where processes hang due to locking

When this happens(Calls appear "hanging", FS-console doesn't respond), "ps ax" will show postgres-processes in limbo:

root@localhost:~# ps ax|grep postgres|grep free 
15753 ? Ss 0:00 postgres: freeswitch_db freeswitch_db idle in transaction
15759 ? Ss 0:00 postgres: freeswitch_db freeswitch_db idle 
15760 ? Ss 0:00 postgres: freeswitch_db freeswitch_db UPDATE waiting

A known workaround is to add the following parameters to odbcinst.ini to the respective driver-sections(ANSI, Unicode - see odbc-configuration above for a full example):

Threading = 0

See Bug #3693 for additional information