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Python support for IBM DB2 and IBM Informix

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Python, DB-API components for IBM DB2 and Informix

Provides Python interface for connecting to IBM DB2 and Informix

Table of contents




Quick Example

API Documentation


Latest Updates

Support & Feedback

Contributing to the ibm_db python project

Some common issues


  1. The ibm_db contains:
    • ibm_db driver: Python driver for IBM DB2 and IBM Informix databases. Uses the IBM Data Server Driver for ODBC and CLI APIs to connect to IBM DB2 and Informix.
    • ibm_db_dbi: Python driver for IBM DB2 and IBM Informix databases that complies to the DB-API 2.0 specification. Checkout the README for getting started with ibm_db and ibm_db_dbi


Install Python 2.7 or Python 3 <= 3.9. The minimum python version supported by driver is python 2.7 and the latest version supported is python 3.9 except version 3.3 as it has reached end-of-life.

The pre-built 32-bit and 64-bit binaries on windows are available for the following versions:

python 2.7
python 3.4
python 3.5
python 3.6
python 3.7
python 3.8
python 3.9

You might need zlib, openssl, pip installations if not already available in your setup.

  • Z/OS: In case of any issues using Python on zO/S, refer to this file and also refer to this doc.

  • Linux/Unix: If you face problems due to missing python header files while installing the driver, you would need to install python developer package and retry install. e.g:

    zypper install python-devel
    yum install python-devel
  • MAC OS: Db2 V11.5.4 clidriver is built with GCC version 8.4.0 and hence you may need to upgrade to this version if you face problems due to old version of the GCC compiler in your environment while loading the ibm_db library.

  • For installing ibm_db on Docker Linux container, you may need to install gcc, python, pip, python-devel, libxml2 and pam if not already installed. Refer to Installation for more details.


You can install the driver using pip as:

pip install ibm_db

This will install ibm_db and ibm_db_dbi module.

If you are using python 3.8 or 3.9 on windows and building the source manually, you will need to set dll path of dependent library of clidriver before importing the module as:

import os
os.add_dll_directory('path to clidriver installation until bin')

os.add_dll_directory('C:\Program Files\IBM\CLIDRIVER\\bin')

Refer for more details.

  • For installing ibm_db on docker Linux container, you can refer as below:
yum install python gcc pam wget python-devel.x86_64 libxml2
use, `yum install python3` to install python 3.x

if pip or pip3 does not exist, install it as:
docker cp /root:<containerid>
cd root
python2 or python3

Install python ibm_db as:
pip install ibm_db
pip3 install ibm_db

  • Uninstalling the ibm_db driver :
pip uninstall ibm_db

The ODBC and CLI Driver(clidriver) is automatically downloaded at the time of installation and it is recommended to use this driver. However, if you wish to use an existing installation of clidriver or install the clidriver manually and use it, you can set IBM_DB_HOME environment variable. For more information on how to set this variable, refer Environment Variables section.

  • Environment Variables: IBM_DB_HOME :

    Set this environment variable to avoid automatic downloading of the clidriver during installation. You could set this to the installation path of ODBC and CLI driver in your environment. e.g:

    Windows :
    set IBM_DB_HOME=c:/Users/skauser/clidriver
    Other platforms:
    export IBM_DB_HOME=/home/skauser/clidriver

    You are required to set the library path to the clidriver under IBM_DB_HOME to pick this version of the ODBC and CLI Driver. e.g:

    set LIB = %IBM_DB_HOME%/lib;%LIB%
    export LIBPATH = $IBM_DB_HOME/lib:$LIBPATH
    Other platforms:

    The ODBC and CLI driver is available for download at Db2 LUW ODBC and CLI Driver. Refer to (License requirements) for more details on the CLI driver for manual download and installation.

Quick Example

$ python
Python 3.6.5 (default, May 10 2018, 00:54:55)
[GCC 4.3.4 [gcc-4_3-branch revision 152973]] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import ibm_db
>>> #For connecting to local database named pydev for user db2inst1 and password secret, use below example
>>> #ibm_db_conn = ibm_db.connect('pydev', 'db2inst1', 'secret')
>>> #For connecting to remote database named pydev for uid db2inst and pwd secret on host, use below example
>>> # Connect using ibm_db
>>> conn_str='database=pydev;;port=portno;protocol=tcpip;uid=db2inst1;pwd=secret'
>>> ibm_db_conn = ibm_db.connect(conn_str,'','')
>>> # Connect using ibm_db_dbi
>>> import ibm_db_dbi
>>> conn = ibm_db_dbi.Connection(ibm_db_conn)
>>> # create table using ibm_db
>>> create="create table mytable(id int, name varchar(50))"
>>> ibm_db.exec_immediate(ibm_db_conn, create)
<ibm_db.IBM_DBStatement object at 0x7fcc5f44f650>
>>> # Execute tables API
>>> conn.tables('DB2INST1', '%')
>>> # Insert 3 rows into the table
>>> insert = "insert into mytable values(?,?)"
>>> params=((1,'Sanders'),(2,'Pernal'),(3,'OBrien'))
>>> stmt_insert = ibm_db.prepare(ibm_db_conn, insert)
>>> ibm_db.execute_many(stmt_insert,params)
>>> # Fetch data using ibm_db_dbi
>>> select="select id, name from mytable"
>>> cur = conn.cursor()
>>> cur.execute(select)
>>> row=cur.fetchall()
>>> print("{} \t {} \t {}".format(row[0],row[1],row[2]),end="\n")
(1, 'Sanders')   (2, 'Pernal')   (3, 'OBrien')
>>> row=cur.fetchall()
>>> print(row)
>>> # Fetch data using ibm_db
>>> stmt_select = ibm_db.exec_immediate(ibm_db_conn, select)
>>> cols = ibm_db.fetch_tuple( stmt_select )
>>> print("%s, %s" % (cols[0], cols[1]))
1, Sanders
>>> cols = ibm_db.fetch_tuple( stmt_select )
>>> print("%s, %s" % (cols[0], cols[1]))
2, Pernal
>>> cols = ibm_db.fetch_tuple( stmt_select )
>>> print("%s, %s" % (cols[0], cols[1]))
3, OBrien
>>> cols = ibm_db.fetch_tuple( stmt_select )
>>> print(cols)
>>> # Close connections
>>> cur.close()
>>> # Dropping the table created
>>> drop = "drop table mytable"
>>> stmt_delete = ibm_db.exec_immediate(ibm_db_conn,drop)
>>> conn1.tables('DB2INST1','MY%')
>>> ibm_db.close(ibm_db_conn)

Example of SSL Connection String

Using SSLServerCertificate keyword
Using SSLClientKeyStoreDB and SSLClientKeyStoreDBPassword keyword
Using SSLClientKeyStoreDB and SSLClientKeyStash keyword

More examples can be found under 'tests' folder.

API Documentation has examples for each API.

Jupyter Notebook examples can be found here -> Other Examples

API Documentation

For more information on the APIs supported by ibm_db, please refer to below link:

License requirements for connecting to databases

Python ibm_db driver can connect to DB2 on Linux Unix and Windows without any additional license/s, however, connecting to databases on DB2 for z/OS or DB2 for i(AS400) Servers require either client side or server side license/s. The client side license would need to be copied under license folder of your cidriver installation directory and for activating server side license, you would need to purchase DB2 Connect Unlimited for System z® and DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition for System i®.

To know more about license and purchasing cost, please contact IBM Customer Support.

To know more about server based licensing viz db2connectactivate, follow below links:

If you intend to install the clidriver manually, Following are the details of the client driver versions that you can download from CLIDRIVER to be able to connect to databases on non-LUW servers. You would need the client side license file as per Version for corresponding installation.:

CLIDriver and Client license versions for Specific Platform and Architecture

Platform Architecture Cli Driver Supported Version
AIX ppc aix32_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V11.5.4
others aix64_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V11.5.4
Darwin x64 macos64_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V11.5.4
Linux x64 linuxx64_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V11.5.4
s390x s390x64_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V11.5.4
s390 s390_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V11.1
ppc64 (LE) ppc64le_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V11.5.4
ppc64 ppc64_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V10.5
ppc32 ppc32_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V10.5
others linuxia32_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V11.5.4
Windows x64 Yes V11.5.4
x32 Yes V11.5.4
Sun i86pc sunamd64_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V10.5
sunamd32_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V10.5
sparc sun64_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V11.1
sparc sun32_odbc_cli.tar.gz Yes V11.1

You can refer to ODBC and CLI Driver installation for details on how to install the driver manually.


Use following pypi web location for downloading source code and binaries ibm_db: . You can also get the source code by cloning the ibm_db github repository as :

git clone

Latest Updates

Updated ibm_db

Apr 12, 2021: A new release 3.0.4 of ibm_db and ibm_db_dbi available.

Support & feedback

Your feedback is very much appreciated and expected through project ibm-db:

Contributing to the ibm_db python project


The developer sign-off should include the reference to the DCO in remarks(example below):
DCO 1.1 Signed-off-by: Random J Developer <>

Some common issues

1. Installation Issues for missing python.h file

Always use the latest pip

python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip

Install the package python3-dev that delivers the python.h header file

For RHEL use
yum install python3-dev
For Ubuntu use
apt-get install python3-dev

Once the above steps goes through fine, try re-installing ibm_db.