20 December 2006

DBDesigner 4 on Ubuntu

Simple problem: I wanted to install the excellent (and free) DBDesigner from fabFORCE.net on my Ubuntu 6.10 ( the Edgy Eft) .

Always the same answer, a quick googling gave some results:

  • a Blogger giving clear instructions about DBDesigner 4 on Ubuntu
  • WDokuWiki with a lot of things messed by different people (!). I love Wikis and I have been using them a lot since 2002 but you can't do anything against chaos ;-)
  • The Ubuntu forum , always the best source of information!

Half a hour later, despite all my funky tweaks (tweet tweet), I still can't connect to my existing databases and use the fabulous reverse-engineering feature !!!

Then - oh Happy Day - I came across a post by kno712 (thank you).

5 Cups of Ubuntu

Join Date: Jul 2006
Beans: 45
Re: A small guide to install DBDesigner4

Originally Posted by Dzo View Post
I have exactly the same issue. Looking like its just the way the application is though, have a look at the screenshots on the website!

It's a shame because its seriously putting me off using it!

Try installing the windows version with wine. Fonts are much better (IMO the website shows better fonts as well). Plus, you can connect to your databases without problems.

Here we go! I am already using wine-0.9.27 to work with an evaluation version of Dreamweaver 8 and this is an easy tool to use.

Update following Enigma Curry's commen:

Dialog boxes will pop under the main program window such that you'll have to minimize the main window to even see them. This seems to be a bug in wine... If this bother you as much as me, you'll reboot with windozzzz (sic) if you need to do a lot of work with DBdesigner !

Just to help, I have written a quick script:

# Go to a standard temp directory to download DBDesigner
cd /tmp
wget http://downloads.mysql.com/DBDesigner4/DBDesigner4.0.5.6_Setup.exe

# to install wine-0.9.27 if you haven't it
sudo apt-get -Y wine

# to install DBDesigner
wine DBDesigner4.0.5.6_Setup.exe

# To run DBDesigner
cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/fabFORCE
wine DBDesigner4.exe

One last thing is, compare the quality of the GUI and the fonts:

No doubt, the wine version ROCKS!

Morality: better stick to the simplest solution (I LOVE wine) and don't try to pretend you are a Linux professional !


Corbster said...

Kudos my good man! Why should we all suffer repeatedly :) I'm over an hour into it right now

Enigma Curry said...

This works a whole lot better than the KDE version! One problem I have though is all of the dialog boxes seem to pop under the main program window such that I have to minimize the main window to even see them. Any idea how to make them pop up on top?

Danilo said...

Enigma, its a problem with Stolen Focus...
Metacity dont let new windows get Focus automaticly. Its make sense, because it dont happens with windows of same program. So pop-up's always open with focus.

But, I dont know the why, Wine always try to create new windows.

You can run away of this bug by using other WM, like berly or compiz!


Danilo said...

Hi Man!!! I find a way to fix the focus window bug....

Just 3 commands:

1 - sudo apt-get install devilspie
2 - echo ‘(if(contains (application_name) "DBDesigner") (focus))’ > $HOME/.devilspie/dbdesigner.ds
3 - devilspie

Link it to my blog:

With devilspie and this little script, all new windows of DBDesigner will get focus, So, good coding!

Chris said...


Great solution - I am using dbdesigner right now. And hey \o/ BIG UPS! to the developers fabFORCE for dbdesigner.

Ifejinelo said...

Hi there,

I've just installed wine, DBDesigner4 and came across this blog to deal with the windows popping up behind the main window.

The first step works but when i try step 2:
echo ‘(if(contains (application_name) "DBDesigner") (focus))’ > $HOME/.devilspie/dbdesigner.ds

I get the following error:
bash: syntax error near unexpected token `('

Any ideas why?


Ifejinelo said...

Fixed that problem! In step 2:

echo ‘(if(contains (application_name) "DBDesigner") (focus))’ > $HOME/.devilspie/dbdesigner.ds

The '(' should be '[' for starters. So the command should be:

echo ‘[if[contains [application_name] "DBDesigner"] [focus]]’ > $HOME/.devilspie/dbdesigner.ds

Another issue is that no .devilspie/ directory was created when I installed it. So create this directory and copy across the dbdesigner.ds file, which was in the .wine/ directory before you run steps 2 and 3 :)

All together:
mkdir ~/.devilspie
cp ~/.wine/dbdesigner.ds ~/.devilspie/
echo ‘[if[contains [application_name] "DBDesigner"] [focus]]’ > $HOME/.devilspie/dbdesigner.ds

Alexander said...

Tried the Linux and Windows (using Wine), but both attempts failed.
Using the RPM I get no error message or anything, it just won't start.

Using the Wine method, I get a lot of:
fixme:imm:ImmReleaseContext (0x20244, 0x7fd41128): stub

And at the end:
X Error of failed request: BadDrawable (invalid Pixmap or Window parameter)
Major opcode of failed request: 70 (X_PolyFillRectangle)
Resource id in failed request: 0x3c0004e
Serial number of failed request: 40993
Current serial number in output stream: 41448

But, at least I could see the logo for a second :)
Any ideas?

Michael said...

I found a solution to this problem and posted it here

Help running DBDesigner4 from wine on Ubuntu

Look at the comments section


nickname said...

for me the installation works fine. however, i need to connect to an oracle db and when attempting to (after creating a new orcl conn) i get the error 'Connection to database failed. Unable to load OCI.DLL' Anyone knows how to fix this?

Anonymous said...

The simplest solution is to emulate windowse in linux?! Hmm... If you install it with alien and change the font to Helvetica 10, looks much better

Anonymous said...

Great simple solution!

Anonymous said...

thx... still useful. The wget link has changed to


in case anyone is looking.

Anonymous said...

This is just a fantastic hint! Thanks, worked like a charm in my Kubuntu 8.04.1 VM!

Anonymous said...

so what happen when you try to connect DBDesigner to mysql??


Anonymous said...

MySQL Workbench (successor to DBDesigner) is now available on Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora), MacOS, Win.