Firebird 5.0.0 DBMS Release: Best New Features

2 min

A new major release of Firebird 5.0.0 is now available with multithreading and more performance improvements.

Firebird, the open-source relational database management system known for its reliability and fast performance, has just received a major upgrade with the release of version 5.0.0.

This update brings a wave of new features and improvements, solidifying Firebird’s presence as a solid FOSS database.

The underlying improvements are huge, considering it is a major release. Let’s recap the key highlights.

Firebird 5.0.0: Key highlights

Performance improvements with Parallel Processing

One of the most exciting additions in Firebird 5.0 is the introduction of parallel execution. The engine can now leverage multiple threads for tasks like backup/restore, database sweeps, and index creation. This translates to significantly faster turnaround times, especially for larger databases and resource-intensive operations. 

Partial indexing

Partial indices have arrived, offering developers a powerful new tool for optimizing queries. Imagine targeting your index to specific columns within a table, reducing unnecessary data scans and boosting query performance. This feature opens up doors for more efficient data retrieval and improved application responsiveness.

Lock updates

The new SKIP LOCKED clause for SELECT WITH LOCK, UPDATE, and DELETE statements provides a much-needed escape hatch from lock contention. This allows applications to gracefully skip already locked records, preventing deadlocks and improving concurrency control. This will smooth data access and transaction processing.

Firebird 5.0.0 in Linux Mint
Firebird 5.0.0 in Linux Mint

No downtime upgrades

No more downtime is required for minor database upgrades! Firebird 5.0 introduces inline minor ODS upgrades, allowing you to seamlessly update your database to the latest minor version without the hassle of backups and restores. This streamlined process keeps your database up-to-date and secure with minimal interruption.

SQL compiled cache

The new compiled statement cache takes query optimization to the next level. Frequently used SQL statements are now cached and pre-compiled, eliminating the overhead of parsing and planning on subsequent executions. This translates to lightning-fast response times for your most common queries.

Introducing PSQL and SQL profiler

Firebird 5.0.0 introduces PSQL and SQL profiler for performance troubleshooting. This built-in tool allows you to analyze the execution time of SQL and PSQL statements at different levels, pinpointing bottlenecks and optimizing your queries like never before. Gain deeper insights into your database performance and make your application faster.

And more…

Firebird 5.0 is packed with a plethora of other improvements, including support for WHEN NOT MATCHED BY SOURCE in the MERGE statement, multi-row DML RETURNING, new built-in functions and packages, denser record-level compression, and network support for scrollable cursors.

You can learn more about this in the official change log PDF (download link).


Pre-compiled executables, source and installation scripts are available on the below page for Linux, Windows and ARM platforms.

Ubuntu/Debian installation

This version is yet to land in the Ubuntu universe or Debian stable. Hence, you can download the tar files from the above link and install them.

sudo apt install libtommath-dev
cd <extracted dir>
sudo ./
cd /opt/firebird/bin
sudo ./firebird

After installation, you can connect to the Firebird database or get into the prompt:


You can use the following command (with an example database) to connect a database.

connect "localhost:/opt/firebird/examples/empbuild/employee.fdb" user 'SYSDBA' password 'arindam';

For more details, visit the Ubuntu setup guide for Firebird.

Closing notes

Firebird 5.0.0 is a much-needed update, offering a compelling combination of performance enhancements, powerful new features, and improved developer experience. If you’re looking for a reliable, open-source database that can easily handle your demanding workloads, you can opt for Firebird.

Via release notes


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