How to Connect to Informix Database Using DataDirect Informix Driver and Python on Linux

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to establish a connection with an Informix database using the DataDirect Informix driver in Python on a Linux system.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

Connecting to an Informix database from a Python script on a Linux machine necessitates the utilization of the DataDirect ODBC driver. This driver facilitates establishing a connection between your Python code and the Informix database. The solution involves installing the essential ODBC driver manager, configuring the ODBC data source for the Informix database, and writing Python code that leverages libraries like pyodbc or ibm_db to interact with the database.


# Importing required libraries
import pyodbc

# Establishing connection with the Informix database using pyodbc
conn = pyodbc.connect('DRIVER={IBM INFORMIX ODBC DRIVER};HOST=your_hostname;SERVER=your_servername;DATABASE=your_database;UID=your_username;PWD=your_password')

# Creating a cursor object
cursor = conn.cursor()

# Executing SQL queries
cursor.execute("SELECT * FROM your_table")
rows = cursor.fetchall()

for row in rows:

# Closing connections

# Copyright PHD

Note: Ensure proper installation and configuration of drivers before executing this code. For detailed steps, visit


To connect with an Informix database using Python on Linux: 1. Install ODBC Driver Manager: Install unixODBC package which includes useful tools like isql for testing. 2. Download DataDirect Driver: Get and install DataDirect ODBC driver designed for IBM Informix databases. 3. Configure ODBC Data Source: Set up System DSN or User DSN in /etc/odbc.ini. 4. Write Python Code: Use libraries such as pyodbc or ibm_db in your Python script for interacting with the connected database.

  1. How can I check if my system has unixODBC installed?

  2. You can verify if unixODBC is installed by running dpkg -l | grep odbc.

  3. What are common issues when connecting to an Informix DB?

  4. Common issues include misconfigured DSN settings, driver mismatches, or firewall restrictions blocking communication.

  5. Can I use SQLAlchemy instead of pyodbc for connecting to an Informix DB?

  6. Yes, you can utilize SQLAlchemy along with appropriate dialects for connecting to various databases including IBM Informix.

  7. Do I need root access for configuring ODBC settings?

  8. Root access may be necessary depending on where you intend to set up your DSN entries (system-wide vs user-specific).

  9. Is it possible to connect securely over SSL/TLS?

  10. Yes, you can establish a secure connection by specifying additional parameters related to SSL encryption in your connection string.

  11. How do I handle authentication errors during connection setup?

  12. Ensure correct username and password credentials are provided while establishing a connection.

  13. Can multiple statements be executed simultaneously within one connection session?

  14. Yes, multiple SQL statements can be executed sequentially after establishing a connection without requiring reconnection each time.

  15. Is it recommended practice not closing connections explicitly as shown in examples online?

  16. It’s best practice to always close connections when finished accessing them to release resources immediately, preventing potential performance issues.


Establishing a connection with an IBM Infromx Database using Python involves setting up specific drivers like Data Direct and configurations through programming language interfaces such as PyODBC or ibm_db API calls.

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