How to Install the MySQL ODBC Driver on Ubuntu 16.04?

The seemingly easy task to install the MySQL ODBC driver on Ubuntu 16.04 has turned out to be a challenge. It has resulted from the driver upgrade problem that Ubuntu developers couldn’t have handled.

If you have the latest version of Ubuntu 16.04 installed on your system, you may have already hit a snag while attempting to locate the ODBC driver.

# apt-get install libmyodbc
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Package libmyodbc is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package 'libmyodbc' has no installation candidate

Prior to that MySQL could be accessed via ODBC-based applications, after having the ODBC driver installed using a simple Terminal command:

apt-get install libmyodbc

As for the latest version, all efforts to search the Ubuntu repository for the ODBC driver are in vain: of all the repositories listed in the software sources, none of them include the libmyodbc package. According to the Ubuntu version history, the package used to exist but has been deleted due to a certain bug.

MySQL 5.7 as opposed to other versions restricts symbols available in libmysqlclient20. It looks like MyODBC uses some of these symbols, so it cannot be installed from libmysqlclient-dev.
In fact, maintaining MyODBC in Ubuntu is a disputable question, since there are no hard dependencies on it, and it is a default alternative for libreoffice-canzeley-client.

Thus, MyODBC that uses libmysqlclient functions incompatible with MySQL 5.7 is not supported by Ubuntu 16.04 at the moment. Once the work on MySQL 5.7 is finished, Ubuntu developers may get it back into the release. However, there is a chance it is never going to happen.

If you have software that absolutely requires the MySQL ODBC driver, it is possible to set one up and get it working on Ubuntu 16.04. To do it, take the following steps:

  1. Download the ODBC driver for Ubuntu 15.10 (mysql-connector-odbc-5.3.6-linux-ubuntu15.10-x86-64bit.tar.gz) from this page.
  2. Extract the files:
    tar -xvf mysql-connector-odbc-5.3.6-linux-ubuntu15.10-x86-64bit.tar.gz
  3. Copy the driver to the ODBC folder:
    sudo cp mysql-connector-odbc-5.3.6-linux-ubuntu15.10-x86-64bit/lib/libmyodbc5* /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/odbc/
  4. Install it:
    mysql-connector-odbc-5.3.6-linux-ubuntu15.10-x86-64bit/bin/myodbc-installer -d -a -n "MySQL" -t "DRIVER=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/odbc/libmyodbc5w.so;"

Check its functioning:

      Create DSN:
      sudo ./bin/myodbc-installer -s -a -c2 -n «test» -t "DRIVER=MySQL;SERVER=127.0.0.1;DATABASE=mysql;UID=root;PWD=123456"
      Сonnect the database and query it:

      radik@radik-VirtualBox:~$ isql test
      +—————————————+
      | Connected! |
      | |
      | sql-statement |
      | help [tablename] |
      | quit |
      | |
      +—————————————+
      SQL> show tables
      +——————————————————————+
      | Tables_in_mysql |
      +——————————————————————+
      | columns_priv |
      | db |
      | engine_cost |
      | event |
      | func |
      ……….
      +——————————————————————+
      
      
      You’ll finally get the following file configuration:

      radik@radik-VirtualBox:~$ cat /etc/odbc.ini
      [test]
      Driver=MySQL
      SERVER=127.0.0.1
      UID=root
      PWD=123456
      DATABASE=mysql
      PORT=3306
      
      radik@radik-VirtualBox:~$ cat /etc/odbcinst.ini
      [MySQL]
      Driver=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/odbc/libmyodbc5w.so
      UsageCount=1
      

The ODBC driver for MySQL is installed. Your software now have an opportunity to establish connection to MySQL directly via TCP/IP.