Sybase ASE
11.0 11.5 11.9 12.0 12.5 15.x
Last updated: 25 August 2006
sybinit4ever: Sybase ASE ASCII-only server creation tool
Current version of sybinit4ever: 0.8 (August 2005); supports ASE 15.0, 12.5, 12.0, 11.9 and 11.5. It can be downloaded in Gzip format or Zip format.

What is sybinit4ever ?
sybinit4ever is a free tool which allows you to create a new Sybase ASE 11.5/11.9/12.0/12.5/15.0 server on Unix platforms using only an ASCII-interface.

What's new in version 0.8 ?
Changes in the version 0.8 are the following:
  • added support for ASE 15.0 GA

  • added install option for MDA tables (requires one additional line when using old response files!)

  • always writes a response file

On which platforms does sybinit4ever run ?
sybinit4ever is written in Bourne shell and has been tested successfully on Solaris, Digital Unix, HP-UX, AIX and Linux (only tested on Redhat 2.2). There is a reasonable chance that it will run on other Unix platforms as well (if you try this, please let me know your findings).
Note that sybinit4ever does not work on Windows NT; go here for more info on NT-related issues.
Note that for OpenVMS Alpha, ASE 11.5+ isn't available at all (and if it ever comes, I won't convert sybinit4ever to DCL anyway...).

Why sybinit4ever ?
In Sybase SQL Server versions 11.0 and earlier on Unix platforms, there was the ASCII-based "sybinit" utility to create servers, but this unfortunately disappeared in ASE version 11.5 and later, where it has been replaced with the "srvbuild" tool. Unfortunately, this requires X-Windows, which may not have been installed on your system, or may be inconvenient to use, for example when you're installing a new server on a far-away system over a not-so-fast phone line. In ASE 12.0, a new tool called "asecfg" is available, but this also requires X-Windows.
In case you have no X-Windows available, you can also use the "srvbuildres" tool, which uses resource files. However, this requires you to play around with the resource files, and while this is not difficult, it's not entirely straightforward either, especially because this is not very well documented.
In short: sybinit4ever may be a solution.

How does sybinit4ever work ?
sybinit4ever is essentially a wrapper around the resource file-based tool "srvbuildres". sybinit4ever uses an ASCII interface to present you a dialogue for the specifications of the SQL server to be created. It then goes off and creates the server, handling all resource files-related issues for you.
Apart from creating the SQL server and Backup server, it also does a few things that are not part of the standard ASE server creation process: it sets up the configurations for XP server, Monitor and Historical Server (on ASE 11.5 / 11.9 only); it sets @@servername correctly, it allows you to install pubs3 and sybsyntax, and it lets you install the MDA tables automatically automatically (in v0.8; requires ASE

How do I install sybinit4ever ?
First, download sybinit4ever here: there's Gzip format or Zip format. After decompressing and un-tarring, you only need to do a "chmod +x sybinit4ever" and it's ready for use. To run sybinit4ever, just type: sybinit4ever at the command prompt, and follow the dialogue.

What does sybinit4ever NOT do ?
  • sybinit4ever only allows you to install a new ASE dataserver. You cannot use it for the other functions of good-old sybinit, such as reconfiguring or upgrading an existing server.
  • sybinit4ever does not allow you to edit the interfaces file (you must use the standard Sybase "dscp" tool for this).
  • sybinit4ever does NOT install Sybase product software from CD onto your system. If you want to do this without X-Windows, you should mount the CD, type the command "sybload -D" and specify "/<mounted-CD-device>/sybimage" when prompted for the name of the "non-rewindable device".
  • sybinit4ever does not currently help you with the installation of alternate character sets, sort orders, or languages (you must use "sqllocres" for this)
  • sybinit4ever does not currently help you with the installation of auditing (you must use "auditinit" for this; or use the ASE QuickRef Guide for instructions).
  • sybinit4ever does not currently help you with the installation of the dbccdb or sybsystemdb (only for 11.5/9; on ASE 12.0 or later, sybsystemdb is installed by default) databases: you must do this manually following the procedures in the System Administration Guide (use the ASE QuickRef Guide for instructions).

Known problems related to ASE 12.0
Because the sybsyntax database has been completely removed from ASE 12.0, you cannot install it using sybinit4ever. However, sybinit4ever still asks if you want to create sybsyntax. If you reply with "Y" to this prompt, when attempting to create sybsyntax database, it will notice that the necessary SQL source file does not exist and issue an error message; otherwise, sybinit4ever will work fine.
Note: for an unofficial version of sybsyntax for ASE 12.0, go here.

Known problems related to ASE on Linux
When running sybinit4ever on Linux, you may get the following error message:
You seem to be using a different shell than Bourne shell.
sybinit4ever requires Bourne shell (or 'ksh') to work 
correctly. It does not work with (at least certain 
versions of) 'bash'.
Solution: change the first line of sybinit4ever to use a different shell, for example /bin/ash or /bin/ksh.
(Note that you may get this message even though sybinit4ever uses /bin/sh, because /bin/sh is often linked to the bash shell by default in Linux)

On NT, how can I create a server non-interactively ?
sybinit4ever works only on Unix, not on Windows NT. On NT, you can use the standard Sybase GUI tool ("Server Config", or "syconfig.exe") for creating a new server. If you want to do this in a non-interactive way, but you don't want to mess around with "bldmastr.exe", use the "sybatch.exe" tool, which is provided in ASE version 11.5.1 and later (i.e. not in 11.5 !). This lets you create a server based on a resource file, similar to (but not exactly identical to) the "srvbuildres" command on Unix. It basically works as follows:
            C:\> sybatch -r myresourcefile.txt
In ASE 12.0 or later, an example resource file is located in the directory %SYBASE%\%SYBASE_ASE%\sample\server; sybatch itself is in %SYBASE%\%SYBASE_ASE%\bin (in ASE 11.5.1/11.9.x, remove %SYBASE_ASE% from the above pathnames).
Sybatch is documented only in the 11.5.1 and 12.0 platform-specific docs (there was no full documentation set for 11.9.2). These are available on the web at

Are there any copyright issues related to sybinit4ever ?
Please note the following: the copyright on sybinit4ever is owned by Rob Verschoor, Sypron B.V., The Netherlands.
You can use sybinit4ever free of charge for your own professional, non-commercial purposes. You are not allowed to sell this software or use it for any commercial purpose. You may (re)distribute only unaltered copies of this software, which includes this copyright note.
Please note that this software is provided "as is", without any warranty.

Who can I contact about sybinit4ever ?
Please send any comments, bugs, suggestions etc. to Rob Verschoor at

Who is Rob Verschoor ?
It's the guy who wrote sybinit4ever. Apart from that, I'm also a certified DBA for ASE 12.5/12.0/11.5/11.0 and a certified Performance & Tuning Specialist. I'm based in The Netherlands. Check out my CV/resume.

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