Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SQuirreL behaving weird on Ubuntu

I needed to access MySQL & MS SQL databases from my Ubuntu 9.04 laptop and was at a total loss. After a bit of research, SQuirreL sql client looked like the best choice.
However, since this is not available through the Synaptics Package Manager so it had to be downloaded and installed manually - which is the way software used to be installed on *nix boxes originally.

At that time, SQuirreL 3.0.2 was the latest version and all versions starting from 3.0 require Java6 - this I was able to install from the Synaptics Package Manager. Installing SQuirreL was simple: Run the command sudo java -jar squirrel-sql-3.0.2-install.jar and it was installed.

However I was unable to access MS SQL Server DB yet as I did not have the proper JDBC drivers for that. After narrowing down my choices, I found I was left with jTDS which is an open source 100% pure Java (type 4) JDBC 3.0 driver for Microsoft SQL Server (6.5, 7, 2000, 2005 and 2008) and Sybase (10, 11, 12, 15). Just put the jtds jar file in the squirrel install lib folder and then add the new driver from the UI.

After this, I was able to access MS SQL server but often, the program would just freeze or become unresponsive after a few minutes of use (or lack thereof). I would need to kill the java process and restart it. Also, the automatic updates never worked and so the software remained the same version till I decided to take things into my hands.

At this time the latest version available was 3.1 which was good news indeed - I was expecting a full solution to my problems! However, the website offered no documentation on how to upgrade the software, only how to install it. So I went ahead and installed it in a similar fashion - but this time it installed in a different folder. The previous install was in the folder /usr/local/SQuirrel SQL Client/ and the new one was in the folder /usr/local/squirrel-sql-3.1/

I then tried to uninstall the older version by running the uninstall.jar from the Unintall folder of the previous install. However that did not do much and so I just removed that whole folder - just like we used to remove software from *nix in the "good old days"! The good news was that the configuration was stored in my home folder in the .squirrel-sql folder so all aliases/connections/drivers etc were intact and I was able to use them immediately.

But alas! Even after all this effort, the problem of SQuirreL freezing after a few minutes of use still did not go away!

Please let me know if you see any solution to this problem or if you come across a better SQL Client for Ubuntu which can access MySQL & MS SQL!


Anonymous said...

phpmyadmin.. also allows remote access to SQL and MySQl databases.

Darshan Shah said...

Sadly, this is an IIS server which is already quite slow. I don't want to over-burden it with PHP. Hence looking for a client which can talk directly to the DB.


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