Ubuntu 16.04 - Basic SQL Relay Client

This how-to walks through:

  • Installing a basic SQL Relay client on an Ubuntu 16.04 system
  • Using it to access a database via an SQL Relay server, installed on another system

It assumes that two systems have been set up and configured as follows:

SQL Relay client

  • Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop operating system
  • apt upgrade was run post-install
  • A user with sudo privileges has desktop access to the system

SQL Relay server

  • Any operating system that supports SQL Relay server, accessible as:
    • Hostname: sqlrserver
    • Port: 9000
    • Username: sqlruser
    • Password: sqlrpassword

( See the how-to Ubuntu 16.04 - SQL Relay Server + Oracle 12c for information on configuring a system like this. )

Install Prerequisite Software

On the SQL Relay client system, run the following command to install the prerequisite software packages:

sudo apt install libedit-dev libssl-dev libkrb5-dev libpcre3-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev \
perl php-dev python3-dev ruby-dev tcl-dev openjdk-8-jdk erlang-dev nodejs-dev node-gyp \
mono-devel unixodbc-dev

Build and Install SQL Relay Client Software

On the SQL Relay client system, download current .tar.gz files of SQL Relay and Rudiments from the Source Distribution section of the SQL Relay Downloads page.

Extract, build, and install the software as follows:

tar xfz rudiments-*.tar.gz
cd rudiments-*
sudo make install
cd ..
tar xfz sqlrelay-*.tar.gz
cd sqlrelay-*
./configure --disable-server
sudo make install

Update the Environment

Create /etc/profile.d/firstworks.sh with the following contents:

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/firstworks/bin

Create /etc/ld.so.conf.d/firstworks.conf with the following contents:


Then run:

sudo /sbin/ldconfig

Exit and log back in to apply the updates to the environment.

Verify Connectivity to the SQL Relay Server

To verfiy DNS resolution of the SQL Relay server hostname, run:

ping -c1 sqlrserver

It should respond with output like the following:

PING sqlrserver.firstworks.com ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from sqlrserver.firstworks.com ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.259 ms

--- sqlrserver.firstworks.com ping statistics ---
1 packets transmitted, 1 received, 0% packet loss, time 0ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.259/0.259/0.259/0.000 ms

If not, then some typical problems and solutions include:

  • The hostname doesn't resolve to an IP address
    • Add an entry in /etc/hosts with the hostname and IP address of the SQL Relay server
    • Update your local DNS configuration with the hostname and IP address of the SQL Relay server
  • The SQL Relay server isn't running
    • Verify that the SQL Relay server is running
  • The SQL Relay server is blocked behind a firewall
    • Open a hole in the firewall to the SQL Relay server

To verify that you can log into the SQL Relay server and run queries, run the sqlrsh client as follows:

sqlrsh -host sqlrserver -user sqlruser -password sqlrpassword

It should respond with the following output and prompt:

sqlrsh - Version 1.2.0
        Connected to: sqlrserver:9000 as sqlruser

        type help; for help.


Try a simple query, like:

select 'hello world' from dual;

( Note: this query is valid for an Oracle database, if the SQL Relay server is connected to a different database, then you may have to use a slightly different query )

It should respond with output and a prompt similar to the following:

hello world

        Rows Returned   : 1
        Fields Returned : 1
        Elapsed Time    : 0.006065 sec


There shouldn't be any errors or warnings, but if there are, then some typical problems and solutions include:

  • "Couldn't connect to the listener." - the SQL Relay server probably isn't running
    • Restart the SQL Relay server
  • "Authentication Error." - the user or password specified on the sqlrsh command line don't match the user or password in the user tag of the sqlrelay.conf file
    • Specify the correct user or password on the sqlrsh command line
    • Update the sqlrelay.conf file and restart SQL Relay
  • A SQL error of some kind
    • Try a different query

Congratulations! If you made it to this point, the SQL Relay server is configured correctly.


If, for some reason, you need to completely uninstall SQL Relay, then run the following commands from the directory that the source trees were extracted to:

cd sqlrelay-*
sudo make uninstall
cd ../rudiments-*
sudo make uninstall
sudo rm -rf /usr/local/firstworks