newsGNU dbm - News: Version 1.9 available!

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Version 1.23 posted by gray, Fri 04 Feb 2022 02:18:28 PM UTC
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Version 1.19 posted by gray, Wed 23 Dec 2020 12:59:32 PM UTC

Version 1.9 available!

Item posted by Sergey Poznyakoff <gray> on Fri 12 Aug 2011 03:54:10 PM UTC.

The version 1.9 of GNU dbm is available for download from and (after a proper delay) from its mirrors worldwide.  New in this version:

Use of mmap

To speed up I/O operations, mmap(2) is used when available.
It can be disabled at compile time using --disable-memory-mapped-io and at run time by giving GDBM_NOMMAP flag to gdbm_open.

Changes in compatibility mode

These changes fix several long-standing bugs in ndbm compatibility code, which made it impossible to
use GDBM with Sendmail and Postfix.  Now that they are fixed, GDBM can be used with these MTAs.

Locking is disabled

Neither ndbm nor dbm functions lock their files.

This bug was reported, in particular, in

Do not link pag to dir

Instead of linking pag to dir as previous versions did, GDBM now
creates a separate dir file.  Consequently, dbm_pagfno and dbm_dirfno return different file descriptors.

When opening an existing database as a writer, GDBM determines if dir is linked to pag, and if so breaks the link and creates a new dir file.  When such a database is opened in a read-only mode, GDBM does not attempt to alter the link.


New options are implemented for use with gdbm_setopt function. In particular, a set of options is provided for retrieving various database parameters, such as the file name, memory  mapping status, etc.

The testgdbm program is installed

Testgdbm is an interactive tool for manipulating GDBM database files. It allows you to view or update existing databases, export them to the portable flat file format and to create new database files.

Other changes

  • A testsuite is provided

  • Documentation is improved.  An online copy is available in various formats.


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