This guide will help you (mostly will help me in the future) to configure your Ruby on Rails to support connection to Sybase.

I wrote this tutorial after everything’s good, so, I might miss a few steps that I’ve forgotten. Feel free to comment about it. With some adjustments, this guide will also works with Mac OS X.

  1. Install FreeTDS. For Slackware users, you can get Slackbuild script at

  2. Edit /etc/freetds/freetds.conf and put your database configurations in it:

    host =
    port = 5000
    tds version = 5.0
  3. Test the configuration, you should get something like this:

    $ tsql -S myserver -U username
    locale is "C"
    locale charset is "ANSI_X3.4-1968"
    using default charset "ISO-8859-1"
    Msg 5704 (severity 10, state 1) from ???:
    "Changed client character set setting to 'iso_1'.
  4. Put this gems in your Gemfile and run bundle:

    gem 'arel-sybase-visitor', :git => ''
    gem 'activerecord-sybase-adapter', :git => ""
  5. An example configuration for your database.yml

      adapter: sybase
      dataserver: myserver
  6. You can try some query using your rails console to make sure everything works fine.

  7. If you’re trying to connect from your irb directly without using ActiveRecord you may want to put additional parameters. This works for me:

    client =
      :username => '',
      :password => '',
      :dataserver => 'myserver',
      :tds_version => '100',
      :encoding => 'iso_1'

That’s it, good luck!