How to create data source for MDB database?

I’m working with a company that uses data from a MS Access database. I am trying to get them to convert from Windows to Linux. The migration looks fairly simple, except for … I am having trouble with LibreOffice Base and the data source.

I am working on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS x86_64 fully patched. LibreOffice version is At Step (1) I selected “connect to existing database” using “odbc source”. At Step (2), here is the dialog I am presented with when attempting to browse to the MDB database:

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The LibreOffice documentation is at Chapter 8, Getting Started with Base. Unfortunately, it does not provide instructions for creating or registering a data source to a MDB database. The docs say how to create a a LibreOffice Base database, and how to create or register a ODB database; but I can’t find anything about MDB databases.

Clicking the Help button in the Data Source dialog opens help for LibreOffice Writer. Sigh…

How do I create or register the data source for the MDB database?


First know connecting to an Access DB from Base will only get you Table (and possibly some Query) connectivity. Nothing will be there for Forms, Reports or macros.

With that said, have not been able in Linux to connect with ODBC. Have used on many installs JDBC via UCanAccess connector. For more on that see this post → Importing MS Access tables into Base, No option works. Using Linux Mint.

Have also used this connection in Windows → mdb files not loading to base

Thanks Ratslinger. Thanks for the link. I came across that during search, too. Forgive my ignorance… Does LibreOffice provide any documentation on this? About all I can find are questions on Q&A sites. I have not found an official answer from LibreOffice. I feel like LibreOffice does not support OBDC in general and MDB in particular since I can’t find the documentation (or an official statement saying it is broken and should not be used).

There is some documentation for ODBC in the manuals → LibreOffice Base Handbook but not for Access. See Chapter 2 - Creating a Database.

Now it is correct there is not much especially for Access but in all fairness it is not LibreOffice which creates the connectors but when I have found connectors they typically work with the database they are meant for. This would be the element which needs to be found for Access (although I have long ago separated myself) and have not searched much lately for it nor have I seen an answer here covering that issue.

Thanks. Now open in the issue tracker: Bug 129772 - LibreOffice Base lacks documentation on ODBC in general and MDB in particular.


You may also want to look at this item → tdf#90976.