Anything available that can read Microsoft .MDB files from Python?

kyosohma at kyosohma at
Mon Mar 19 21:01:57 CET 2007

On Mar 19, 2:45 pm, John Nagle <n... at> wrote:
> Diez B. Roggisch wrote:
> > John Nagle schrieb:
> >>   I'm looking for something that can read .MDB files, the format
> >> Microsoft Access uses, from Python.  I need to do this on
> >> Linux, without using Microsoft tools.  I just need to read
> >> the files once, so I can load the tables into another database.
> >> Speed isn't an issue, and I don't need to access the file in
> >> database fashion.  The files are too big to read into RAM all at once,
> >> though.
> >>   I tried "MDBtools", but the only (last) release was
> >> a pre-release three years ago, and I've encountered
> >> many build problems trying to make it work on Fedora
> >> Core 6.
> > I was just gonna suggest it. Under ubuntu, it works easy as cake, and
> > converts the mdb nicely to some CSV-files.
> > I think you should really try and make it work.
> > Diez
>     What MDBtools did you install?  The RPM, a checkout from CVS,
> or the downloadable distribution?  They're all different.
>                                 John Nagle

I've read .MDB files using ODBC. I don't know how big your files are,
but I had a file with almost 3000 rows and I was able to fetch it in
1-2 seconds. If you want to give it whirl, you just need to create an
ODBC connection and then do the following:

myconn = odbc.odbc('mydb_connection_name')
mycursor = myconn.cursor()
mycursor.execute('SELECT * FROM db_name')
mydata = mycursor.fetchall()

for each in mydata:
   # do something like pull the info from the variable "mydata" and
send it into the other database

It is fast. But you may like what the others have said more.


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