How to Install a Local Copy of the DB2 Info Center on a Windows Machine

Ever notice that the DB2 Info Center goes down sometimes? The DB2 Info Center is a critical reference for DBAs, and if you cannot get to it, sometimes you can’t do your job fully. When I worked for IBM Global Services, I could get discounted rates on the Books themselves, so kept a bookshelf-wide copy of them for such times. But they’re old now, and I can’t get them cheaply any more. Plus, who uses paper references any more, anyway?

The solution? Download a local copy of the Info Center to your laptop or workstation. The method I’m showing here will only let you use the Info Center copy on that local computer. There is a network version you can install, but I haven’t tried that.

First, go to the website( ) and click on “downloadable version”
Screen shot of first IBM page for downloading the DB2 info center

Next, log in with your IBM ID and password. If you don’t have an IBM ID, it is free to register.
Screen shot of IBM ID login screen

Select the right option for your Operating System, and click ‘Continue’.
Screen shot of screen for selecting the right download

Answer the questions appropriately for your role, agree to the license agreement, and click ‘I confirm’.
Screen shot of IBM's license agreement for the Info Center download

Select the workstation version (assuming you’re installing on your local computer for your use), and click ‘Download now’.
Screen shot of page for downloading the DB2 Info Center

You may be asked to update your version of Java. You will probably be asked to authorize the running of Download Director. Select ‘Run’.
Screen shot of Running Download Director

Select the location for your download.
Screen Shot of selecting download location

Wait while the download completes.
Screen shot of the progress bar

After the file is completely downloaded, extract it and navigate to db2_v97_nt32_workstation_infocenter\db2ic_w and execute ic-wrkstn_start.bat:
screen  shot of the folder after exracting

Once you’ve done that, you should see a command window pop up, and your browser should open up with a view of the info center as you’re used to it.

Screen shot of the locally installed DB2 9.7 Info Center

One thing to note – I tried this on Windows 8, and wasn’t able to get it to work. I don’t know if that’s because it is Windows 8 or some other reason like the fact that I have no DB2 client installed on that laptop. Let me know if anyone finds a way to get it working on Windows 8, and I’ll update this post.

Ember Crooks
Ember Crooks

Ember is always curious and thrives on change. She has built internationally recognized expertise in IBM Db2, spent a year working with high-volume MySQL, and is now learning Snowflake. Ember shares both posts about her core skill sets and her journey learning Snowflake.

Ember lives in Denver and work from home

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  1. Do you install the InfoCenter patches to your local installation, too? It appears that the canonical InfoCenter’s content is updated fairly frequently, so I tend to stick to the online version of the documents… In cases where I can’t access it I will revert to the PDF versions that I have downloaded.

    • I agree that it changes frequently, and I much prefer to access the online version. Downloading it is merely a backup plan like the PDFs. PDFs would have the same updating problem, and it’s certainly possible that both the info center and PDFs would be unavailable, if you’re depending on being able to download the PDFs in a crisis.

      Having worked exclusively from paper documentation in the past, I understand the PDFs and could easily work from them as a backup, but there are DBAs now who wouldn’t know that “create table” is in the SQL Reference volume 1, while RUNSTATS is in the Command Reference, and information about SQL0803 can be found in volume 2 of the message reference. For newer DBAs, it may be more useful to have an easily searchable backup method in the same format they’re used to.

      Assuming people are using the workstation version of the info center as I described above, the patching procedure is simply to delete it and download the new one. If someone wants to go the networked route, patching is described here:

      • Yes, that’s a great point – the searchable interface is definitely easier than trying to search across the 39 individual PDFs comprising the documentation.

        It would seem that having a local copy of the manuals would be most useful in a company when installed on a local server that all DBAs/Developers/etc. have access to rather than putting it on your own computer.

        • Yes, depending on company size, that may make sense. The other reason I like to have it on my own laptop is because as a consultant, I sometimes get on a client VPN that allows NO outside internet access for contractors, and this way I can still get to the Info Center in that scenario (after also requesting internet access for other reasons like e-mail access and deeper research than just the Info Center). It just depends on the situation you’re in. I’m not saying that a local copy solves all issues, just that if it works for you, here’s how to do it.

  2. […] Also, like any web resource, the IBM DB2 Information Centers are sometimes offline. To mitigate against this, I recommend downloading your own copy of the DB2 Information Center that you work with most often. You can install it and run it on your local computer, so it is never offline. My blog entry on how to do that is here: How to Install a Local Copy of the DB2 Info Center on a Windows Machine […]

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