I need to open dbf files on my Ubuntu 15 and as I found LibreOffice can does this. But I'm getting

General Error. General input/output error.

Is there ANY tool or built-in some software tool that can help me?

  • We do not care if it opens on Windows. – Rinzwind Oct 20 '15 at 7:09
  • 1
    @Rinzwind Yeah, and that's will make me answering such questions as "Did you try to open it in some other system/software?" – Daria Oct 20 '15 at 7:11
  • Even if that is a valid question it will be Ubuntu only. And we do not expect a user to have Windows installed ;-) – Rinzwind Oct 20 '15 at 7:20
  • 4
    @Rinzwind It actually shows that the file is (likely) valid. – Cthulhu Oct 20 '15 at 9:14

According to the LibreOffice Wiki you should be able to open .dbf files with LibreOffice Base.

If you still encounter this problem, reinstall LibreOffice:

sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice*
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get install libreoffice

You can also use dbview to open .dbf files (which may be harder to use than LibreOffice Base):

sudo apt-get install dbview

Refer to the manpage for more information on dbview.

  • 1
    Great! I guess I didn't have LibreOffice Base and reinstallation bring it) Also dbview is a good console (as I got it right) app that can make preview dbf file easily. Thank you. – Daria Oct 20 '15 at 7:23
  • 2
    As LibreOffice Base is not installed by default in Ubuntu, you might want to start by checking that it actually is. – leo Dec 21 '16 at 12:17

I have found the best way to deal with .dbf files is to use PHP to convert them to .csv files:


set_time_limit( 24192000 );
ini_set( 'memory_limit', '-1' );

$files = glob( '/media/d/Data2/files/*.DBF' );
foreach( $files as $file )
    echo "Processing: $file\n";
    $fileParts = explode( '/', $file );
    $endPart = $fileParts[key( array_slice( $fileParts, -1, 1, true ) )];
    $csvFile = preg_replace( '~\.[a-z]+$~i', '.csv', $endPart );

    if( !$dbf = dbase_open( $file, 0 ) ) die( "Could not connect to: $file" );
    $num_rec = dbase_numrecords( $dbf );
    $num_fields = dbase_numfields( $dbf );

    $fields = array();
    $out = '';

    for( $i = 1; $i <= $num_rec; $i++ )
        $row = @dbase_get_record_with_names( $dbf, $i );
        $firstKey = key( array_slice( $row, 0, 1, true ) );
        foreach( $row as $key => $val )
            if( $key == 'deleted' ) continue;
            if( $firstKey != $key ) $out .= ';';
            $out .= trim( $val );
        $out .= "\n";

    file_put_contents( $csvFile, $out );


Then use MySQL to import the CSV:


For very simple editing of small .dbf files, you can also use GTK DBF Editor

To install it in Ubuntu 12.04, I first needed to install this dependency:

sudo apt-get install libglade2-0:i386

Then I could install the downloaded .deb file with

sudo dpkg -i Downloads/gtkdbfeditor_1.0.4-7_i386.deb


In Ubuntu 16.04, with the default install of LibreOffice, I had to also

sudo apt install libreoffice-base

Then, .dbf files can be opened in LibreOffice Calc, and also saved as .dbf.

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