PDB (Palm OS)

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PDB is a container format for record databases in Palm OS, Garnet OS and Access Linux Platform. Its structure is similar to PRC resource databases.[1] The PalmDOC eBook format is a special version of the PDB format.[2]

Structure of PDB file[edit]

A PDB file contains a PDB header, PDB record headers and records.[3][4]

PDB Header
PDB Record Header
PDB Records

PDB Header[edit]

The PDB header is located at the beginning of the file and contains meta-information on the file:[3]

Offset Name Type Size
0x00 name char 32 Bytes
0x20 file attributes integer 2 Bytes
0x22 version integer 2 Bytes
0x24 creation time Macintosh time 4 Bytes
0x28 modification time Macintosh time 4 Bytes
0x2c backup time Macintosh time 4 Bytes
0x30 modification number integer 4 Bytes
0x34 app_info integer 4 Bytes
0x38 sort_info integer 4 Bytes
0x3c type integer 4 Bytes
0x40 creator integer 4 Bytes
0x44 unique_id_seed integer 4 Bytes
0x48 next_record_list integer 4 Bytes
0x4c num_records integer 2 Bytes

PDB Record Header[edit]

For every record, there is an eight byte record header, containing:[3]

name type size notes
offset integer 4 bytes Byte number in the PDB file (counting from zero), where the record is located
attributes byte 1 byte Attributes of the record (delete/dirty/busy/secret/category)
UniqueID integer 3 bytes Always 0

PDB Records[edit]

Now the records themselves follow. The usual order is AppInfoArea, SortInfoArea and records, sequentially.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ N. Rhodes, J. McKeehan. Palm OS Programming, Second Edition, O'Reilly, 2001, ISBN 1-56592-856-3
  2. ^ MobileRead Wiki: Specification of the PalmDOC format
  3. ^ a b c Paul J. Lucas (1998) PDB (Pilot Database) file format. Accessed on 20090308
  4. ^ a b Microfirst Software. The Pilot Record Database Format Accessed on 20090308