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Resolving pyodbc connection Issues in Deepnote

By Filip Žitný

Updated on March 6, 2024

Error Driver pyodbc.connect

If you're encountering an issue with the driver in pyodbc, this guide may help you. The issue arises when attempting to run pyodbc.connect(), resulting in the following error message:

Problem statement

[01000] [unixODBC][Driver Manager]Can't open lib '
ODBC Driver 17 for SQL Server' : file not found (0) (SQLDriverConnect)


  1. Check if system libraries are missing:

The error message suggests that some system libraries, which include the actual driver, are missing. Providing more details about your system setup might make it easier for the community to help troubleshoot the issue. Ensure that you have installed all necessary dependencies and system libraries required for the ODBC Driver 17 for SQL Server.

  1. Consider using the pymssql package:

Some users have found success by switching to the pymssql package instead of pyodbc. You can find more about pymssql here. This package provides an alternative means to connect to SQL Server and may bypass the issues encountered with the pyodbc driver.

Possible fixes

1. Give your system libraries a once-over:

That error message is a tattletale, hinting that your system libraries might be playing hide and seek. The real driver behind your issue is probably missing. More system setup info could help us sleuth it out. Just make sure all your ODBC Driver 17 for SQL Server dependencies and system libraries are present and correct.

2. Try the pymssql package on for size:

Some smart cookies found luck by swapping pyodbc for pymssql. You can get the 411 on pymssql here. This alternative route to SQL Server might help you to dodge that pyodbc driver detour.

3. Deepnote notebooks & custom environment:

If you're rolling with a custom environment in your Deepnote notebooks, some Docker environment-related issues might arise. For extra, Deepnote-specific advice, check out this ace community post.


If you follow these steps, that pyodbc.connect error should pack its bags and leave you to your successfully connected queries in peace.

If you encounter further issues, please get in touch with our support. Happy error-solving in Deepnote!

Filip Žitný

Data Scientist

Follow Filip on Twitter, LinkedIn and GitHub

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