sqlite3 - A command line interface for SQLite verson 3
sqlite [options] filename [SQL]
sqlite is a terminal-based front-end to the SQLite library. It enables
you to type in queries interactively, issue them to SQLite and see the
results. Alternatively, you can specify SQL code on the command-line.
In addition it provides a number of meta-commands.
This manual page documents briefly the sqlite command. This manual
page was written for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution because the
original program does not have a manual page.
To start the sqlite program, just type "sqlite" followed by the name
the file that holds the SQLite database. If the file does not exist, a
new one is created automatically. The sqlite program will then prompt
you to enter SQL. Type in SQL statements (terminated by a semicolon),
press "Enter" and the SQL will be executed.
For example, to create a new SQLite database named "ex1" with a single
table named "tbl1", you might do this:
$ sqlite3 ex1
SQLite version 3.0.8
Enter ".help" for instructions
sqlite> create table tbl1(one varchar(10), two smallint);
sqlite> insert into tbl1 values(’hello!’,10);
sqlite> insert into tbl1 values(’goodbye’, 20);
sqlite> select * from tbl1;
Most of the time, sqlite just reads lines of input and passes them on
to the SQLite library for execution. But if an input line begins with a
dot ("."), then that line is intercepted and interpreted by the sqlite
program itself. These "dot commands" are typically used to change the
output format of queries, or to execute certain prepackaged query
For a listing of the available dot commands, you can enter ".help" at
any time. For example:
.dump ?TABLE? ... Dump the database in an text format
.echo ON|OFF Turn command echo on or off
.exit Exit this program
.explain ON|OFF Turn output mode suitable for EXPLAIN on or off.
"off" will revert to the output mode that was
previously in effect
.header(s) ON|OFF Turn display of headers on or off
.help Show this message
.indices TABLE Show names of all indices on TABLE
.mode MODE Set mode to one of "line(s)", "column(s)",
"insert", "list", or "html"
.mode insert TABLE Generate SQL insert statements for TABLE
.nullvalue STRING Print STRING instead of nothing for NULL data
.output FILENAME Send output to FILENAME
.output stdout Send output to the screen
.prompt MAIN CONTINUE Replace the standard prompts
"sqlite > " and " ...> "
with the strings MAIN and CONTINUE
CONTINUE is optional.
.quit Exit this program
.read FILENAME Execute SQL in FILENAME
.reindex ?TABLE? Rebuild indices
.schema ?TABLE? Show the CREATE statements
.separator STRING Change separator string for "list" mode
.show Show the current values for the following:
.tables ?PATTERN? List names of tables matching a pattern
.timeout MS Try opening locked tables for MS milliseconds
.width NUM NUM ... Set column widths for "column" mode
The program has the following options:
Read in and process ’file’, which contains "dot commands". You
can use this file to initialize display settings.
-html Set output mode to HTML.
-list Set output mode to ’list’.
-line Set output mode to ’line’.
Set output mode to ’column’.
Specify which output field separator for ’list’ mode to use.
Default is ’|’.
When a null is encountered, print ’string’. Default is no
Turn headers on or off. Default is off.
-echo Print commands before execution.
The SQLite program has different output modes, which define the way the
output (from queries) is formatted.
In ’list’ mode, which is the default, one record per line is output,
each field separated by the separator specified with the -separator
option or .separator command.
In ’line’ mode, each column is output on its own line, records are sep-
arated by blank lines.
In HTML mode, an XHTML table is generated.
In ’column’ mode, one record per line is output, aligned neatly in
sqlite can be initialized using resource files. These can be combined
with command line arguments to set up sqlite exactly the way you want
it. Initialization proceeds as follows:
o The defaults of
mode = LIST
separator = "|"
main prompt = "sqlite> "
continue prompt = " ...> "
o If a file .sqliterc can be found in the user’s home directory, it is
read and processed. It should only contain "dot commands". If the file
is not found or cannot be read, processing continues without notifica-
o If a file is specified on the command line with the -init option, it
is processed in the same manner as .sqliterc
o All other command line options are processed
o The database is opened and you are now ready to begin.
The sqlite-doc package
This manual page was originally written by Andreas Rottmann
<email@example.com>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system (but may be used by
Mon Apr 15 23:49:17 2002 SQLITE(1)
Man(1) output converted with