sqlite3 is a terminal-based front-end to the SQLite library that can evaluate queries interactively and display the results in multiple formats. sqlite3 can also be used within shell scripts and other applications to provide batch processing features.
For example, to create a new database file named "mydata.db", create a table named "memos" and insert a couple of records into that table:
SQLite version 3.8.8
Enter ".help" for instructions
sqlite> create table memos(text, priority INTEGER);
sqlite> insert into memos values('deliver project description', 10);
sqlite> insert into memos values('lunch with Christine', 100);
sqlite> select * from memos;
deliver project description|10
lunch with Christine|100
If no database name is supplied, the ATTACH sql command can be used to attach to existing or create new database files. ATTACH can also be used to attach to multiple databases within the same interactive session. This is useful for migrating data between databases, possibly changing the schema along the way.
Optionally, a SQL statement or set of SQL statements can be supplied as a single argument. Multiple statements should be separated by semi-colons.
sqlite3 -line mydata.db 'select * from memos where priority > 20;'
text = lunch with Christine
priority = 100
The interactive interpreter offers a set of meta-commands that can be used to control the output format, examine the currently attached database files, or perform administrative operations upon the attached databases (such as rebuilding indices). Meta-commands are always prefixed with a dot (.).
A list of available meta-commands can be viewed at any time by issuing the '.help' command. For example:
%backup ?DB? FILE Backup DB (default "main") to FILE %bail on|off Stop after hitting an error. Default OFF %clone NEWDB Clone data into NEWDB from the existing database %databases List names and files of attached databases %dump ?TABLE? ... Dump the database in an SQL text format If TABLE specified, only dump tables matching LIKE pattern TABLE. %echo on|off Turn command echo on or off %eqp on|off Enable or disable automatic EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN %exit Exit this program %explain ?on|off? Turn output mode suitable for EXPLAIN on or off. With no args, it turns EXPLAIN on. %fullschema Show schema and the content of sqlite_stat tables %headers on|off Turn display of headers on or off %help Show this message %import FILE TABLE Import data from FILE into TABLE %indices ?TABLE? Show names of all indices If TABLE specified, only show indices for tables matching LIKE pattern TABLE. %load FILE ?ENTRY? Load an extension library %log FILE|off Turn logging on or off. FILE can be stderr/stdout %mode MODE ?TABLE? Set output mode where MODE is one of: csv Comma-separated values column Left-aligned columns. (See .width) html HTML <table> code insert SQL insert statements for TABLE line One value per line list Values delimited by .separator string tabs Tab-separated values tcl TCL list elements %nullvalue STRING Use STRING in place of NULL values %once FILENAME Output for the next SQL command only to FILENAME %open ?FILENAME? Close existing database and reopen FILENAME %output ?FILENAME? Send output to FILENAME or stdout %print STRING... Print literal STRING %prompt MAIN CONTINUE Replace the standard prompts %quit Exit this program %read FILENAME Execute SQL in FILENAME %restore ?DB? FILE Restore content of DB (default "main") from FILE %save FILE Write in-memory database into FILE %schema ?TABLE? Show the CREATE statements If TABLE specified, only show tables matching LIKE pattern TABLE. %separator STRING ?NL? Change separator used by output mode and .import NL is the end-of-line mark for CSV %shell CMD ARGS... Run CMD ARGS... in a system shell %show Show the current values for various settings %stats on|off Turn stats on or off %system CMD ARGS... Run CMD ARGS... in a system shell %tables ?TABLE? List names of tables If TABLE specified, only list tables matching LIKE pattern TABLE. %timeout MS Try opening locked tables for MS milliseconds %timer on|off Turn SQL timer on or off %trace FILE|off Output each SQL statement as it is run %vfsname ?AUX? Print the name of the VFS stack %width NUM1 NUM2 ... Set column widths for "column" mode Negative values right-justify sqlite>
o The default configuration is established as follows:
mode = LIST separator = "|" main prompt = "sqlite> " continue prompt = " ...> "
o If the file ~/.sqliterc exists, it is processed first. can be found in the user's home directory, it is read and processed. It should generally only contain meta-commands.
o If the -init option is present, the specified file is processed.
o All other command line options are processed.