fisql - Man Page

interactive SQL shell


fisql[-eFgpnvXY] [-a display_charset] [-A packet_size] [-c cmdend] [-D database] [-E editor] [-h headers] [-H hostname] [-i inputfile] [-I interfaces_file] [-J client_charset] [-l login_timeout] [-m errorlevel] [-o outputfile] [-P password] [-s colseparator] [-S server] [-t timeout] [-U username] [-w width] [-y sybase_dir] [-z language]


fisql is very similar to the ‘isql’ utility programs distributed by Sybase and Microsoft. Like them, fisql uses the command ‘go’ on a line by itself as a separator between batches.


-a display_charset

The client charset name. Not implemented.

-A packet_size

Set protocol packet size. You should not need to set this parameter.

-c cmdend

Command terminator, defaults to ‘go’.


Database name on the server to use.


Echo SQL input (usually in outputfile)

-E editor

Specify an editor to invoke. Defaults to vi.


FIPS mode ON. Server returns a message (but processes the query anyway) when it encounters a non-standard SQL command.


Display a brief help message

-h headers

Number of rows after which to repeat the column headers. Default is once per resultset.

-H hostname

Hostname of the client machine as it will be told to the server.

-I interfaces_file

Name of the interfaces or freetds.conf file to use.

-i inputfile

Name of script file, containing SQL.

-J client_charset

Not implemented.

-l login_timeout

How long to wait for the server to acknowledge a login attempt.

-m errorlevel

For errors of the severity level specified or higher, print only the message number, state, and error level. Below that level, print nothing.


Suppress line numbers in echoed output.

-o outputfile

Name of output file, holding result data.


Prints performance statistics. Not implemented.

-P password

Database server password.

-s colseparator

The column separator. Default is space. Shell metacharacters require quoting.

-S server

Database server to which to connect.

-t timeout

The query timeout, in seconds. How long to wait for a query to be processed. The default is indefinitely, or as determined by freetds.conf.

-U username

Database server login name.


Display version and copyright.

-w width

How many characters wide to print the output. Defaults to 80.


Use encrypted login. Not implemented in FreeTDS.

-y sybase_dir

Sets the SYBASE environment variable. Not used by FreeTDS.


Use chained transactions.

-z language

Name of a language for fisql's prompts and messages. Cf. DBSETLNATLANG.


fisql is a filter; it reads from standard input, writes to standard output, and writes errors to standard error. The -i, and -e options override these defaults.

fisql uses the DB-Library API provided by FreeTDS. It was first implemented using Sybase's own library and continues to work with it. Before (and after) modifying it, it would be well to test it with Sybase's library to assure compatibility between it and FreeTDS. EXIT STATUS

fisql exits 0 on success, and >0 if the server cannot process the query.

fisql will report any errors returned by the server, but will continue processing. In a production environment, this behavior may be insufficiently stringent. To make it extremely intolerant of errors, change the message and error handlers to call exit(3).


fisql first appeared in FreeTDS 0.65.


The fisql utility was written by Nicholas S. Castellano ⟨⟩, who contributed it to the FreeTDS project under the terms of the GPL.


Requires the GNU readline library.


March 25, 2015