isql man page

isql, iusql — unixODBC command-line interactive SQL tool


isql DSN [USER [PASSWORD]] [options]


isql is a command line tool which allows the user to execute SQL in batch or interactively. It has some interesting options such as an option to generate output wrapped in an HTML table.

iusql is the same tool with built-in Unicode support.


The Data Source Name, which should be used to make connection to the database. The data source is looked for in the /etc/odbc.ini and $HOME/.odbc.ini files in that order, with the latter overwriting the former.
Specifies the database user/role under which the connection should be made.
Password for the specified USER.


Run isql in non-interactive batch mode. In this mode, the isql processes its standard input, expecting one SQL command per line.
Delimits columns with delimiter.
Delimits columns with HEX, which is a hexadecimal code of the delimiting character in the format 0xNN - i.e. 0x09 for the TAB character.
Format the result as HTML table.
Output the names of the columns on the first row. Has any effect only with the -d or -x options.
Limit the column display width to NUM characters.
Sets locale to LOCALE.
Wrap the character fields in double quotes.
Use the ODBC 3 calls.
Use the new line processing. (multiple lines of SQL, terminated with command GO).
Use the SQLExecDirect instead of Prepare.
Use SQLDriverConnect.
Turn on the verbose mode, where the errors are fully described. Useful for debugging.
Prints the program version and exits.
Alter the maximum number of characters displayed from a character field to NUM characters. Default is 300.


This section briefly describes some isql runtime commands.


List all tables in the database.

help table

List all columns in the table.

help help

List all help options.


$ isql WebDB MyID MyPWD -w -b < My.sql

Connects to the WebDB as user MyID with password MyPWD, then execute the commands in the My.sql file and returns the results wrapped in HTML table. Each line in My.sql must contain exactly 1 SQL command, except for the last line, which must be blank (unless the -n option is specified).



System-wide DSN definitions. See odbc.ini(5) for details.


User-specific DSN definitions. See odbc.ini(5) for details.

See Also

odbcinst(1), odbc.ini(5)


The authors of unixODBC are Peter Harvey <pharvey@codebydesign.com> and Nick Gorham <nick@lurcher.org>. For the full list of contributors see the Authors file.

Referenced By

mdb-sql(1), odbc.ini(5), unixODBC(7).

Explore man page connections for isql(1).

iusql(1) is an alias of isql(1).

UnixODBC manual pages version 2.3.2 Tue 25 Jun 2013