sqlite3 - Man Page

A command line interface for SQLite version 3

Examples (TL;DR)


sqlite3 [options] [databasefile] [SQL]


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.


To start a sqlite3 interactive session, invoke the sqlite3 command and optionally provide the name of a database file.  If the database file does not exist, it will be created.  If the database file does exist, it will be opened.

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:

$ sqlite3 mydata.db
SQLite version 3.43.0 2023-08-11 17:45:23
Enter ".help" for usage hints.
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.

For example:

$ sqlite3 -line mydata.db 'select * from memos where priority > 20;'
   text = lunch with Christine
priority = 100

Sqlite Meta-Commands

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:

sqlite> .help

The available commands differ by version and build options, so they are not listed here. Please refer to your local copy for all available options.

Init File

sqlite3 reads an initialization file to set the configuration of the interactive environment.  Throughout initialization, any previously specified setting can be overridden.  The sequence of initialization is as follows:

o The default configuration is established as follows:

mode            = LIST
separator       = "|"
main prompt     = "sqlite> "
continue prompt = "   ...> "

o If the file ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/sqlite3/sqliterc or ~/.sqliterc exists, the first of those to be found is processed during startup. 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.

See Also

https://sqlite.org/fiddle (a WebAssembly build of the CLI app)
The sqlite3-doc package.


This manual page was originally written by Andreas Rottmann <rotty@debian.org>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system (but may be used by others). It was subsequently revised by Bill Bumgarner <bbum@mac.com>, Laszlo Boszormenyi <gcs@debian.hu>, and the sqlite3 developers.

Referenced By

ctl_backups(8), debuginfod(8), gda-sql-5.0(1), offlineimap(1), snobol4sqlite3(3), snobol4sqlite3dbm(3), sql(1), xmms2d(1).

Fri Aug 11 23:50:12 CET 2023