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SQLite Commands

SQLite commands are similar to SQL commands. There are three types of SQLite commands:

  • DDL: Data Definition Language
  • DML: Data Manipulation Language
  • DQL: Data Query Language

Data Definition Language

There are three commands in this group:

CREATE: This command is used to create a table, a view of a table or other object in the database.

ALTER: It is used to modify an existing database object like a table.

DROP: The DROP command is used to delete an entire table, a view of a table or other object in the database.

Data Manipulation language

There are three commands in data manipulation language group:

INSERT: This command is used to create a record.

UPDATE: It is used to modify the records.

DELETE: It is used to delete records.

Data Query Language

SELECT: This command is used to retrieve certain records from one or more table.

SQLite dot Command

Following is a list of SQLite dot commands. These commands are not terminated by a semicolon (;).

.help command:

Check the list of dot commands by using the ".help" at anytime.

For example:

SQLite Command 1

The above are the list of various important SQLite dot commands. See these commands with description in the following table:

Commands Description
.backup ?db? file backup DB (default "main") to file
.bail on|off stop after hitting an error. default off
.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
.exit exit sqlite prompt
.explain on|off turn output mode suitable for explain on or off. with no args, it turns explain on.
.header(s) 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 set output mode where mode is one of:<br/><div>csv:comma-separated values <br/><br> <div><div>column: left-aligned columns.<br/><div>html: html <table> code<br/> <div>insert: sql insert statements for table<br/><div>line: one value per line<br/> <div>list: values delimited by .separator string<br/><div>tabs: tab-separated values<br/> <div>tcl: tcl list elements<br/>
.nullvalue string print string in place of null values
.output filename send output to filename
.output stdout send output to the screen
.print string... print literal string
.prompt main continue replace the standard prompts
.quit exit sqlite prompt
.read filename execute sql in filename
.schema ?table? show the create statements. if table specified, only show tables matching like pattern table.
.separator string change separator used by output mode and .import
.show show the current values for various settings
.stats on|off turn stats on or off
.tables ?pattern? list names of tables matching a like pattern
.timeout ms try opening locked tables for ms milliseconds
.width num num set column widths for "column" mode
.timer on|off turn the cpu timer measurement on or off

.show command:

You can use the .show command to see default setting of for your SQLite command prompt.

SQLite Command 2

Note: Don't put space between sqlite> prompt and dot command, otherwise it will not work.


Special dot commands

There are some dot commands which are used to format your output. These commands are:

.header on

.mode column

.timer on


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