How to connect to SQLite from the command line

This article describes how to connect to SQLite from the command line using the sqlite3 program. You can use the sqlite3 program as a quick and easy way to access SQLite databases directly.

Connecting to SQLite from the command line

To connect to SQLite from the command line, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your A2 Hosting account using SSH.
  2. At the command line, type the following command, replacing example.db with the name of the database file that you want to use:
    sqlite3 example.db
    The database filename can be anything you want. If the database file does not exist, SQLite creates it. If the database file already exists, SQLite opens the database contained in the file.
  3. After you access a database, you can use regular SQL statements to run queries, create tables, insert data, and more. Additionally:

    • For SQLite show tables, type the following command at the sqlite> prompt:
    • To view the structure of a table, type the following command at the sqlite> prompt. Replace table with the name of the table that you want to view:

      .schema table
    • To view a complete list of sqlite3 commands, type .help at the sqlite> prompt.
    • To exit the sqlite3 program, type .quit at the sqlite> prompt.

More Information

What is SQLite?

sqliteSQLite is a lightweight database management solution. It offers its users a high-performance, very dependable SQL database engine. SQLite's code is available within public domain making it free for use for every private or commercial purpose. SQLite has been built into every mobile device and almost every computer. In fact, SQLite is the world's most widely used database engine.

SQLite is a unique SQL solution because it doesn't require a separate server process. Instead, it reads and writes right on disk files. A disk file contains a comprehensive SQL database complete with multiple tables, views and triggers. As a cross-platform file format, you are able to copy between 32-bit and 64-bit storage systems.

SQLite is:

  • Serverless
  • Self-contained
  • Zero-configuration
  • Transactional

SQLite history

Software developer Dwayne Richard Hipp, while working for General Dynamics, wrote SQLite in early 2000 while on contract with the US Navy. SQLite was originally a Tcl extension. The goal of SQLite was to create a solution that didn't require a database management solution or have the need for a database administrator. Hipp wrote the SQLite syntax close to that of PostgreSQL.

Learn more about SQLite

  • To view information about the sqlite3 program from the command line, type the following command:
    man sqlite3
  • To view the SQLite online documentation for the sqlite3 program, please visit
Get SQLite Hosting

Article Details

  • Level: Intermediate

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