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ISQL-FB(1) Firebird documentation ISQL-FB(1)


isql -- Firebird Interactive SQL shell


isql [-a] [-cache number] [-database path] [-echo] [-input file] [-merge_stderr] [-noautocommit] [-nowarnings] [-output file] [-password string] [-page number] [-role string] [-s number] [-terminator string] [-user name] [-x] [-z]


isql is a program that allows the user to issue arbitrary SQL commands as well as exctacting the metadata.

isql in Debian is available under the isql-fb name due to filename conflict with an executable from another package.


isql can handle various command line options. Most options can be abbreviated. Below are given the shortest abbreviations as well as the full versions.

Extract DDL (Data definition language) statements necessary to re-create database's structure, triggers and other metadata. The "CREATE DATABASE" statement is in a comment. Statements are printed to standard output unless -output is used. See also -extract.
Specify default size of the buffers to be used in database pages.
Specifies target database name when extracting the metadata with the -extract option.
Prints each statement before executing it.
Extracts DDL statements to recreate database metadata.

If no -database option is given, -extract behaves exactly as -a. If -database is given, the "CREATE DATABASE" statement is not commented and the database name is replaced with path.

Reads commands from file instead of standard input. Exits with commit after the last command.
Merges standard error to standard output. Useful for redirecting both streams.
Normally, all DDL statements like "CREATE TABLE" are automatically committed in a separate transaction. This option disables the automatic commit of DDL statements.
Disables displaying of SQL warnings.
All output is redirected to the given file.
Prints column headers every number output lines. Default is 20.
Uses given password as a default when connecting to databases.
Uses given SQL role as a default when connecting to databases.
Uses given SQL dialect as a default when connecting to databases. The default is 1.
Set command line terminator. Default is semicolon ";".
Uses given user name as a default when connecting to databases.
Prints program version string before doing anything else. Prints server version after connecting to a database.


Default value for the -user option.
Default value for the -role option.
Default value for the -password option.


gbak(1), gfix(1), fbstat(1).

Additional documentation about Firebird can be found on the Firebird Project website, <>.


This manual page was written by Damyan Ivanov for the Debian project. Permission is granted to use this document, with or without modifications, provided that this notice is retained. If we meet some day, and you think this stuff is worth it, you can buy me a beer in return.

2020-12-25 Firebird 3.0