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Execute SQL against structured text like CSV or TSV

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Allows you to easily execute SQL against structured text like CSV or TSV.

Example session:


Major changes!

In the time since the initial release of textql, I've made some improvements as well as made the project much more modular. There've also been additional performance tweaks and added functionality, but this comes at the cost of breaking the original command-line flags and changing the install command.

Changes since v1


  • Numeric values are automatically recognized in more cases.
  • Date / Time / DateTime values are automatically recognized in reasonable formats. See Time Strings for a list for accepted formats, and how to convert from other formats.
  • Added join support! Multiple files / directories can be loaded by listing them at the end of the command.
  • Directories are read by reading each file inside, and this is non-recursive.
  • You can list as many files / directories as you like.
  • Added flag '-output-file' to save output directly to a file.
  • Added flag '-output-dlm' to modify the output delimiter.
  • Added "short SQL" syntax.
    • For the case of a single table, the
      FROM [table]
      can be dropped from the query.
    • For simple selects, the
      keyword can be dropped from the query.
    • This means the v1 command
      textql -sql "select * from tbl" -source some_file.csv
      can be shortened to
      textql -sql "*" some_file.csv


  • The flag '-outputHeader' was renamed to '-output-header'.


  • Dropped the ability to override table names. This makes less sense after the automatic tablename generation based on filename, joins, and shorter SQL syntax changes.
  • Removed '-source', any files / paths at the end of the command are used, as well as piped-in data.

Bug fixes:

  • Writing to a directory no longer fails silently.

Key differences between textql and sqlite importing

  • sqlite import will not accept stdin, breaking unix pipes. textql will happily do so.
  • textql supports quote-escaped delimiters, sqlite does not.
  • textql leverages the sqlite in-memory database feature as much as possible and only touches disk if asked.

Is it any good?



  • Go 1.4 or later


Latest release on Homebrew (OS X)

brew install textql

Build from source

go get -u


First build the image.

docker build -t textql .

Now use that image mounting your current directory into the container.

docker run --rm -it -v $(pwd):/tmp textql [rest_of_command]


You can add the following alias to your system to provide quick access to TextQL:

alias textql='docker run --rm -it -v $(pwd):/tmp textql '


Using an AUR-Helper

yaourt textql-git

Building from PKGBUILD First clone the repository.

makepkg -cs
Then install the package using pacman or your favorite Package Manager


  textql [-console] [-save-to path path] [-output-file path] [-output-dlm delimter] [-output-header] [-pretty] [-quiet] [-header] [-dlm delimter] [-sql sql_statements] [path ...]

-console After all statements are run, open SQLite3 REPL with this data -dlm string Input delimiter character between fields -dlm=tab for tab, -dlm=0x## to specify a character code in hex (default ",") -header Treat input files as having the first row as a header row -output-dlm string Output delimiter character between fields -output-dlm=tab for tab, -dlm=0x## to specify a character code in hex (default ",") -output-file file Filename to write output to, if empty no output is written (default "stdout") -output-header Display column names in output -quiet Suppress logging -pretty Pretty print output -save-to file SQLite3 db is left on disk at this file -sql string SQL Statement(s) to run on the data -version Print version and exit

I want stdev, average, other functions

Just follow the install directions at go-sqlite3-extension-functions and textql will automatically load this library.

Full function list:

  • Math: acos, asin, atan, atn2, atan2, acosh, asinh, atanh, difference, degrees, radians, cos, sin, tan, cot, cosh, sinh, tanh, coth, exp, log, log10, power, sign, sqrt, square, ceil, floor, pi.
  • String: replicate, charindex, leftstr, rightstr, ltrim, rtrim, trim, replace, reverse, proper, padl, padr, padc, strfilter.
  • Aggregate: stdev, variance, mode, median, lowerquartile, upperquartile


New MIT License - Copyright (c) 2015, 2016 Paul Bergeron

See LICENSE for details

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