Andrew McDonough

Please note: This page is imported from my wiki, which hasn't been updated in over 10 years. Some of the formatting was lost during the import. I'll try to get around to fixing it someday.


SQLPlus is annoying as it has no command editing, completion or history. gqlplus is a better implementation which has all of these so should be used instead. Below, gqlplus will be referred to as SQLplus.

You can connect to an oracle on database by launching SQL*Plus on the command line:

sqlplus /@

All of the table details are held in a meta table called alltables. Standard SQL queries can be made on this e.g. desc alltables; select tablename from alltables; c.f. MySQL show tables;

You can run sql scripts at the command line by entering @/path/to/script

gqlplus - This is a replacement for sqlplus with command editing, command completion and command histories.

Changing column width

In 8i, SQLPlus annoyingly sets the default column width to 80 characters. This was increased to 150 in Oracle 9. To chose your own value use the SET command to set LIN: SET LIN 200 Note that this will still wrap to the split of a SSH window. SQLPlus will also show headings at the top of each //page//. This can be annoying, as the pagesize is set to 14 on our version. Set this to a more sensible value to match your terminal. To be honest, I don’t find these headings useful, except at the top of the results, so I tend to set the pagesize to something very large e.g. SET PAGES 100

Andrew McDonough

Andrew McDonough is a consultant CTO and software developer, currently based between Berlin and London.

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