bash-alike sqlpus using rlwrap extention

Very interesting features from


rlwrap-ext – an extension for rlwrap


Using sqlplus, rman or any other Oracle command line tool combined with rlwrap can be even more convenient – rlwrap is full of some fancy features, e.g. command line completion. You type the keys sel and when pressing the tab key rlwrap completes it to SELECT.

Does not sound spectacular?
It isn’t, anyway, but quite useful. That´s the way rlwrap can do completion on the following things:

  • all V$-views,
  • the complete data dictionary (all DBA_-, ALL_- and USER_-views),
  • all init-parameter (documented and undocumented),
  • some useful tables,
  • all DBMS_* und UTL_* -packages and
  • all SQL-funktions

To make it work, you have to follow those steps:

  1. provide rlwrap with a file (maybe several files) containig all those nice keywords and
  2. tell rlwrap the delimiters for words. Since the readline Library was written for bash, it acknowledges by default the characters $ and # as word delimiters – which is wrong for SQL. So I wrote a script named sql+ to repair that. It is also in each package.


You can download my extensions for three Oracle Versions:

All you have to do is: untar the package into /usr/local/share/rlwrapand put the script sql+ somewhere into your path, like /usr/local/bin. That’s it.

Which Version?

I created rlwrap-extensions for Oracle version 9i, 10g and 11g. They differ only in view names / packages names etc in the keyword lists. Since rlwrap does not care to which Oracle version it is talking to, it does not matter if you use rlwrap-extensions for a different Oracle Version. But if you really want each Oracle version to have its own rlwrap-version knowing the *EXACT* keyword list, do the following: Install each version of rlwrap-extensions in a separate directory and create an adapted version of the script sql+ (usually located in /usr/local/bin. Put each version of that script into the appropriate $ORACLE_HOME/bin. That’s it.

If in doubt, take the newest version.

Using Oracle command line tools with rlwrap-extensions

When calling rman, asmcmd or adrcli (the latter being available only in 11g) with rlwrap, use the switch -i to force rlwrap into case-insensitive mode. Otherwise it might not find the keywords in the lists.
rlwrap -i asmcmd
rlwrap -i rman target ...


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