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I had the sqlite3 package installed on Ubuntu and there's no support for readline. That means there's no command history and those other nifty features readline gives you.

Is this a configuration or a packaging problem? Is there a different package archive somewhere that would give me readline support out of the box? Or else, how do I compile sqlite3 myself making sure it has readline support?

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up vote 24 down vote accepted

You could always use rlwrap:

rlwrap sqlite3 database.db

FYI, I just checked my hardy heron install, and its sqlite3 does have readline support.

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Didn't know about rlwrap. Really great, thanks! I'm using the sqlite3 package in Kubuntu Jaunty Jackalope and, for some reason, it didn't come with readline support. – obvio171 Dec 14 '09 at 13:20

I add another answer because this is the first hit for "ubuntu sqlite3 readline" on google:

The android SDK installs its own version of the sqlite3 binary. This binary does not provide readline support. If you added the Android SDK to your path this might make you think you have no readline support, in fact every Ubuntu package is compiled with readline support.

Also see this Ubuntu Bug Report which describes the same situation.

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Anaconda does the same thing. Argh! /usr/bin/sqlite3 works fine. – zbyszek Jun 26 '15 at 17:36
Thanks for pointing that out. My Android SDK was hiding my /usr/bin/sqlite3 application. – Dwayne Crooks Apr 1 at 10:12

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