Show SQLite tables from the Android command line shell (adb)

Android/SQLite FAQ: How do I show a list of SQLite database tables from the Android command line (adb shell)?


You can show a list of SQLite tables by starting the Android adb shell (command line tool), and then properly invoking the sqlite3 command.

Here's a complete example of this solution, with comments shown before each Android and SQLite command:

-- first, start your android emulator

-- next, start the android adb shell from your operating system command line:
$ adb shell

-- use the 'sqlite3' command to connect to your database.
-- in this case my database is named fptracker:
# sqlite3 data/data/com.devdaily.fptracker/databases/fptracker.db

-- show the sqlite database tables:
sqlite> .tables
android_metadata  projects

-- show the schema of the 'projects' table:
sqlite> .schema projects
CREATE TABLE projects ( id integer primary key autoincrement, name text not null, type text not null, description text );

-- exit the sqlite3 command line tool:
sqlite> ^d

-- exit the adb shell command line tool:
# ^d

-- i'm now back at my regular command line:
$ _

SQLite help

On a related note, when you're using the SQLite command line tool (sqlite3), you can type ".help" to get a list of sqlite commands you can issue. For your convenience, here is that sqlite help output:

sqlite> .help
.backup ?DB? FILE      Backup DB (default "main") to FILE
.bail ON|OFF           Stop after hitting an error.  Default OFF
.databases             List names and files of attached databases
.dump ?TABLE? ...      Dump the database in an SQL text format
                         If TABLE specified, only dump tables matching
                         LIKE pattern TABLE.
.echo ON|OFF           Turn command echo on or off
.exit                  Exit this program
.explain ?ON|OFF?      Turn output mode suitable for EXPLAIN on or off.
                         With no args, it turns EXPLAIN on.
.header(s) ON|OFF      Turn display of headers on or off
.help                  Show this message
.import FILE TABLE     Import data from FILE into TABLE
.indices ?TABLE?       Show names of all indices
                         If TABLE specified, only show indices for tables
                         matching LIKE pattern TABLE.
.load FILE ?ENTRY?     Load an extension library
.log FILE|off          Turn logging on or off.  FILE can be stderr/stdout
.mode MODE ?TABLE?     Set output mode where MODE is one of:
                         csv      Comma-separated values
                         column   Left-aligned columns.  (See .width)
                         html     HTML <table> code
                         insert   SQL insert statements for TABLE
                         line     One value per line
                         list     Values delimited by .separator string
                         tabs     Tab-separated values
                         tcl      TCL list elements
.nullvalue STRING      Print STRING in place of NULL values
.output FILENAME       Send output to FILENAME
.output stdout         Send output to the screen
.prompt MAIN CONTINUE  Replace the standard prompts
.quit                  Exit this program
.read FILENAME         Execute SQL in FILENAME
.restore ?DB? FILE     Restore content of DB (default "main") from FILE
.schema ?TABLE?        Show the CREATE statements
                         If TABLE specified, only show tables matching
                         LIKE pattern TABLE.
.separator STRING      Change separator used by output mode and .import
.show                  Show the current values for various settings
.stats ON|OFF          Turn stats on or off
.tables ?TABLE?        List names of tables
                         If TABLE specified, only list tables matching
                         LIKE pattern TABLE.
.timeout MS            Try opening locked tables for MS milliseconds
.width NUM1 NUM2 ...   Set column widths for "column" mode
.timer ON|OFF          Turn the CPU timer measurement on or off