SQLite Error: unknown command or invalid arguments: open. Enter .help for help


If you are new to SQLite or have just downloaded the latest SQLite3 version of Command-prompt or Terminal based utility that you may have found that the Dot-command .open, when executed to open an existing SQLite database file, gives the following error,

Command : $ sqlite3 .open /Users/code2care/myDatabase.db

Error: unknown command or invalid arguments: "open". Enter ".help" for help

To troubleshoot let's look into the .help file,

Code2care-Mac-mini::~ code2care$ sqlite3 /Users/code2care/myDatabase2.db
SQLite version 3.7.13 2012-07-17 17:46:21
Enter ".help" for instructions
Enter SQL statements terminated with a ";"
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.
.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
...
...
...

You would see that there is a .open command that exists in Help. It seems that it has been removed/deprecated.

Workaround/Solution

✌️ Simply open the Database file without the .open keyword.

Code2care-Mac-mini:~ code2care$ sqlite3 /Users/code2care/myDatabase.db
SQLite version 3.7.13 2012-07-17 17:46:21
Enter ".help" for instructions
Enter SQL statements terminated with a ";"
sqlite> 



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