Skip to main content

Using sqlite-utils to convert a CSV into a SQLite database

You can use sqlite-utils on the command line to create a SQLite database from a CSV file.

In the past I’ve written Python scripts that use the csv and sqlite3 modules to convert CSV data into SQLite, but while reading a Datasette tutorial, I discovered that there’s a CLI tool called sqlite-utils that makes this much easier.

You can convert a CSV like so:

$ sqlite-utils insert [DATABASE_NAME] [TABLE_NAME] [CSV_PATH] --csv

For example:

$ sqlite-utils insert reallyuseful.db boxes boxes.csv --csv --detect-types

This probably won’t be exactly the table I want, compared to the precise schema I could write in my own script, but it’s a lot faster! And sqlite-utils has tools for transforming tables too, so I can finesse them if I need something different.

For example, I can make the names column a primary key like so:

$ sqlite-utils transform realluseful.db boxes --pk name