edgedb — Interactive Shell

EdgeDB interactive shell:

edgedb [connection-option...]

It’s also possible to run an EdgeQL script by piping it into the EdgeDB shell. The shell will then run in non-interactive mode and print all the responses into the standard output:

cat myscript.edgeql | edgedb [connection-option...]

The above command also works on PowerShell in Windows, while the classic Windows Command Prompt uses a different command as shown below:

type myscript.edgeql | edgedb [connection-option...]

edgedb is a terminal-based front-end to EdgeDB. It allows running queries and seeing results interactively.

-h, --help

Show help about the command and exit.


Show all available connection options

-V, --version

Print version.


Disable version check.

-I name, --instance=name

Specifies the named instance to connect to. The actual connection parameters are stored in <edgedb_config_dir>/credentials and are usually created by edgedb instance create or similar commands. Run edgedb info to see the location of <edgedb_config_dir> on your machine.

This option overrides host and port.


Specifies the DSN for EdgeDB to connect to.

This option overrides all other options except password.

--credentials-file /path/to/file

Path to JSON file containing credentials.

-H hostname, --host=hostname

Specifies the host name of the machine on which the server is running. Defaults to the value of the EDGEDB_HOST environment variable.

-P port, --port=port

Specifies the TCP port on which the server is listening for connections. Defaults to the value of the EDGEDB_PORT environment variable or, if not set, to 5656.

-u username, --user=username

Connect to the database as the user username. Defaults to the value of the EDGEDB_USER environment variable, or, if not set, to the login name of the current OS user.

-d dbname, --database=dbname

Specifies the name of the database to connect to. Default to the value of the EDGEDB_DATABASE environment variable, or, if not set, to the calculated value of username.

--password | --no-password

If --password is specified, force edgedb to prompt for a password before connecting to the database. This is usually not necessary, since edgedb will prompt for a password automatically if the server requires it.

Specifying --no-password disables all password prompts.


Use the first line of standard input as the password.

--tls-ca-file /path/to/cert

Certificate to match server against.

This might either be full self-signed server certificate or certificate authority (CA) certificate that server certificate is signed with.

--tls-security mode

Set the TLS security mode.


Resolves to strict if no custom certificate is supplied via --tls-ca-file, environment variable, etc. Otherwise, resolves to no_host_verification.


Verify TLS certificate and hostname.


This allows using any certificate for any hostname. However, certificate must be present and match the root certificate specified with --tls-ca-file, credentials file, or system root certificates.


Disable all TLS security measures.


In case EdgeDB connection can’t be established, keep retrying up to wait_time (e.g. 30s).


Specifies a timeout period. In case EdgeDB doesn’t respond for this period the command will fail (or retry if --wait-until-available is also specified). The timeout value must be given using time units (e.g. hr, min, sec, ms, etc.). The default value is 10s.


The introspection commands share a few common options that are available to many of the commands:

  • -v- Verbose

  • -s- Show system objects

  • -c- Case-sensitive pattern matching

\d [-v] OBJECT-NAME, \describe [-v] OBJECT-NAME

Describe schema object specified by OBJECT-NAME.

\ds, \d schema, \describe schema

Describe the entire schema.

\l, \list databases

List databases.

\ls [-sc] [PATTERN], \list scalars [-sc] [PATTERN]

List scalar types.

\lt [-sc] [PATTERN], \list types [-sc] [PATTERN]

List object types.

\lr [-c] [PATTERN], \list roles [-c] [PATTERN]

List roles.

\lm [-c] [PATTERN], \list modules [-c] [PATTERN]

List modules.

\la [-vsc] [PATTERN], \list aliases [-vsc] [PATTERN]

List expression aliases.

\lc [-c] [PATTERN], \list casts [-c] [PATTERN]

List available conversions between types.

\li [-vsc] [PATTERN], \list indexes [-vsc] [PATTERN]

List indexes.


\database create [NAME]

Create a new database.

Query Analysis

\analyze QUERY

This command is compatible with EdgeDB server 3.0 and above.

Run a query performance analysis on the given query. Most conveniently used without a backslash by just adding analyze before any query.

Data Operations


Dump current database to a file at FILENAME.

\restore FILENAME

Restore the database dump at FILENAME into the currently connected database.


\s, \history

Show a history of commands executed in the shell.

\e, \edit [N]

Spawn $EDITOR to edit the most recent history entry or history entry N. History entries are negative indexed with -1 being the most recent command. Use the \history command (above) to see previous command indexes.

The output of this will then be used as input into the shell.



If VALUE is omitted, the command will show the current value of OPTION. With VALUE, the option named by OPTION will be set to the provided value. Use \set with no arguments for a listing of all available options.


\c, \connect [DBNAME]

Connect to database DBNAME.


These migration commands are also accessible directly from the command line without first entering the EdgeDB shell. Their counterpart commands are noted and linked in their descriptions if you want more detail.

\migration create

Create a migration script based on differences between the current database and the schema file, just like running edgedb migration create.

\migrate, \migration apply

Apply your migration, just like running the edgedb migrate.

\migration edit

Spawn $EDITOR on the last migration file and fixes the migration ID after the editor exits, just like edgedb migration edit. This is typically used only on migrations that have not yet been applied.

\migration log

Show the migration history, just like edgedb migration log.

\migration status

Show how the state of the schema in the EdgeDB instance compares to the migration stored in the schema directory, just like edgedb migration status.


\?, \h, \help

Show help on backslash commands.

\q, \quit, \exit

Quit the REPL. You can also do this by pressing Ctrl+D.


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