Configuring Steampipe SQLite Extensions

Note: You must use a version of SQLite that has extension loading enabled!

To use the Steampipe SQLite extension, you first have to load the extension module. Run SQLite, and in the SQLite shell load the extension with the .load command:

$ sqlite3
sqlite> .load ./

Once the extension is loaded, the virtual tables will appear. You can run the SQLite pragma module_list command to see them:

sqlite> pragma module_list;

Now that the extension is loaded, we have to configure it with plugin-specific options. Many plugins include a default configuration that may "just work", but you can explicitly set the configuration with the steampipe_configure_{plugin} function:

sqlite> select steampipe_configure_github('token="ghp_Bt2iThisIsAFakeToken1234567"');

Each extension includes its own steampipe_configure function that takes as its argument a string containing the HCL configuration options for the plugin. The options vary per plugin, and match the connection options for the corresponding plugin. You can view the available options and syntax for the plugin in the Steampipe hub.

Note that HCL is newline-sensitive. To specify multiple arguments, you must include the line break:

sqlite> select steampipe_configure_aws('

Persisting Your Configuration

SQLite does not persist your module configuration; you need to load and configure the module(s) each time you start SQLite. Fortunately, SQLite provides options for loading these commands from a file.

Create a file with the commands you wish to run when SQLite starts:

-- Turn on column headers
.headers ON
-- Set output to table
.mod table
-- Load and Configure Github extension
.load ./
select steampipe_configure_github('token="ghp_Bt2iThisIsAFakeToken1234567"');
-- Load and Configure AWS extension
.load ./
select steampipe_configure_aws('

To load this every time you start SQLite, name the file .sqliterc and save it to the root of your home directory.

Alternatively, you can give the file another name and then pass the file to the --init argument when starting SQLite:

./sqlite3 my_db --init ./init.sql

Or run the file after starting SQLite with the .read command:

sqlite> .read ./init.sql

Enabling SQLite extension loading

The Steampipe SQLite extensions are packaged as loadable modules. You must use a version of SQLite that has extension loading enabled. Some SQLite distributions (including the version that ships with MacOS) disable module loading as a compilation option, and you can't enable it. In this case, you have to install a version that supports extensions. You can download a precompiled SQLite binary for your platform from the SQLite downloads page or use a package manager such as brew, yum, or apt to install it.

If you try to run the .load command but you get an error like Error: unknown command or invalid arguments: "load". Enter ".help" for help you may not have extension loading enabled. If your installation has the OMIT_LOAD_EXTENSION compile option, then it does not support loadable modules:

$ sqlite3 :memory: 'select * from pragma_compile_options()' | grep OMIT_LOAD_EXTENSION


By default, query results are cached for 5 minutes. You can change the duration with the STEAMPIPE_CACHE_MAX_TTL:

export STEAMPIPE_CACHE_MAX_TTL=600 # 10 minutes

or disable caching with the STEAMPIPE_CACHE:

export STEAMPIPE_CACHE=false


You can set the logging level with the STEAMPIPE_LOG_LEVEL environment variable. By default, the log level is set to warn.


SQLite logs are written to STDERR, and they will be printed to the console by default. You can redirect them to a file instead with the standard file redirection mechanism:

sqlite3 2> errors.log