.desc displays the schema for a table.


usage: usage: .desc [options] [table name]
  -s,--sql   display schema in SQL


The following example was tested done on PostgreSQL.

create table mytable ( a int, b int );
-- success. update count = 0
-- 1/2 - 0 - postgres @ localhost - public --
.desc mytable
Column Type Nullable
------ ---- --------
a      int4 Yes
b      int4 Yes
-- 1/3 - 0 - postgres @ localhost - public --
.desc -s mytable
CREATE TABLE mytable (
    a int4,
    b int4
-- 1/4 - 0 - postgres @ localhost - public --

Generic Handling

The generic approach used by Jaqy basically uses the following SQL to generate the column list. And from the column list, infer the table schema.


Obviously, it will not contain information such as indexes, triggers, constraints, etc. Sometimes, the table column type may not be exact, due to the limitations in JDBC capabilities providing the type information.

Known issues XML type in Apache Derby cannot be directly selected out using the approach above. The command will fail as the result. TBH, it is Apache Derby’s design issue.

Database Extension

This command can be configured using database configurations to use database specific SQL rather than the generic approach used. For instance, Teradata uses HELP TABLE <tableName> and SHOW TABLE <tableName> to get the column information, and the table schema, respectively.

By default, MySQL, Teradata, SQLite have been configured to use the native approach to display the table columns and schema.