Command History in isql

To maximise compatibility with Linux systems, the unixODBC Driver Manager that's distributed with Easysoft ODBC drivers is not built with readline support on this platform. As a result, you cannot use the arrow keys to browse through your SQL command history, in isql. (The sample ODBC application that's bundled with unixODBC.)

If you're using a version of isql that came with an Easysoft driver and would like command history, you can build unixODBC with readline support, and replace the Easysoft-supplied isql with the new one you build.

In the following example, we:

  1. Install the readline include files, a prerequisite for readline support in unixODBC.
  2. Check the Easysoft-supplied unixODBC version.
  3. Replicate the build environment for the Easysoft-supplied Driver Manager (CFLAGS).
  4. Install unixODBC into a temporary directory, we only want to replace isql, we don't want to replace the Easysoft or system Driver Manager.
$ sudo apt-get install libreadline-dev
$ cd
$ mkdir scratch
$ more /usr/local/easysoft/   product: unixODBC
version: 2.3.0
date: Tue 30 Jan 15:51:04 GMT 2018
$ wget
$ gunzip unixODBC-2.3.0.tar.gz
$ tar -xvf unixODBC-2.3.0.tar
$ cd unixODBC-2.3.0
$  export CFLAGS=`/usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/bin/odbc_config --cflags`
$ ./configure --prefix=$HOME/scratch --sysconfdir=/etc
$ make
$ make install
$ sudo mv /usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/bin/isql /usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/bin/isql_easysoft
$ cd scratch
$ sudo cp ./isql /usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/bin/
$ /usr/local/easysoft/unixODBC/bin/ -v SQLSERVER_SAMPLE
$ SQL> select 1 as test_col
| test_col   |
| 1          |
SQLRowCount returns -1
1 rows fetched
SQL> select 1 as test_col # Up arrow pressed here