What is sql-lint?

sql-lint is a linter for SQL dialects. It currently supports MySQL and Postgres. It brings errors to your attention, suggests what’s wrong with them, why it may be wrong, and what you can do as a developer to fix it. Generally these errors are more verbose and specific than those coming from an SQL server.

Here’s a small excerpt of its use:

: sql-lint test/test-files//test.sql 
test/test-files//test.sql:16 [sql-lint: unmatched-parentheses] Unmatched parentheses.
test/test-files//test.sql:20 [sql-lint: missing-where] DELETE statement missing WHERE clause.
test/test-files//test.sql:22 [sql-lint: invalid-drop-option] Option 'thing' is not a valid option, must be one of '["database","event","function","index","logfile","procedure","schema","server","table","view","tablespace","trigger"]'.
test/test-files//test.sql:26 [sql-lint: invalid-truncate-option] Option 'something' is not a valid option, must be one of '["table"]'.
test/test-files//test.sql:30 [sql-lint: odd-code-point] Unexpected code point.
test/test-files//test.sql:32 [sql-lint: invalid-limit-quantifier] Argument 'test' is not a valid quantifier for LIMIT clause.
test/test-files//test.sql:24 [ER_PARSE_ERROR] You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'CREATE test person' at line 1
test/test-files//test.sql:39 [ER_NO_SUCH_TABLE] Table 'symfony.dont_exist' doesn't exist


sql-lint is used from the command line in several ways.

Via stdin

echo "DELETE FROM person;" | sql-lint

With a file

sql-lint test-file.sql

Command line options

-V –version

The version of sql-lint. Useful for bug reports and confirming what features are available to you.

sql-lint --version
> 0.0.11

-d –driver

mysql | postgres

Default is mysql.

The driver to use.

-v –verbose

How verbose to be with output. -v will print out the output from the lexer. Usually you do not want any verbosity. Useful for bug reports and debugging.

sql-lint --verbose
> ...


The path for the configuration file.

Default is $HOME/.config/sql-lint/config.json


simple | json

Default is simple.

The output format of sql-lint.

simple is the most user friendly and human readable. You won’t usually change the format unless you have a reason to.

echo 'DELETE FROM person;' | sql-lint
> stdin:1 [sql-lint: missing-where] DELETE statement missing WHERE clause.

json can be used if you wish. Usually this is done for editor integration or for consumption via some other service.

echo 'DELETE FROM person;' | sql-lint --format json
> {
     "error":"[sql-lint: missing-where] DELETE statement missing WHERE clause.",


The host for the connection.


The user for the connection.


The password for the connection.


Default is 3306.

The port for the connection.

-h –help

: sql-lint -h
Usage: sql-lint [options]

  -V, --version          output the version number
  --fix [string]         The .sql string to fix
  -d, --driver <string>  The driver to use, must be one of ['mysql', 'postgres']
  -v, --verbose          Brings back information on the what it's linting and the tokens generated
  --format <string>      The format of the output, can be one of ['simple', 'json'] (default: "simple")
  --host <string>        The host for the connection
  --user <string>        The user for the connection
  --password <string>    The password for the connection
  --port <string>        The port for the connection
  --config <string>      The path to the configuration file
  -h, --help             display help for command

Programmatic Access

import sqlLint from 'sql-lint'

// using async/await

const errors = await sqlLint({
  sql: 'SELECT my_column FROM my_table',

// or using promise

sqlLint({ sql: 'SELECT my_column FROM my_table' }).then(errors => {
  for (const error of errors) {
    // do something


sql-lint accepts an object using the following interface as its only argument

  sql: string
  host?: string
  user?: string
  port?: number
  driver?: string
  prefix?: string
  password?: string
  verbosity?: number

Notes on some of the parameters

sql: can have multiple queries separated by ;

host: if host is not provided sql-lint will only perform checks that do not require a connection

driver: defaults to mysql

port: if port is not provided it will use the default port for the driver you are using


sql-lint returns an array of objects with the following shape

  line: number
  error: string
  source: string
  additionalInformation: string