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SQL Schema migration tool for Go. Based on gorp and goose.

Test Go Reference


  • Usable as a CLI tool or as a library
  • Supports SQLite, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MSSQL and Oracle databases (through gorp)
  • Can embed migrations into your application
  • Migrations are defined with SQL for full flexibility
  • Atomic migrations
  • Up/down migrations to allow rollback
  • Supports multiple database types in one project
  • Works great with other libraries such as sqlx
  • Supported on go1.13+


To install the library and command line program, use the following:

go get -v

For Go version from 1.18, use:

go install


As a standalone tool

$ sql-migrate --help
usage: sql-migrate [--version] [--help] <command> [<args>]

Available commands are:
    down      Undo a database migration
    new       Create a new migration
    redo      Reapply the last migration
    status    Show migration status
    up        Migrates the database to the most recent version available

Each command requires a configuration file (which defaults to dbconfig.yml, but can be specified with the -config flag). This config file should specify one or more environments:

  dialect: sqlite3
  datasource: test.db
  dir: migrations/sqlite3

  dialect: postgres
  datasource: dbname=myapp sslmode=disable
  dir: migrations/postgres
  table: migrations

(See more examples for different set ups here)

Also one can obtain env variables in datasource field via os.ExpandEnv embedded call for the field. This may be useful if one doesn't want to store credentials in file:

  dialect: postgres
  datasource: host=prodhost dbname=proddb user=${DB_USER} password=${DB_PASSWORD} sslmode=require
  dir: migrations
  table: migrations

The table setting is optional and will default to gorp_migrations.

The environment that will be used can be specified with the -env flag (defaults to development).

Use the --help flag in combination with any of the commands to get an overview of its usage:

$ sql-migrate up --help
Usage: sql-migrate up [options] ...

  Migrates the database to the most recent version available.


  -config=dbconfig.yml   Configuration file to use.
  -env="development"     Environment.
  -limit=0               Limit the number of migrations (0 = unlimited).
  -version               Run migrate up to a specific version, eg: the version number of migration 1_initial.sql is 1.
  -dryrun                Don't apply migrations, just print them.

The new command creates a new empty migration template using the following pattern <current time>-<name>.sql.

The up command applies all available migrations. By contrast, down will only apply one migration by default. This behavior can be changed for both by using the -limit parameter, and the -version parameter. Note -version has higher priority than -limit if you try to use them both.

The redo command will unapply the last migration and reapply it. This is useful during development, when you're writing migrations.

Use the status command to see the state of the applied migrations:

$ sql-migrate status
|   MIGRATION   |                 APPLIED                 |
| 1_initial.sql | 2014-09-13 08:19:06.788354925 +0000 UTC |
| 2_record.sql  | no                                      |

Running Test Integrations

You can see how to run setups for different setups by executing the .sh files in test-integration

# Run example (you need to be in the project root directory)


MySQL Caveat

If you are using MySQL, you must append ?parseTime=true to the datasource configuration. For example:

  dialect: mysql
  datasource: root@/dbname?parseTime=true
  dir: migrations/mysql
  table: migrations

See here for more information.

Oracle (oci8)

Oracle Driver is oci8, it is not pure Go code and relies on Oracle Office Client (Instant Client), more detailed information is in the oci8 repo.

Install with Oracle support

To install the library and command line program, use the following:

go get -tags oracle -v
  dialect: oci8
  datasource: user/password@localhost:1521/sid
  dir: migrations/oracle
  table: migrations

Oracle (godror)

Oracle Driver is godror, it is not pure Go code and relies on Oracle Office Client (Instant Client), more detailed information is in the godror repository.

Install with Oracle support

To install the library and command line program, use the following:

  1. Install sql-migrate
go get -tags godror -v
  1. Download Oracle Office Client(e.g. macos, click Instant Client if you are other system)
  1. Configure environment variables LD_LIBRARY_PATH
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=your_oracle_office_path/instantclient_19_3
  dialect: godror
  datasource: user/password@localhost:1521/sid
  dir: migrations/oracle
  table: migrations

As a library

Import sql-migrate into your application:

import ""

Set up a source of migrations, this can be from memory, from a set of files, from bindata (more on that later), or from any library that implements http.FileSystem:

// Hardcoded strings in memory:
migrations := &migrate.MemoryMigrationSource{
    Migrations: []*migrate.Migration{
            Id:   "123",
            Up:   []string{"CREATE TABLE people (id int)"},
            Down: []string{"DROP TABLE people"},

// OR: Read migrations from a folder:
migrations := &migrate.FileMigrationSource{
    Dir: "db/migrations",

// OR: Use migrations from a packr box
// Note: Packr is no longer supported, your best option these days is [embed](
migrations := &migrate.PackrMigrationSource{
    Box: packr.New("migrations", "./migrations"),

// OR: Use pkger which implements `http.FileSystem`
migrationSource := &migrate.HttpFileSystemMigrationSource{
    FileSystem: pkger.Dir("/db/migrations"),

// OR: Use migrations from bindata:
migrations := &migrate.AssetMigrationSource{
    Asset:    Asset,
    AssetDir: AssetDir,
    Dir:      "migrations",

// OR: Read migrations from a `http.FileSystem`
migrationSource := &migrate.HttpFileSystemMigrationSource{
    FileSystem: httpFS,

Then use the Exec function to upgrade your database:

db, err := sql.Open("sqlite3", filename)
if err != nil {
    // Handle errors!

n, err := migrate.Exec(db, "sqlite3", migrations, migrate.Up)
if err != nil {
    // Handle errors!
fmt.Printf("Applied %d migrations!\n", n)

Note that n can be greater than 0 even if there is an error: any migration that succeeded will remain applied even if a later one fails.

Check the GoDoc reference for the full documentation.

Writing migrations

Migrations are defined in SQL files, which contain a set of SQL statements. Special comments are used to distinguish up and down migrations.

-- +migrate Up
-- SQL in section 'Up' is executed when this migration is applied
CREATE TABLE people (id int);

-- +migrate Down
-- SQL section 'Down' is executed when this migration is rolled back
DROP TABLE people;

You can put multiple statements in each block, as long as you end them with a semicolon (;).

You can alternatively set up a separator string that matches an entire line by setting sqlparse.LineSeparator. This can be used to imitate, for example, MS SQL Query Analyzer functionality where commands can be separated by a line with contents of GO. If sqlparse.LineSeparator is matched, it will not be included in the resulting migration scripts.

If you have complex statements which contain semicolons, use StatementBegin and StatementEnd to indicate boundaries:

-- +migrate Up
CREATE TABLE people (id int);

-- +migrate StatementBegin
returns void AS $$
  create_query text;
  -- Do something here
language plpgsql;
-- +migrate StatementEnd

-- +migrate Down
DROP FUNCTION do_something();
DROP TABLE people;

The order in which migrations are applied is defined through the filename: sql-migrate will sort migrations based on their name. It's recommended to use an increasing version number or a timestamp as the first part of the filename.

Normally each migration is run within a transaction in order to guarantee that it is fully atomic. However some SQL commands (for example creating an index concurrently in PostgreSQL) cannot be executed inside a transaction. In order to execute such a command in a migration, the migration can be run using the notransaction option:

-- +migrate Up notransaction
CREATE UNIQUE INDEX CONCURRENTLY people_unique_id_idx ON people (id);

-- +migrate Down
DROP INDEX people_unique_id_idx;

Embedding migrations with embed

If you like your Go applications self-contained (that is: a single binary): use embed to embed the migration files.

Just write your migration files as usual, as a set of SQL files in a folder.

Import the embed package into your application and point it to your migrations:

import "embed"

//go:embed migrations/*
var dbMigrations embed.FS

Use the EmbedFileSystemMigrationSource in your application to find the migrations:

migrations := migrate.EmbedFileSystemMigrationSource{
	FileSystem: dbMigrations,
	Root:       "migrations",

Other options such as packr or go-bindata are no longer recommended.

Embedding migrations with libraries that implement http.FileSystem

You can also embed migrations with any library that implements http.FileSystem, like vfsgen, parcello, or go-resources.

migrationSource := &migrate.HttpFileSystemMigrationSource{
    FileSystem: httpFS,


Adding a new migration source means implementing MigrationSource.

type MigrationSource interface {
    FindMigrations() ([]*Migration, error)

The resulting slice of migrations will be executed in the given order, so it should usually be sorted by the Id field.

Usage with sqlx

This library is compatible with sqlx. When calling migrate just dereference the DB from your *sqlx.DB:

n, err := migrate.Exec(db.DB, "sqlite3", migrations, migrate.Up)
                    //   ^^^ <-- Here db is a *sqlx.DB, the db.DB field is the plain sql.DB
if err != nil {
    // Handle errors!

Questions or Feedback?

You can use Github Issues for feedback or questions.


This library is distributed under the MIT license.