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Updated the required package list to build successfully on recent Ubuntu / Debian versions - `qt5-default` was removed in the `qtbase-opensource-src` source package in Debian's version `5.15.1+dfsg-2`.
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@justinclift @MKleusberg @lucydodo @deepsidhu1313 @FreedomBen @jade-clarke @xGhostKillerx @wernerm @xxsl @pinotree @tiendq @subdriven


DB Browser for SQLite requires Qt as well as SQLite. For more information on Qt please consult and for SQLite please see

Please note that all versions after 3.12.1 will require:

  • A C++ compiler with support for C++14 or later

All versions after 3.9.1 will require:

  • Qt 5.5 or later, however we advise you to use 5.7 or later
  • A C++ compiler with support for C++11 or later

Without these or with older versions you won't be able to compile DB Browser for Sqlite anymore. This applies to all platforms. However, most likely you won't have to worry about these as most systems meet these requirements today.

If you have any chance, please use Qt 5.7 or any later version. Even though Qt 5.5 and 5.6 are supported by us, there might be glitches and minor problems when using them.

Generic Linux and FreeBSD

The only requirements for building this code are the presence of Qt5 and sqlite3. Qt can be included as a static or shared library, depending on the current Qt configuration on the building machine.

Provided you have Qt and cmake installed and configured, simply run:

$ cmake .

There is one potential problem... several Linux distributions provide a QScintilla package compiled for (only) Qt4. If it's present it can confuse CMake, which will use it during compiling. The resulting program just crashes instead of running. If you experience that kind of crash, try using this cmake command instead when compiling:


That tells cmake to compile QScintilla itself, using the source code version we bundle.

After the cmake line, run this:

$ make

in the main directory. This will generate the sqlitebrowser (or sqlitebrowser.exe, or application in the src subdirectory. On some distributions you can then install this in the correct places by running:

$ sudo make install

The same process works for building the code in any platform supported by Qt (including other Unix systems with X11.)

Ubuntu / Debian Linux

$ sudo apt install build-essential git cmake libsqlite3-dev qtchooser qt5-qmake qtbase5-dev-tools\
    qttools5-dev-tools libsqlcipher-dev qtbase5-dev libqt5scintilla2-dev libqcustomplot-dev\
$ git clone
$ cd sqlitebrowser
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake -Dsqlcipher=1 -Wno-dev ..
$ make
$ sudo make install

Note - Use cmake -DFORCE_INTERNAL_QSCINTILLA=ON -Dsqlcipher=1 -Wno-dev .. if you're using Debian and meet errors during compiling.

This should complete without errors, giving you a binary file called 'sqlitebrowser'.

Done. :)

CentOS / Fedora Linux

Note - On CentOS or an older version of Fedora, you may need to use yum instead of dnf.

Note 2 - On CentOS 7.x, you need to replace the qwt-qt5-devel package name with qt5-qtbase-devel in the dnf install line below.

Note 3 - On CentOS 8 (Stream), you need to replace the qt-devel package name with qt5-devel in the dnf install line below. Make sure the PowerTools repo is enabled.

$ sudo dnf install cmake gcc-c++ git qt-devel qt5-linguist qwt-qt5-devel \
$ git clone
$ cd sqlitebrowser
$ cmake -Wno-dev .
$ make
$ sudo make install

This should complete without errors, and sqlitebrowser should now be launch-able from the command line.


$ zypper in -y build git-core, libQt5Core5,  libQt5Core5-32bit,  libqt5-qtbase,  libqt5-qtbase-devel,  libqt5-qttools,  libqt5-qttools-devel,  build,  gcc-c++,  gcc,  sqlite3-devel,  libsqlite3-0,  cmake,  sqlcipher-devel
$ git clone
$ cd sqlitebrowser
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake -Dsqlcipher=1 -Wno-dev   -DFORCE_INTERNAL_QSCINTILLA=ON ..
$ make
$ sudo make install


The application can be compiled to a single executable binary file, similar to other command line utilities, or it can be compiled to an .app bundle, suitable for placing in /Applications.

Building a single executable binary

This is incredibly easy using Homebrew. Just run this command:

$ brew install sqlitebrowser

And you're done. A "sqlitebrowser" command should now be available in your PATH, and can also be launched through Spotlight.

Building an .app bundle

Building an .app bundle version takes a bit more effort, but isn't too hard. It requires SQLite and Qt 5.x to be installed first. These are the Homebrew steps, though other package managers should work:

$ brew tap sqlitebrowser/sqlite3
$ brew install sqlitefts5
$ brew install qt
$ brew install cmake
$ brew link sqlitefts5 --force

Then it's just a matter of getting the source:

$ git clone

Note - Don't clone the repo to a directory with a quote character (') in its name (eg ~/tmp/foo'), as compiling will error out.

And compiling it:

$ cd sqlitebrowser
$ mkdir build       # You can easily make a fresh build again by removing this directory
$ cd build
$ cmake -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=/usr/local/opt/qt ..
$ cmake --build .
$ brew unlink sqlitefts5
$ mv /Applications/DB\ Browser\ for\

An icon for "DB Browser for SQLite" should now be in your main OSX Applications list, ready to launch.

Compiling on Windows with MSVC

Complete setup, build, and packaging instructions with MSVC 2013 x64 are online here:

Cross compiling for Windows

These are instructions to cross compile within a Linux system a Windows binary and installer.


  • mxe cross compile environment →
  • cmake
  • sqlitebrowser sources

Get the following mxe packages:

$ make gcc sqlite qt nsis

After successful compilation go into your mxedir/usr/bin and add 3 symlinks:

$ ln -s i686-pc-mingw32-windres windres
$ ln -s i686-pc-mingw32-makensis makensis
$ ln -s /usr/bin/lrelease

Now cd into your sqlitebrowser source directory and create a build directory for the windows binary and create the correct makefiles:

$ mkdir build-win
$ cd build-win
$ cmake -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=/path to mxe/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/share/cmake/mxe-conf.cmake ..

Before compiling we have to add the mxe/usr/bin directory to the PATH (so windres and makensis can be found):

$ export PATH=/path to mxe/usr/bin:$PATH

Now compile:

$ make

If you additionally want an NSIS installer:

$ make package


Build with SQLCipher support

When built with SQLCipher support, DB Browser for SQLite will allow you to open and edit databases encrypted using SQLCipher as well as standard SQLite3 databases.

Before compiling make sure you have the necessary SQLCipher development files installed. On Linux this can usually be accomplished by just installing the correct package (e.g. 'libsqlcipher-dev' on Debian-based distributions). On macOS the easiest way is to install it via Homebrew ('brew install sqlcipher'). On Windows unfortunately it's a bit more difficult: You'll have to download and compile the code as described on the SQLCipher website before you can proceed.

If SQLCipher is installed, simply follow the standard instructions for your platform but enable the 'sqlcipher' build option by replacing any calls to cmake like this:

If it says...			Change it to...
cmake				cmake -Dsqlcipher=1
cmake ..			cmake -Dsqlcipher=1 ..

Building and running the Unit Tests

DB Browser for SQLite has unit tests in the "src/tests" subdirectory.

Build the unit tests

The unit tests are enabled using the cmake variable ENABLE_TESTING; it can be passed when running cmake to configure sqlitebrowser, for example like this:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ make

Run the unit tests

Tests can be then run using make test or invoking ctest directly, for example like this:

$ ctest -V
UpdateCTestConfiguration  from :SRCDIR/build/DartConfiguration.tcl
UpdateCTestConfiguration  from :SRCDIR/build/DartConfiguration.tcl
Test project SRCDIR/build
Constructing a list of tests
Done constructing a list of tests
Checking test dependency graph...
Checking test dependency graph end
test 1
    Start 1: test-sqlobjects

1: Test command: SRCDIR/build/src/tests/test-sqlobjects
1: Test timeout computed to be: 9.99988e+06
1: ********* Start testing of TestTable *********
1: Config: Using QTest library 4.8.6, Qt 4.8.6
1: PASS   : TestTable::initTestCase()
1: PASS   : TestTable::sqlOutput()
1: PASS   : TestTable::autoincrement()
1: PASS   : TestTable::notnull()
1: PASS   : TestTable::withoutRowid()
1: PASS   : TestTable::foreignKeys()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseSQL()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseSQLdefaultexpr()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseSQLMultiPk()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseSQLForeignKey()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseSQLSingleQuotes()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseSQLKeywordInIdentifier()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseSQLWithoutRowid()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseNonASCIIChars()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseSQLEscapedQuotes()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseSQLForeignKeys()
1: PASS   : TestTable::parseSQLCheckConstraint()
1: PASS   : TestTable::createTableWithIn()
1: PASS   : TestTable::createTableWithNotLikeConstraint()
1: PASS   : TestTable::cleanupTestCase()
1: Totals: 20 passed, 0 failed, 0 skipped
1: ********* Finished testing of TestTable *********
1/2 Test #1: test-sqlobjects ..................   Passed    0.02 sec
test 2
    Start 2: test-import

2: Test command: SRCDIR/build/src/tests/test-import
2: Test timeout computed to be: 9.99988e+06
2: ********* Start testing of TestImport *********
2: Config: Using QTest library 4.8.6, Qt 4.8.6
2: PASS   : TestImport::initTestCase()
2: PASS   : TestImport::csvImport()
2: PASS   : TestImport::cleanupTestCase()
2: Totals: 3 passed, 0 failed, 0 skipped
2: ********* Finished testing of TestImport *********
2/2 Test #2: test-import ......................   Passed    0.01 sec

100% tests passed, 0 tests failed out of 2

Total Test time (real) =   0.04 sec

Everything should PASS, with no failures, and nothing skipped.