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OSQL(FreeTDS) FreeTDS Reference Manual OSQL(FreeTDS)


osql — utility to test FreeTDS connections and queries


osql −S dsn −U username −P password [−I ini_directory]


osql is a diagnostic tool provided as part of FreeTDS. It is a Bourne shell script that checks and reports on your configuration files. If everything checks out OK, it invokes isql.

osql works only with the isql that comes with unixODBC.


the Data Source Name to which to connect, as known to odbc.ini.

−U username

database login name.

−P password

database password.

−I ini_dir

override odbc.ini file location.


If you have an odbc.ini with a section like this:

servername = myserver
TDS_Version = 5.0

You would invoke osql as:

osql -S myDSN [...]


odbc.ini freetds.conf


If you can connect with ‘osql -S servername -U user -P passwd’, your FreeTDS ODBC installation is working.

osql guesses where unixODBC might look for its odbc.ini by examining the binary. This is not always an effective approach. If it doesn’t work, you’ll receive a report of candidate strings. Kindly pass along the output to help improve the guessing.

If osql cannot intuit your odbc.ini directory, you can force the issue with the −I option. However, you’re then instructing osql what to test, not where unixODBC will eventually look. Your override is therefore only as good as you are. Look carefully at the error output before overriding.

If you have suggestions for ways to make osql more useful as a diagnostic tool, please post them to the FreeTDS mailing list.


osql first appeared in FreeTDS 0.65.


The osql utility was written by James K. Lowden.

FreeTDS @VERSION@ April 26, 2012 FreeTDS @VERSION@