I was working through a bug the other day and using SQL*Plus, which for the most part doesn't annoy me too much. However, one of the things that does, is having to retype lots of stuff. (We dont have that problem in SQL Developer).
Having hunted around for a few minutes, I found rlwrap which is a GNU readline wrapper. All this means is that when we use it on SQL*Plus, it give us keyboard history and user defined completion. I've found a few posts about it too, which are referred to below, but I wanted to do this for our virtual machine.
We use our Oracle Developer Days VM a lot internally as its great for spooling a DB having a full environment ready to play with and test features. I'm using that for this post.
You can download rlwrap from here. There are also RPMs available too. I pulled down the tar ball. Expand it out and you have a bunch of files for a standard build
Firstly, we need to run the ./configure script to find all the dependencies. You can see a cut down version of the output of that below.
checking for tgetent in -lcurses... no checking for tgetent in -lncurses... no checking for tgetent in -ltermcap... no configure: WARNING: No termcap nor curses library found checking for readline in -lreadline... no configure: error: You need the GNU readline library(ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/readline/ ) to build this program! [root@localhost rlwrap-0.37]#
Running configure on my system flagged that I didnt have the readline package installed. However, when I went to install it with
[root@localhost ~]# yum install readline Loaded plugins: security Setting up Install Process Package readline-5.1-3.el5.i386 already installed and latest version Nothing to do
I discovered it was already installed. A quick look through the config.log tho, from the configure process shows that the -lreadline library dependency could not be satisfied. It needed the development package to build.
[root@localhost rlwrap-0.37]# yum install readline-devel
Total download size: 202 k Is this ok [y/N]: y Downloading Packages: (1/2): libtermcap-devel-2.0.8-46.1.i386.rpm | 56 kB 00:00 (2/2): readline-devel-5.1-3.el5.i386.rpm | 146 kB 00:01 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total 85 kB/s | 202 kB 00:02 Running rpm_check_debug Running Transaction Test Finished Transaction Test Transaction Test Succeeded Running Transaction Installing : libtermcap-devel 1/2 Installing : readline-devel 2/2 Installed: readline-devel.i386 0:5.1-3.el5 Dependency Installed: libtermcap-devel.i386 0:2.0.8-46.1 Complete! [root@localhost rlwrap-0.37]#
Ok, Now to try configure again..
configure: creating ./config.status config.status: creating Makefile config.status: creating filters/Makefile config.status: creating doc/Makefile config.status: creating src/Makefile config.status: creating doc/rlwrap.man config.status: creating config.h config.status: executing depfiles commands Now do: make (or gmake) to build rlwrap make check for instructions how to test it make install to install it [root@localhost rlwrap-0.37]#
Running the configure again, succeeded creating my makefile. Great. Now run the following to build it and install it in the right place and we should be getting places.
[root@localhost rlwrap-0.37]# make
[root@localhost rlwrap-0.37]# make install
Great. Now, rlwrap is installed in /usr/local/bin and we can use it in our oracle terminal window.
[oracle@localhost rlwrap-0.37]$ rlwrap Usage: rlwrap [options] command ... Options: -a[password:] --always-readline[=password:] -A --ansi-colour-aware -b <chars> --break-chars=<chars>
Now we can use rlwrap to run SQL*Plus, which gets me back to what I wanted to do at the start. I've kicked this off with the '-c' option.
[oracle@localhost ~]$ rlwrap -c sqlplus barry/barry SQL*Plus: Release 22.214.171.124.0 Production on Thu Jul 19 17:51:51 2012 Copyright (c) 1982, 2010, Oracle. All rights reserved. Connected to: Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 126.96.36.199.0 - Production With the Partitioning, OLAP, Data Mining and Real Application Testing options BARRY@ORCL>
Now my up and down arrows work AND with the '-c' option for rlwrap, we get filename completion for free.
BARRY@ORCL> @re remote.sql reset_imdbcache reset_xmldb repos/ reset_sqldev reset_xmldb~ reset_OE.sql reset_svn reset_apex reset_xdbPorts.sql BARRY@ORCL> @re
So, now I'm a lot happier and can zip through loading files and getting my previous statements.
Now, I know there are issues with using this when we redirect files into SQL*Plus, on other blogs like this from Lutz Hartmann, but for me and working with plus in a terminal window, this will do nicely.