Install SQLcl on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Cloud Shell and make it work against an Autonomous Database

Lucas Jellema
5 min readMar 18, 2020

Cloud Shell on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is a versatile management and development environment to access and manage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure resources. Cloud Shell comes with many tools and runtime out of the box (or rather inside the box) including OCI CLI, Java and SQL*Plus. However, the Oracle SQL Developer Command Line (SQLcl) tool — the Java-based replacement for SQL*Plus — is not part of the package (at the time of writing, 17th March 2020).

In this article I want to install SQLcl in Cloud Shell and use it against an Autonomous Database.

I have leaned heavily on Tim Scott’s article on installing SQLcl.

1. Go to and download SQLcl

Save the zip-file to your local computer.

2. Upload the zip-file to a location from where it can be download in Cloud Shell. OCI Object Storage is a good option; services such as Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive probably should do the trick as well.

3. Download the zip-file to Cloud Shell

oci os object get -bn bucket-01 --name --file

4. Extract the zip. This will create a directory sqlcl in the current directory


5. Set JAVA_HOME environment variable to refer to Java Runtime on Cloud Shell

Java is already installed on the Cloud Shell. It can be found in /ur/lib/jvm and the Java runtime — to which we need JAVA_HOME to refer — is in its jre sub directory. This brings JAVA_HOME to:

export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/jre

6. Set an alias — a short cut for starting SQLcl

alias sql="${HOME}/sqlcl/bin/sql"

7. Run SQLcl

With the alias defined, we can start SQLcl using a simple sql command. The /nolog switch means that we are not prompted for database login details.

Lucas Jellema

Lucas Jellema is CTO and IT architect at Conclusion, The Netherlands. He is Oracle ACE Director, one time JavaOne Rockstar and programmer