Please let our ADS show!

This sites offers only FREE software and it's supported by a few advertisement boxes (no intrusive popups).

  • disable your AdBlocker by adding CoolSoft website to whitelist
  • give the proper cookie consent
  • enable JavaScript for this website

This seconds wait is to let you update your browser configuration...

Ok, I've done the required changes... now show me your content!
!!! Please enable JavaScript !!!


This page describes Drupal-SQLite, a patch to make Drupal 6.x work with a SQLite database.

SQLite is a lightweight, fast, public domain, easily integrable, multiplatform database system.
It's used by many of the greatest open source projects; just to name one... Mozilla Foundation on Firefox & Thunderbird.

Why should you need this?
Well, most hosting providers gives you PHP 5.2+ for free, but they ask a few bucks for a MySQL database. If this could worth the case for mid-large sites, with hundreds or thousands users a day, it's a waste for mid-small sites (like mine).

With SQLite support you can setup a preconfigured Drupal site which works just out of the box.
Suppose you're a theme designer or a module developer: you can create a self-working Drupal installation with only 1,5 Mb overload.

My work started from here.
In this long post, some good guys put their efforts to have a SQLite database layer for Drupal 4.7, then 5 and finally 6. The thread is now closed because some of them moved to the forthcoming Drupal 7 series, which will have SQLite as first class citizen; while waiting for it, Drupal-SQLite gives you a full working SQLite database layer for Drupal 6.


There are other Drupal+SQLite bundles out there, but none fulfill my needs.


(link currently down)
Working (but old) Drupal 5.6 version, patched for SQLite.


  • works great (this site used it till Oct 2008)


  • it's a Drupal 5 version, no PDO then its SQLite support is limited to SQLite 2.x databases (which are not performing as 3.x ones)
  • no more updates, last version was against Drupal 5.6


Deep (maybe too deep) patch against Drupal 6.x


  • PDO support, then 3.x SQLite databases support
  • more databases other than SQLite


  • too deep changes to Drupal core files
    Read from it's official site: "According to the needs of PDO and Oracle drivers implementation, ALL core queries and some APIs are hacked for compatibility concern."
  • even if it's based on Drupal (ver. 6.4) now it's a complete fork; this means you can't use Drupal updates.


Drupal-SQLite comes in two flavours:
- a .zip archive ready to be unpacked in your web server root
- a .patch file to apply to a default Drupal 6 tree

After installing the one you prefer, just open index.php in your Drupal site and you're ready to start.

These are Drupal-SQLite pros:

  • built against Drupal 6.10 (and following, read next point)
  • no core files modified (except one: includes/install.inc.php) (*)
  • uses PDO layer (even if original Drupal 6 doesn't), so SQLite 3.x databases can be created
  • supports a growing list of modules

(*) Drupal-SQLite patches this file to let the user choose SQLite as its database. After the first install, this file is not used anymore and can be safely overwritten. Other Drupal-SQLite related files are additional ones; saying this I mean you could install latest Drupal updates being sure you'll not broke Drupal-SQLite.


Drupal-SQLite requires PHP5 with PDO-SQLite support enabled.
This is NOT the standard SQLite support (non PDO) and is provided through a different extension named php_pdo_sqlite.dll(win) or php_pdo_sqlite.so(linux).

To test if PDO_SQLite support is enabled, create a file named phpinfo.phpcontaining a single line:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Now open this file in your browser and check if a section named pdo_sqlite exists and is enabled.

NOTE to XAMPP users:
XAMPP 1.7.1 comes with pdo_sqlite disabled by default.

To enable it:

  • Stop all XAMPP services
  • open xampp\php\php.ini file
  • find the rows containing the following strings:
    • extension=php_pdo_sqlite.dll
    • extension=php_sqlite.dll
  • remove the leading ; to enable PDO-SQLite
  • restart the XAMPP services

How to install

Depending on your hosting solution, choose the file to download:

  • Full archive
    This should be the best solution for Windows based hosting, but it surely works on Linux too.
    Download the archive and extract it in your web server root folder.
  • Patch file
    Since applying patches on Windows is not so easy, I suggest this to Linux users only.
    Download patch file of the original version you're going to patch and apply it to Drupal tree you already extracted to your web server root folder.
    If the patch applied successfully then go on.

Now open install.php file and follow the instructions; don't forget to:

  • choose the Drupal-SQLite profile at the very first page to have an optimized configuration
  • select sqlite as database type inside the "basic options" block (I can't find a way to force this selection through the profile)

Security notes

You should protect your database file, which is by default sites/default/*.s3db, from being downloaded.
Drupal-SQLite comes with a preconfigured .htaccess files that denies access to *.s3db files.
Please edit it if you changed proposed database file name, then test if it works.

Core modules

Drupal-SQLite comes with a profile which, by default, disables some core modules to make it run faster.
Time-consuming modules, like dblog and syslog, are disabled by default.
Enabled modules are: 'color', 'comment', 'help', 'menu' and 'taxonomy'.

"sqlitetools" module

Since your database is a flat-file, making a backup is now easy as copying the file itself.
I created a specific module, named sqlitetool (you can find it in downloads) to accomplish this task; backups are stored into/retrieved from ZIP files.
The same module allowsto cleanup the active database (VACUUM) to free unused space.

Adding external modules

Drupal-SQLite is a non-invasive patch against Drupal and should work with each module accessing the database through the Drupal DB subsystem.
Sometimes module developers need to use DB specific SQL queries, and they put a switch statement in their code, like this (from xmlsitemap module):

switch ($GLOBALS['db_type']) {
    case 'mysql':
    case 'mysqli':
      $query .= "LEFT JOIN {url_alias} ua ON ua.src = ('node/' || '%d')";
    case 'pgsql':
      $query .= "LEFT JOIN {url_alias} ua ON ua.src = CONCAT('node/', CAST(%d AS VARCHAR))";

As you can see, the query is composed according to the active db and, worst of all, there's no 'default:' item at the end of switch.
Now we have: $GLOBALS['db_type'] == 'sqlite', then no code is executed and no query (or part of it) is composed.

In this case the fix is quite simple:

switch ($GLOBALS['db_type']) {
    case 'mysql':
    case 'mysqli':
    case 'sqlite':
      $query .= "LEFT JOIN {url_alias} ua ON ua.src = ('node/' || '%d')";
    case 'pgsql':
      $query .= "LEFT JOIN {url_alias} ua ON ua.src = CONCAT('node/', CAST(%d AS VARCHAR))";

Note that SQLite shares the same code as MySQL.

So my suggestion is: before installing a new module, do a find (grep for Linux friends) inside module folders and look for mysqlor pgsql.
If you find it, examine the code and try to find a way to accomodate; if you can't, drop a line to module developers and ask them to fix it for you.
Ok ok, I know that SQLite is not officially supported, but in most of the cases I saw the fix is just one line, like this.

Known working modules

I tried these modules (most of them are used here) and I can confirm they work untouched.
Please let me know if you used a not-listed module (and it worked).

Module name Version Note
admin_menu 6.x-1.3  
blockquote 6.x-1.0  
captcha 6.x-1.0  
cck 6.4-2.4  
comment_notify 6.x-1.2  
devel 6.x-1.17 (see this comment)
dhtml_menu 6.x-3.4  
fckeditor 6.x-2.0-alpha5  
geshifilter 6.x-1.2  
languageicons 6.x-1.1  
pathauto 6.x-2.x-dev  
permalink 6.x-1.1  
poormanscron 6.x-1.0  
potx (Translation Template Extractor) 6.x-3.0  
service_links 6.x-1.0  
taxonomy_dhtml 6.x-1.0-rc3  
token 6.x-1.11  
wysiwyg 6.x-2.0 + FCKeditor

Known not-working modules

These modules do not work with Drupal-SQLite out-of-the-box and a patch is required.
This patch could concern few lines (relevance=1) or require the whole module to be patched (relevance=5).

Module name Version Relevance
date 6.x-2.3 5


Version history 

Drupal-SQLite-6.25-1.5, 2012-02-29

Drupal-SQLite-6.24-1.5, 2012-02-03

Drupal-SQLite-6.22-1.5, 2011-06-02

Drupal-SQLite-6.20-1.5, 2010-12-16

  • Drupal official version 6.20

Drupal-SQLite-6.19-1.5, 2010-08-12

Drupal-SQLite-6.17-1.5, 2010-06-03

  • Drupal official version 6.17

Drupal-SQLite-6.16-1.5, 2010-03-05

  • Drupal official version 6.16
    This release fixes security vulnerabilities.
    Sites are urged to upgrade immediately after reading the official security announcement:

Drupal-SQLite-6.15-1.5, 2010-01-07

  • Drupal official version 6.15
  • Optimized query rewriting by adding shortcut returns after a successful rewrite.
  • New core rewrite rule for cache and update modules ("TRUNCATE TABLE" SQL commands).
  • Fixed an error during setup that causes install.php not use the values of "Site Name" and "Administrator username" fields. The default values were used instead.

Drupal-SQLite-6.14-1.4, 2009-10-04

  • Drupal official version 6.14
  • New query rewriting system: it allows Drupal-SQLite to rewrite SQL queries just before their execution, without the needing to patch (core) modules.
    Rewrite rules are contained into two new files:
    • database.sqlite.core-patches.inc
      this file is mantained by CoolSoft and will include rewrite rules for core modules and for widely used ones ;) (like devel)
    • database.sqlite.user-patches.inc (optional)
      here you could add rewrite rules for all other modules
  • Drupal DB functions "db_add_unique_key" and "db_remove_unique_key" are now supported.
  • Workaround for SQLite not returning short column names for queries with JOIN or GROUP BY clauses.
  • Added support for SQL function STDDEV (thanks again Dmitri)

Drupal-SQLite-6.13-1.3, 2009-08-06

  • Fixed a bug in _db_query function which caused multiple/nested queries to fail.

Drupal-SQLite-6.13-1.2, 2009-07-15

  • Bug fixing and code cleanup in SQLite table schema management functions: db_column_exists, db_create_table_sql, _db_create_index_sql,  _db_alterTable, _db_introspectSchema.
    Thanks to Dmitri Schamschurko for his great help and feedback.
  • CCK module (cck-6.4-2.4) now works with Drupal-SQLite.

Drupal-SQLite-6.13-1.1, 2009-07-02

  • Drupal official version 6.13, see here for detailed changes

Drupal-SQLite-6.12-1.1, 2009-05-14

  • Drupal official version 6.12

Drupal-SQLite-6.11-1.1.1, 2009-05-09

This is only a repackage of the previous archive version, due to missing folders in drupal-sqlite-6.11-1.1.zip file.
Missing folders were:

  • /modules/color/images
  • /sites
  • /themes/garland/images

I'm sorry for that <:)

Drupal-SQLite-6.11-1.1, 2009-05-05

Drupal-SQLite-6.10-1.0, 2009-03-21

  • Drupal official version 6.10
  • First public release


Drupal-SQLite is also on SourceForge here:
Get Drupal-SQLite at SourceForge.net. Fast, secure and Free Open Source software downloads http://sourceforge.net/projects/drupal-sqlite/

You can also download the latest development version (trunk) here (thanks to SourceForge):
svn checkout svn://svn.code.sf.net/p/drupal-sqlite/code/trunk drupal-sqlite-code

Description Fully patched version (compressed TAR archive)
Release date 2012-Feb-29 Size 1,082,929 bytes
MD5 6bec33f490823b60e928e6a7900a5b16
SHA1 db7c79203c0ab277356863cbd551646ecefaf7fb
SHA256 63f4c6710cc3fd87458862a879520935c4087365cb181838943f876f28593caa
Open virus check report
Description Fully patched version (compressed ZIP archive)
Release date 2012-Feb-29 Size 1,280,368 bytes
MD5 ab988f79fcc70682c111fedcd06c598d
SHA1 080b96b249ae57924feff73741b816c42a1bc07d
SHA256 1df6ccd3bb4fc69cc638ecdd1dffaf090dead3d48e0bb30359051db01d9939df
Open virus check report
Description Patch file for Drupal sources
Release date 2012-Feb-29 Size 72,496 bytes
MD5 6fff775f01125f3a206a32b99e4b9447
SHA1 944fe43f9f9e0376d2c5714525bc9f41b8ec62da
SHA256 7d61d8c6aaa832b5fa19013216c62c0b0d45b59deda14b3cf174e577a3e545e1
Open virus check report
Description sqlitetools module (compressed TAR archive)
Release date 2009-May-05 Size 54,803 bytes
MD5 5f6ef9d960a8e3d8a7e39ea8034c64cb
SHA1 1f5244d040a8cad02d95cde7389b918ab6887640
SHA256 67fddb3e965fb62a887e7da697ae6f6e79d1d3668f8b4fb99eb48afb62d8e804
Open virus check report
Description sqlitetools module (compressed ZIP archive)
Release date 2009-May-05 Size 56,937 bytes
MD5 92b61dad1c29e4700526435c90bcb04f
SHA1 7eb1867f2f8cc4692e20e6ef558f087fd2cfe459
SHA256 9dffc2fe97d18d63614dd6659866de471b1f9528a94d1c514ddd957373aa77c6
Open virus check report
Description Istruzioni per linstallazione su www.altervista.org
Release date 2009-Jul-16 Size 173,765 bytes
MD5 fcad99e64318d1826917fe1f2c3ad779
SHA1 b3a0c82ca37399ee09d6d508963564beedfb1da4
SHA256 5d6d36cdd580a10957c17fa66108635f372dc4c77aeaa444a7426999f63279cd
Open virus check report



Hi Vincenzo,
it seems something is going wrong while compisong the subquery used to count records (line 771 of file view.inc).

The command "SELECT AS created_year_month..." should be something like "SELECT xyz AS created_year_month...", where xyz is the needed table field name.

Look if there's some switch PHP statement that set this field name; maybe they're not taking 'sqlite' database into account.

Hi Claudio, I opened the view.inc file in notepad++ and looked for any "switch php statement". I found just one: switch($option) But I think this is not the query variable. I don't understand what to change in this file... Any suggestions?

Hi all,
I tryed to find a solution to the problem I met with the views module and, in particular, with the view called "monthly archive"...
But I am just going crazy!
As Claudio sayd the problem is in the building of the SQL query. But it's really hard for me to find how this query is built (there are lots of variables, lots of objects, lots of arrays, lots of functions....It's terrible!).
I don't understand anything!
And I am just going crazy, really crazy!
The problem is that I need to use this module very much in my site,!
At this point, unfortunately, I think I have to destroy all the work I have done because of views' problems...
Is it possible that anyone have never used the "monthly archive" view with drupal sqlite?
Is it possible that anyone have never patched this module to work with this version of drupal?
I would be interested in doing it, but I really don't know how to do it...

Please help me!

I have same requirement in one of my project in need to create archive blocks of diffrent node type and i didn't find any module. Now we have sandbox module availabe for archives in both 6.x and 7.x.

You can test this sandbox module - http://drupal.org/sandbox/asiq.khan/1213302

Non funziona il modulo privatemsg, cosa posso fare per farlo funzionare?

Non conosco il modulo in questione; l'unica cosa che posso consigliarti è verificarne il codice PHP.

Prendi spunto dai suggerimenti che trovi al paragrafo "Altri moduli aggiuntivi"...


i have white pages every time db is under 4mb filesize

3 sites in diffrent host has the same problem

any help?


is this wordpress ?

As you can see in footer this is Drupal-SQLite (Drupal 6 + my SQLite patch)