A tutorial for downloading, installing and configuring SQLite database in Windows and using it in a Laravel project.

🌍 The French version of this publication : Comment installer, configurer et utiliser SQLite avec Laravel sur Windows

What is SQLite?

SQLite is a library that provides a relational database engine, accessible via SQL (Structured Query Language). Unlike other relational database management systems such as MySQL, PostgreSQL or Oracle, it has certain differences:

  • It does not require a dedicated server. It is not client/server
  • It is stored as a file in the application, providing a local data storage solution.
  • It is often used for mobile and desktop applications because it requires few system resources.
  • ...

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to download, install and configure SQLite in Windows, so you can set it up and use it in a Laravel project.

At the time of writing, I'm using Laravel version 10.14.1.

Installing SQLite in Windows

Here are the steps for installing and configuring SQLite in Windows :

1. Download the sqlite-dll and sqlite-tools precompiled archives of SQLite for Windows from the official website :

Download SQLite for Windows from the official sqlite.org website

2. Extract the contents of these archives into a folder of your choice. For my part, I extract to C:\laragon\bin\sqlite

Extracting the contents of SQLite archives in Windows

3. Add the path to the folder containing the SQLite executable to the Windows PATH environment variable.

To do this, press Windows + R to open the "Run" dialog box, type sysdm.cpl and press "Enter". This opens the "System properties" dialog box, go to the "Advanced system settings" tab and click on "Environment variables".

Go to Windows environment variables

Select the Path variable in the "User variables" or "System variables" section, then click on "Edit" :

Modifying the Windows Path system variable

Add the path to the folder containing the SQLite executable to the list of paths by clicking on "New":

Add SQLite executables to Windows Path

4. To ensure that SQLite is installed correctly, open the command prompt and run the sqlite3 command. This will display the sqlite > prompt:

The sqlite prompt in Windows

Enter the .quit command to exit

Using SQLite in Laravel

Here are the steps for using SQLite in a Laravel project:

1. Create a database.sqlite file in the /database folder. As a reminder, this folder contains migrations, seeders, factories, etc.

2. In the .env file at the project root, comment out the other database connection lines and enter sqlite for the DB_CONNECTION parameter:


To understand how this works, look at the following lines in the /config/database.php configuration file:

'connections' => [
    'sqlite' => [
        'driver' => 'sqlite',
        'url' => env('DATABASE_URL'),
        'database' => env('DB_DATABASE', database_path('database.sqlite')),
        'prefix' => '',
        'foreign_key_constraints' => env('DB_FOREIGN_KEYS', true),
    // ...

When sqlite is specified as the "driver" for the connection, the DB_DATABASE database is database_path('database.sqlite') by default.

3. Finally, run the php artisan migrate command to migrate the tables to your database.

Take care! 😎