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Flyway Documentation


Command-line tool

The Flyway command-line tool is a standalone Flyway distribution. It runs on Windows, macOS and Linux and it is primarily meant for users who wish to migrate their database from the command-line without having to integrate Flyway into their applications nor having to install a build tool.

Download and installation

Select the platform that you need. Each download contains all editions of Flyway.


md5 sha1

Extract the archive and simply add the new `flyway-8.5.11` directory to the `PATH` to make the `flyway` command available from anywhere on your system.


md5 sha1


Download, extract and install by adding to PATH (requires sudo permissions):

$ wget -qO- | tar xvz && sudo ln -s `pwd`/flyway-8.5.11/flyway /usr/local/bin 

Or simply download the archive:

md5 sha1


(Linux only) Download, extract and install by adding to PATH (requires sudo permissions):

$ sudo sh -c 'echo "docker run --rm flyway/flyway:8.5.11 $*" > /usr/local/bin/flyway && chmod +x /usr/local/bin/flyway'

(All platforms) Or simply download the image:

> docker pull flyway/flyway:8.5.11

Go to Docker Hub for detailed usage instructions.

Older versions, packages without JRE and sources are available from Maven Central

Older Docker images are available from boxfuse/flyway


If you’re interested in trying out upcoming features, take a look at our beta page.

Directory structure

The Flyway download, once extracted, now becomes a directory with the following structure:

     flyway.conf  configuration file
   drivers         JDBC drivers
   jars            Java-based migrations (as jars)
   sql             SQL migrations
   flyway         macOS/Linux executable
   flyway.cmd     Windows executable


> flyway [options] command

Flyway editions

The Flyway Command-line tool distribution ships with all editions of Flyway. It auto-detects which edition to run based on any license keys you configure, however it can easily be configured to run the paid editions specifically.

Environment variable

One way to switch between the various Flyway editions is to set the FLYWAY_EDITION environment variable prior to executing Flyway to any of the following values:

communitySelect the Flyway Community Edition
teamsSelect the Flyway Teams Edition

Edition-selecting flags

Alternatively Flyway also comes with edition-selecting flags. By default the flyway command will launch whatever edition has been auto-detected. You can however also use edition-selecting flags to force the selection of the edition of your choice:

-communitySelect the Flyway Community Edition
-teamsSelect the Flyway Teams Edition

Help flags

The following flags provide helpful information without carrying out any other operations:

Print the list of available commands and options
Print the Flyway version


Name Description
migrate Migrates the database
clean Drops all objects in the configured schemas
info Prints the details and status information about all the migrations
validate Validates the applied migrations against the ones available on the classpath
undo Flyway Teams Undoes the most recently applied versioned migrations
baseline Baselines an existing database, excluding all migrations up to and including baselineVersion
repair Repairs the schema history table

JDBC drivers

In order to connect with your database, Flyway needs the appropriate JDBC driver to be available in its drivers directory.

To see if Flyway ships with the JDBC driver for your database, visit the Driver section of the documentation page for your database. For example, here is the Oracle Drivers section.

If Flyway does not ship with the JDBC driver, you will need to download the driver and place it in the drivers directory yourself. Instructions on where to download drivers from are also in the Driver section of the documentation page for each database, under Maven Central coordinates.


The Flyway Command-line tool can be configured in a wide variety of ways. You can use config files, environment variables and command-line parameters (except for FLYWAY_EDITION, which is not available in config files and should be used as specified above). These different means of configuration can be combined at will.

Config files

Config files are supported by the Flyway command-line tool. If you are not familiar with them, check out the Flyway config file structure and settings reference first.

Flyway will search for and automatically load the following config files if present:

  • <install-dir>/conf/flyway.conf
  • <user-home>/flyway.conf
  • <current-dir>/flyway.conf

It is also possible to point Flyway at one or more additional config files. This is achieved by supplying the command line parameter -configFiles= as follows:

> flyway -configFiles=path/to/myAlternativeConfig.conf migrate

To pass in multiple files, separate their names with commas:

> flyway -configFiles=path/to/myAlternativeConfig.conf,other.conf migrate

Relative paths are relative to the current working directory. The special option -configFiles=- reads from standard input.

Alternatively you can also use the FLYWAY_CONFIG_FILES environment variable for this. When set it will take preference over the command-line parameter.

> export FLYWAY_CONFIG_FILES=path/to/myAlternativeConfig.conf,other.conf
> flyway migrate

By default Flyway loads configuration files using UTF-8. To use an alternative encoding, use the command line parameter -configFileEncoding= as follows:

> flyway -configFileEncoding=ISO-8859-1 migrate

Alternatively you can also use the FLYWAY_CONFIG_FILE_ENCODING environment variable for this. When set it will take preference over the command-line parameter.


Environment Variables

To make it easier to work with cloud and containerized environments, Flyway also supports configuration via environment variables. Check out the Flyway environment variable reference for details.

Command-line Arguments

Finally, Flyway can also be configured by passing arguments directly from the command-line:

> flyway -user=myuser -schemas=schema1,schema2 -placeholders.keyABC=valueXYZ migrate

A note on escaping command-line arguments

Some command-line arguments will need care as specific characters may be interpreted differently depending on the shell you are working in. The url parameter is particularly affected when it contains extra parameters with equals = and ampersands &. For example:

bash, macOS terminal and Windows cmd: use double-quotes:

> flyway info -url="jdbc:snowflake://"

Powershell: use double-quotes inside single-quotes:

> ./flyway info -url='"jdbc:snowflake://"'

Configuration from standard input

You can provide configuration options to the standard input of the Flyway command line, using the ` -configFiles=-` option. Flyway will expect such configuration to be in the same format as a configuration file.

This allows you to compose Flyway with other operations. For instance, you can decrypt a config file containing login credentials and pipe it straight into Flyway.


Read a single option from echo:

> echo $'flyway.url=jdbc:h2:mem:mydb' | flyway info -configFiles=-

Read multiple options from echo, delimited by newlines:

> echo $'flyway.url=jdbc:h2:mem:mydb\nflyway.user=sa' | flyway info -configFiles=-

Use cat to read a config file and pipe it directly into Flyway:

> cat flyway.conf | flyway migrate -configFiles=-

Use gpg to encrypt a config file, then pipe it into Flyway.

Encrypt the config file:

> gpg -e -r "Your Name" flyway.conf

Decrypt the file and pipe it to Flyway:

> gpg -d -q flyway.conf.gpg | flyway info -configFiles=-

Overriding order

The Flyway command-line tool has been carefully designed to load and override configuration in a sensible order.

Settings are loaded in the following order (higher items in the list take precedence over lower ones):

  1. Command-line arguments
  2. Environment variables
  3. Standard input
  4. Custom config files
  5. <current-dir>/flyway.conf
  6. <user-home>/flyway.conf
  7. <install-dir>/conf/flyway.conf
  8. Flyway command-line defaults

The means that if for example flyway.url is both present in a config file and passed as -url= from the command-line, the command-line argument will take precedence and be used.


If you do not supply a database user or password via any of the means above, you will be prompted to enter them:

Database user: myuser
Database password:

If you want Flyway to connect to your database without a user or password, you can suppress prompting by adding the -n flag.

There are exceptions, where the credentials are passed in the JDBC URL or where a password-less method of authentication is being used.

Java Arguments

If you need to to pass custom arguments to Flyway’s JVM, you can do so by setting the JAVA_ARGS environment variable. They will then automatically be taken into account when launching Flyway. This is particularly useful when needing to set JVM system properties.


By default, all debug, info and warning output is sent to stdout. All errors are sent to stderr.

Flyway will automatically detect and use any logger class that it finds on its classpath that derives from any of the following:

  • the Apache Commons Logging framework org.apache.commons.logging.Log (including Log4j v1)
  • SLF4J org.slf4j.Logger
  • Log4J v2 org.apache.logging.log4j.Logger

Alternatively, you can use the loggers configuration parameter to specify an exact desired logging framework to use.

The simplest way to make use of Flyway’s auto-detection is to put all the necessary JAR files in Flyway’s lib folder and any configuration in the Flyway root folder. For example, if you wished to use log4j v2 with the Flyway command line, you would achieve this by placing the log4j JAR files and the corresponding configuration file log4j2.xml like this:

     log4j-api-2.17.1.jar        log4j v2 jar
     log4j-core-2.17.1.jar       log4j v2 jar
   log4j2.xml                    log4j configuration

Similarly, to use Logback add the relevant files like this:

     logback-classic.1.1.7.jar  Logback jar
     logback-core-1.1.7.jar     Logback jar
     slf4j-api-1.7.21.jar       Logback dependency
   logback.xml                  Logback configuration

If you are building Flyway into a larger application, this means you do not need to explicitly wire up any logging as it will auto-detect one of these frameworks.


P6Spy is another approach to logging which operates at the driver or datasource level, and Flyway has integration with this. You can read about setting it up here and configuring it here.


By default the output is automatically colorized if stdout is associated with a terminal.

You can override this behavior with the -color option. Possible values:

  • auto (default) : Colorize output, unless stdout is not associated with a terminal
  • always : Always colorize output
  • never : Never colorize output

Debug output

Add -X to the argument list to also print debug output. If this gives you too much information, you can filter it with normal command-line tools, for example:

bash, macOS terminal

> flyway migrate -X | grep -v 'term-to-filter-out'


> flyway migrate -X | sls -Pattern 'term-to-filter-out' -NoMatch

Windows cmd

> flyway migrate -X | findstr /v /c:"term-to-filter-out"

Quiet mode

Add -q to the argument list to suppress all output, except for errors and warnings.

Machine-readable output

Add -outputType=json to the argument list to print JSON instead of human-readable output. Errors are included in the JSON payload instead of being sent to stderr.

Writing to a file

Add -outputFile=/my/output.txt to the argument list to also write output to the specified file.

Command-line: migrate