Accessing data using CQL

Resources for running CQL commands, including steps to launch the cqlsh utility.

Common ways to access data using CQL are:

  • CQL shell (cqlsh): a Python-based command-line client installed on DataStax Enterprise nodes.
  • DataStax drivers: for developing applications.
  • About DataStax Studio 6.7: an interactive tool for exploring and visualizing large datasets using DSE Graph. Studio provides an intuitive interface for developers and analysts to collaborate and test theories by mixing code, documentation, query results and visualizations into self-documenting notebooks.

Starting cqlsh

Launch the cqlsh utility with the default settings.

Execute the cqlsh python script to start the CQL shell. The CQL shell is a python-based command line client for executing CQL commands interactively. The CQL shell supports tab completion.

To connect to a security-enabled cluster, see Providing Kerberos credentials when starting CQL shell .

Tip: For a complete list of cqlsh options, see cqlsh (startup options).


  1. Navigate to the DataStax Enterprise installation directory.
  2. Start cqlsh on the Mac OSX, for example.
    If you use security features, provide a user name and password.
  3. Print the help menu for cqlsh.
    bin/cqlsh --help
  4. Optionally, specify the IP address and port to start cqlsh on a different node.
    bin/cqlsh 9042
    Note: You can use tab completion to see hints about how to complete a cqlsh command. Some platforms, such as Mac OSX, do not ship with tab completion installed. Use easy_install to install tab completion capabilities on Mac OSX:
    easy_install readline