I need to connect to a SQLite/SpatiaLite database to copy data there. I have done the same with PostgreSQL/PostGIS like this:

connection_string = "dbname={} user={} password={} host={} port={}".format(
                config.get_config_value(dbsettings, "user"),
                config.get_config_value(dbsettings, "password"),
                config.get_config_value(dbsettings, "host"),
                config.get_config_value(dbsettings, "port")
ogr.Open("PG:" + connection_string)

I followed instructions here where it is specified how to connect to PostgreSQL. But in the SQLite section, there isn't any information on connecting to the database. I suppose there also will be a connection string with a path to the database file instead of port and host but I need the exact syntax.

I am using Python 3.5.


I need to use ogr.open (not sqlite3.connect) because I store data to the database using CopyLayer (a method of ogr.open) as can be seen here (this is for PsotgreSQL):

    dsc_in = ogr.Open(file_name)
    dsc_out = ogr.Open("PG:" + self.target)

    layer = dsc_out.CopyLayer(dsc_in.GetLayer(), identifier,
    if layer is None:
        raise Exception("Writing output data to the database failed.")

2 Answers 2


As far as I know, I don't think you need to build a connection string (as opposed to db services) for sqlite connections. This works fine for me:

from osgeo import ogr
ds = ogr.Open('spatialite.db')

for i in range(ds.GetLayerCount()):
  • side note: please check if your gdal/ogr was compiled with spatialite support (run ogrinfo --formats and spatialite should be in the list)
    – nickves
    Jun 4, 2018 at 9:45
  • When I do is like this, ds is None. Any idea what might be causing it or where to look? I am using Linux Bash Shell on Win 10.
    – Jan Pisl
    Jun 7, 2018 at 16:55
  • I run the "ogrinfo --formats" command and spatialite is on the list ( SQLite -vector- (rw+v): SQLite / Spatialite)
    – Jan Pisl
    Jun 7, 2018 at 16:56
  • 1
    the usual suspect in these case if that the file can't be seen. try os.path.isfile('mydirectory/sqlite.db'). It should return True. If it does do ogrinfo on your sqllite file, if the program relevant information its not a program with gdal/ogr
    – nickves
    Jun 7, 2018 at 17:28
  • os.path.isfile('mydirectory/sqlite.db') returns True. When I run ogrinfo testdb.sqlite3, it returns "FAILURE: Unable to open datasource `testdb.sqlite3' with the following drivers." (and then a list of drivers). SQLite is on the list.
    – Jan Pisl
    Jun 7, 2018 at 17:41

Python has a native library for working with sqlite, you might be better off using that.

import sqlite3 sqlite3.connect("path/to/db")

  • I need to use ogr.open. I updated the question so it is clear why. But maybe I am missing something..
    – Jan Pisl
    Jun 3, 2018 at 14:35

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