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Lightweight migrations system for python / sqlite3

Project description

Migrations are a type of version control for databases, used to keep track of the changes made, and to provide easy maintainability. In case something goes wrong, ‘rollback’ can be run and it will revert the database to the previous state.

limigrations provides basic migrations functionality for sqlite3. It contains a method for connecting to the database, and functions for migrate and rollback.

Getting started

A migration consist in a Python script (preferably named by datetime of creation) placed in the migrations directory. The script should contain an import and a class called Migration which implements BaseMigration.

from limigrations.migration import BaseMigration

class Migration(BaseMigration):
  def up(self, conn, c):
  def down(self, conn, c):

There is an example here.


Install the package with pip

$ pip install limigrations

or clone this repository and install

$ git clone
$ python install


1. In your project create a directory for migrations

$ mkdir my-migrations

2. Decide on a name for your database e.g. my-database.db

$ touch my-database.db

3. Create your first migration using the command-line, then edit the up and down methods

$ limigrations new --new_migration "users_table" --migrations_dir "my-migrations"

Optionally, you can copy the example and modifying the up and down methods, saving it in your migrations directory. It’s recommended to name it after the date and time e.g. 2017-03-08_12:31


4a. Run

$ limigrations migrate --db_file "my-database.db" --migrations_dir "my-migrations"

5a. Done! You should now see the changes written in the up method being applied.

6a. If something goes wrong and you want to revert, run

$ limigrations rollback --db_file "my-database.db" --migrations_dir "my-migrations"

7a. You should see the changes written in the down method being applied.


The following options can be used:

$ python -m limigrations -h

usage: [-h] [-d DB_FILE] [-m MIGRATIONS_DIR] [-v] action

positional arguments:
  action                Action to take, can be 'migrate' or 'rollback'

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -d DB_FILE, --db_file DB_FILE
                        Path to the database file.
  -m MIGRATIONS_DIR, --migrations_dir MIGRATIONS_DIR
                        Path to the migrations directory.
  -v, --verbose         Verbose


4b. Import the limigrations module and run the migrations

from limigrations import limigrations

limigrations.migrate('my-database.db', 'my-migrations')

5a. If you want to rollback later, run the rollback

limigrations.rollback('my-database.db', 'my-migrations')

6a. If you just want to connect to the database

conn, c = limigrations.connect_database('my-database.db')


After cloning the repository, run

python -m unittest -v tests.test_limigrations

There are two tests, one for migrate and one for rollback. They create a test migration at runtime, defining the up and down methods, and then call the tested functions. The tests should leave no trace, as the directories and files are deleted after completion.


  1. Fork the repository on GitHub.
  2. Make a branch off of master and commit your changes to it.
  3. Run the tests with unittest
  4. Ensure that your name is added to the end of the AUTHORS file using the format Name <> (url), where the (url) portion is optional.
  5. Submit a Pull Request to the master branch on GitHub.

If you’d like to have a development environment, you should create a virtualenv and then do pip install -e . from within the directory.


Alex Radu - initial work -


This project is licensed under the MIT License - see the file for details.

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