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SQL*Plus® User's Guide and Reference
Release 11.1

Part Number B31189-01
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HO[ST] [command]

where command represents an operating system command.

Executes an operating system command without leaving SQL*Plus.

Enter HOST without command to display an operating system prompt. You can then enter multiple operating system commands. For information on returning to SQL*Plus, refer to the platform-specific Oracle documentation provided for your operating system.


Operating system commands entered from a SQL*Plus session using the HOST command do not affect the current SQL*Plus session. For example, setting an operating system environment variable only affects SQL*Plus sessions started subsequently.

You can disable HOST. For more information about disabling HOST, see SQL*Plus Security.


In some operating systems, you can use a character in place of HOST such as "$" in Windows or "!" in UNIX, or you may not have access to the HOST command. See the platform-specific Oracle documentation provided for your operating system or ask your DBA for more information.

On some platforms, an _RC substitution variable may be created with a HOST return value that is operation system dependent. It is recommended that you do not use the _RC substitution variable in scripts as it is not portable.

SQL*Plus removes the SQLTERMINATOR (a semicolon by default) before the HOST command is issued. A workaround for this is to add another SQLTERMINATOR. See SET SQLT[ERMINATOR] {; | c | ON | OFF} for more information.


To execute a UNIX operating system command, ls *.sql, enter

HOST ls *.sql

To execute a Windows operating system command, dir *.sql, enter

HOST dir *.sql