# Connecting Through SnowSQL¶

This topic describes how to connect to Snowflake by entering connection parameters manually. The topic then explains how to configure a default connection for ease of use, as well as one or more named connections to use alternative connection settings or create multiple concurrent sessions.

In this Topic:

## Connection Syntax¶

$snowsql <connection_parameters>  Where <connection_parameters> are one or more of the following. For detailed descriptions of each parameter, see Connection Parameters Reference (in this topic). -a, --accountname TEXT Name assigned to your Snowflake account. Honors$SNOWSQL_ACCOUNT.
-u, --username TEXT              Username to connect to Snowflake. Honors $SNOWSQL_USER. -d, --dbname TEXT Database to use. Honors$SNOWSQL_DATABASE.
-s, --schemaname TEXT            Schema in the database to use. Honors $SNOWSQL_SCHEMA. -r, --rolename TEXT Role name to use. Honors$SNOWSQL_ROLE.
-w, --warehouse TEXT             Warehouse to use. Honors $SNOWSQL_WAREHOUSE. -h, --host TEXT Host address for the connection. Honors$SNOWSQL_HOST. (Deprecated)
-p, --port INTEGER               Port number for the connection. Honors $SNOWSQL_PORT. (Deprecated) --region TEXT Region. Honors$SNOWSQL_REGION. (Deprecated; use -a or --accountname instead)
-m, --mfa-passcode TEXT          Token to use for multi-factor authentication (MFA)
--abort-detached-query           Aborts a query if the connection between the client and server is lost. By default, it won't abort even if the
connection is lost.
--probe-connection               Test connectivity to Snowflake. This option is mainly used to print out the TLS/SSL certificate chain.
--proxy-host TEXT                (DEPRECATED. Use HTTPS_PROXY and HTTP_PROXY environment variables.) Proxy server hostname. Honors $SNOWSQL_PROXY_HOST. --proxy-port INTEGER (DEPRECATED. Use HTTPS_PROXY and HTTP_PROXY environment variables.) Proxy server port number. Honors$SNOWSQL_PROXY_PORT.
--proxy-user TEXT                (DEPRECATED. Use HTTPS_PROXY and HTTP_PROXY environment variables.) Proxy server username. Honors $SNOWSQL_PROXY_USER. Set$SNOWSQL_PROXY_PWD for the proxy server password.
--authenticator TEXT             Authenticator: 'snowflake', 'externalbrowser' (to use any IdP and a web browser),
https://<okta_account_name>.okta.com (to use Okta natively), or 'oauth' to authenticate using OAuth.
-v, --version                    Shows the current SnowSQL version, or uses a specific version if provided as a value.
--noup                           Disables auto-upgrade for this run. If no version is specified for -v, the latest version in ~/.snowsql/ is used.
-D, --variable TEXT              Sets a variable to be referred by &<var>. -D tablename=CENUSTRACKONE or --variable db_key=$DB_KEY -o, --option TEXT Set SnowSQL options. See the options reference in the Snowflake documentation. -f, --filename PATH File to execute. -q, --query TEXT Query to execute. --config PATH Path and name of the SnowSQL configuration file. By default, ~/.snowsql/config. -P, --prompt Forces a password prompt. By default,$SNOWSQL_PWD is used to set the password.
-M, --mfa-prompt                 Forces a prompt for the second token for MFA.
-c, --connection TEXT            Named set of connection parameters to use.
--single-transaction             Connects with autocommit disabled. Wraps BEGIN/COMMIT around statements to execute them as a single transaction,
ensuring all commands complete successfully or no change is applied.
--private-key-path PATH          Path to private key file in PEM format used for key pair authentication. The private key file must be encrypted,
and the passphrase must be specified in the environment variable SNOWSQL_PRIVATE_KEY_PASSPHRASE.
--disable-request-pooling        Disables connection pooling.
-K, --client-session-keep-alive  Keep the session active indefinitely, even if there is no activity from the user.
-?, --help                       Show this message and exit.


Passwords cannot be passed through connection parameters. Passwords must be specified in one of the following ways:

• Entered via interactive prompt in SnowSQL (applies to passwords only).

• Defined in the SnowSQL configuration file using the password option. For details, see Configuring Default Connection Settings (in this topic).

• Specified using the SNOWSQL_PWD environment variables. For details, see Using Environment Variables (in this topic).

Note

In Windows environments, the Cygwin terminal doesn’t prompt for your account name, username, or password. This is because SnowSQL cannot enable TTY mode in Cygwin terminals.

### Using Environment Variables¶

Currently, environment variables can only be used to pre-specify some command line parameter values such as password, host, and database. Environment variables are not available to use in SnowSQL variable substitution unless they are explicitly specified on the command line when starting SnowSQL, using either the -D or --variable connection parameter. For example:

Linux/macOS
$snowsql ... -D tablename=CENUSTRACKONE --variable db_key=$DB_KEY

Windows
$snowsql ... -D tablename=CENUSTRACKONE --variable db_key=%DB_KEY%  In the above example, --variable sets a Snowflake variable named db_key to the DB_KEY environment variable. ## Configuring Default Connection Settings¶ We recommend configuring your default connection parameters to simplify the connection process. Thereafter, when connecting to Snowflake, you can omit your Snowflake account name, username, and any other parameters you have configured as your default values. To configure your default settings: 1. Open the SnowSQL configuration file (named config) in a text editor. The default location of the file is: Linux/macOS ~/.snowsql/ Windows %USERPROFILE%\.snowsql\ Note You can change the default location by specifying the --config path command-line flag when starting SnowSQL. 2. In the [connections] section, configure the default connection parameters by removing the comment symbol from any of the following parameters and specifying the correct values: [connections] #accountname = <string> # Account name to connect to Snowflake. #username = <string> # User name in the account. Optional. #password = <string> # User password. Optional. #dbname = <string> # Default database. Optional. #schemaname = <string> # Default schema. Optional. #warehousename = <string> # Default warehouse. Optional. #rolename = <string> # Default role. Optional. #authenticator = <string> # Authenticator: 'snowflake', 'externalbrowser' (to use any IdP and a web browser), https://<okta_account_name>.okta.com (to use Okta natively), 'oauth' to authenticate using OAuth.  Attention • The password is stored in plain text in the config file. You must explicitly secure the file to restrict access. For example, in Linux or macOS, you can set the read permissions to you alone by running chmod: $ chmod 700 ~/.snowsql/config

• If your password includes special characters, you must enclose the password in either single quotes or double quotes.

## Verifying the Network Connection to Snowflake with SnowCD¶

After configuration, you can evaluate and troubleshoot your network connectivity to Snowflake using SnowCD.

You can use SnowCD during the initial configuration process and on-demand at any time to evaluate and troubleshoot your network connection to Snowflake.

## Using Named Connections¶

To make multiple simultaneous connections to Snowflake, or to simply store different sets of connection configurations, you can define one or more named connections.

### Defining Named Connections in the Configuration File¶

1. Open the config configuration file in a text editor. By default, the file is located in:

Linux/macOS

~/.snowsql/

Windows

%USERPROFILE%\.snowsql\

2. Add a separate [connections] section with a unique name for each named connection.

For example, the following illustrates a connection named my_example_connection for a Snowflake account in the EU (Frankfurt) region:

[connections.my_example_connection]
accountname = xy12345.eu-central-1
dbname = mydb
schemaname = public
warehousename = mywh


### Connecting to Snowflake Using a Named Connection¶

Use the -c <string> (or --connection <string>) connection parameter to specify a named connection, where <string> is the name of a connection defined in the configuration file.

For example, connect using the my_example_connection connection you created in Defining Named Connections in the Configuration File (in this topic):

$snowsql -c my_example_connection  ## Using Key Pair Authentication & Key Pair Rotation¶ SnowSQL supports key pair authentication and key rotation, but does not support unencrypted private keys. 1. To start, follow the instructions to configure Key Pair Authentication & Key Pair Rotation. 2. Specify the path to the private key file either in the configuration file or on the command line: • In the configuration file: • Add the private_key_path connection parameter to your connection settings and specify the local path to the private key file you created. The syntax is not OS-specific: Supported OS private_key_path = <path>/rsa_key.p8  • Use the SNOWSQL_PRIVATE_KEY_PASSPHRASE environment variable to set the passphrase for decrypting the private key file. The syntax is OS-specific: Linux/macOS export SNOWSQL_PRIVATE_KEY_PASSPHRASE='<passphrase>'  Windows set SNOWSQL_PRIVATE_KEY_PASSPHRASE='<passphrase>'  • On the command line: Include the private-key-path connection parameter and specify the path to your encrypted private key file: $ snowsql -a <account> -u <user> --private-key-path <path>/rsa_key.p8


SnowSQL prompts you for the passphrase. Alternatively, use the SNOWSQL_PRIVATE_KEY_PASSPHRASE environment variable to set the passphrase for decrypting the private key file (as described above).

## Using a Proxy Server¶

To use a proxy server, configure the following environment variables:

• HTTP_PROXY

• HTTPS_PROXY

• NO_PROXY

Note

The proxy parameters (i.e. proxy_host, proxy_port, proxy_user and SNOWFLAKE_PROXY_PWD in the command line and config file) are deprecated. Use the environment variables instead.

However, this requires SnowSQL 1.1.20 or higher. To determine your current version, see Understanding SnowSQL Versioning.

For example:

Linux/macOS
export HTTP_PROXY='http://username:password@proxyserver.company.com:80'

Windows
set HTTP_PROXY=http://username:password@proxyserver.company.com:80


Tip

Snowflake’s security model does not allow Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) proxies (using an HTTPS certificate). Your proxy server must use a publicly-available Certificate Authority (CA), reducing potential security risks such as a MITM (Man In The Middle) attack through a compromised proxy.

If you must use your SSL proxy, we strongly recommend that you update the server policy to pass through the Snowflake certificate such that no certificate is altered in the middle of communications.

Optionally NO_PROXY can be used to bypass the proxy for specific communications. For example, Amazon S3 access can be bypassed by specifying NO_PROXY=".amazonaws.com".

## Using a Web Browser for Federated Authentication/SSO¶

To use browser-based SSO authentication for SnowSQL, add --authenticator externalbrowser to your SnowSQL connection parameters:

For example:

$snowsql -a <accountname> -u <username> --authenticator externalbrowser  For more information about federated authentication/SSO, see Managing/Using Federated Authentication. ## Verifying the OCSP Connector or Driver Version¶ Snowflake uses OCSP to evaluate the certificate chain when making a connection to Snowflake. The driver or connector version and its configuration both determine the OCSP behavior. For more information about the driver or connector version, their configuration, and OCSP behavior, see OCSP Configuration. ## OCSP Response Cache Server¶ Note The OCSP response cache server is currently supported by SnowSQL 1.1.55 and higher. Snowflake clients initiate every connection to a Snowflake service endpoint with a “handshake” that establishes a secure connection before actually transferring data. As part of the handshake, a client authenticates the TLS/SSL certificate for the service endpoint. The revocation status of the certificate is checked by sending a client certificate request to one of the OCSP (Online Certificate Status Protocol) servers for the CA (certificate authority). A connection failure occurs when the response from the OCSP server is delayed beyond a reasonable time. The following caches persist the revocation status, helping alleviate these issues: • Memory cache, which persists for the life of the process. • File cache, which persists until the cache directory (e.g. ~/.cache/snowflake or ~/.snowsql/ocsp_response_cache) is purged. • Snowflake OCSP response cache server, which fetches OCSP responses from the CA’s OCSP servers hourly and stores them for 24 hours. Clients can then request the validation status of a given Snowflake certificate from this server cache. Important If your server policy denies access to most or all external IP addresses and web sites, you must whitelist the cache server address to allow normal service operation. The cache server hostname is ocsp*.snowflakecomputing.com:80. If you need to disable the cache server for any reason, set the SF_OCSP_RESPONSE_CACHE_SERVER_ENABLED environment variable to false. Note that the value is case-sensitive and must be in lowercase. If none of the cache layers contain the OCSP response, the client then attempts to fetch the validation status directly from the OCSP server for the CA. ## Connection Error Handling¶ Cannot open self /usr/bin/snowsql or archive /usr/bin/snowsql.pkg (Linux Only) Due to a limitation in pyinstaller (the program that packages SnowSQL into a stand-alone executable from Python source code), prelink mistakenly strips parts of the snowsql executable and causes this error. To avoid this issue, the SnowSQL installer attempts to update the prelink configuration file in /etc/prelink.conf.d/snowsql.conf for the snowsql executable such that prelink does not alter the file. Unfortunately, this configuration update cannot be made by the SnowSQL auto-upgrade process. Work with your system administrator to run the following command on your workstation: $ sudo bash -c "echo '-b snowsql' > /etc/prelink.conf.d/snowsql.conf"


Note

If you install snowsql in your user home directory, this issue is less likely to occur because prelink is configured, by default, to scan the shared binary directories (e.g. /usr/bin or /bin) and does not alter programs in your home directory.

## Connection Parameters Reference¶

### -a , --accountname¶

Description

Required

Specifies the full name of your account (provided by Snowflake). Note that your full account name may include additional segments that identify the region and cloud platform where your account is hosted.

Account name examples by region

If your account locator is xy12345:

Cloud Platform / . Region

Account Locator . (with additional segments if required)

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

US West (Oregon)

xy12345

US East (Ohio)

xy12345.us-east-2.aws

US East (N. Virginia)

xy12345.us-east-1

US East (Commercial Gov - N. Virginia)

xy12345.us-east-1-gov.aws

xy12345.ca-central-1.aws

EU (Ireland)

xy12345.eu-west-1

Europe (London)

xy12345.eu-west-2.aws

EU (Frankfurt)

xy12345.eu-central-1

Asia Pacific (Tokyo)

xy12345.ap-northeast-1.aws

Asia Pacific (Mumbai)

xy12345.ap-south-1.aws

Asia Pacific (Singapore)

xy12345.ap-southeast-1

Asia Pacific (Sydney)

xy12345.ap-southeast-2

US Central1 (Iowa)

xy12345.us-central1.gcp

Europe West2 (London)

xy12345.europe-west2.gcp

Europe West4 (Netherlands)

xy12345.europe-west4.gcp

Microsoft Azure

West US 2 (Washington)

xy12345.west-us-2.azure

East US 2 (Virginia)

xy12345.east-us-2.azure

US Gov Virginia

xy12345.us-gov-virginia.azure

xy12345.canada-central.azure

West Europe (Netherlands)

xy12345.west-europe.azure

Switzerland North (Zurich)

xy12345.switzerland-north.azure

Southeast Asia (Singapore)

xy12345.southeast-asia.azure

Australia East (New South Wales)

xy12345.australia-east.azure

Important

If either of the following conditions is true, your account locator is different than the structure described in the above examples:

• If AWS PrivateLink or Azure Private Link is enabled for your account and you wish to use private connectivity to connect to Snowflake, run the SYSTEM$GET_PRIVATELINK_CONFIG function to determine the private connectivity URL to use. For more details on private connectivity, see: This connection parameter can also be set in the configuration file. Value String Also, the value can be an environment variable: Linux/macOS $SNOWSQL_ACCOUNT

Windows

%SNOWSQL_ACCOUNT%

For example, in Linux or macOS:

$export SNOWSQL_ACCOUNT=xy12345$ snowsql -a $SNOWSQL_ACCOUNT  Default None ### -u , --username¶ Description Specifies the login name of the user with whom you connect to the specified account. This connection parameter can also be set in the configuration file. Value String The value can be an environment variable: Linux/macOS $SNOWSQL_USER

Windows

%SNOWSQL_USER%

For example, in Linux or macOS:

$export SNOWSQL_USER=jdoe$ snowsql -u $SNOWSQL_USER  Default None ### -d , --dbname¶ Description Specifies the database to use by default in the client session (can be changed after login). Value String The value can be an environment variable: Linux/macOS $SNOWSQL_DATABASE

Windows

%SNOWSQL_DATABASE%

This connection parameter can also be set in the configuration file.

Default

None

### -s , --schemaname¶

Description

Specifies the database schema to use by default in the client session (can be changed after login).

Value

String

The value can be an environment variable:

Linux/macOS

$SNOWSQL_SCHEMA Windows %SNOWSQL_SCHEMA% This connection parameter can also be set in the configuration file. Default None ### -r , --rolename¶ Description Specifies the role to use by default for accessing Snowflake objects in the client session (can be changed after login). This connection parameter can also be set in the configuration file. Value String The value can be an environment variable: Linux/macOS $SNOWSQL_ROLE

Windows

%SNOWSQL_ROLE%

Default

None

### -w , --warehouse¶

Description

Specifies the virtual warehouse to use by default for queries, loading, etc. in the client session (can be changed after login).

This connection parameter can also be set in the configuration file.

Value

String

The value can be an environment variable:

Linux/macOS

$SNOWSQL_WAREHOUSE Windows %SNOWSQL_WAREHOUSE% Default None ### -h , --host — Deprecated¶ Description Provided for backward compatibility/internal use Specifies the address of the host to which you connect in Snowflake. This parameter is no longer used because the host address is determined automatically by concatenating the account name you specified (using either -a or --account) and the Snowflake domain (snowflakecomputing.com). Value String Default None ### -p , --port — Deprecated¶ Description Provided for backward compatibility/internal use Specifies the port number to use for connection. This parameter is no longer used because the port number for Snowflake is always 443. Value String Default None ### --region — Deprecated¶ Description Provided for backward compatibility/internal use Specifies the ID for the region where your account is located. This parameter is no longer used. Instead, include the region information as part of the account name; for more details, see -a , --accountname (in this topic). Value N/A Default N/A ### -m , --mfa-passcode¶ Description Specifies the second token for MFA (multi-factor authentication) if you pass in the passcode in the command line. Value String Default None ### --mfa-passcode-in-password¶ Description Appends the MFA passcode to the end of the password. You can force the password prompt and type the password followed by the MFA passcode. For example if the MFA token was 123456 and the password was PASSWORD: $ snowsql ... -P ...


Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A

### --abort-detached-query¶

Description

Aborts a query if the connection between the client and server is lost.

Value

Boolean

Default

False (i.e. an active query does not abort if the connection is lost)

### --probe-connection¶

Description

Test connectivity to Snowflake and report the results. Note that this is an experimental option used mainly to print out the TLS/SSL certificate chain.

Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A

### --authenticator¶

Description

Specifies the authenticator to use for verifying user login credentials.

Value

String (Constant):

• snowflake uses the internal Snowflake authenticator.

• externalbrowser uses your web browser to authenticate with Okta, ADFS, or any other SAML 2.0-compliant identity provider (IdP) that has been defined for your account.

• https://<okta_account_name>.okta.com (i.e. the URL endpoint for Okta) authenticates through native Okta (only supported if your IdP is Okta).

• oauth authenticates using OAuth. When OAuth is specified as the authenticator, you must also set the --token parameter to specify the OAuth token (see below).

For more information, see Managing/Using Federated Authentication and OAuth with Clients, Drivers, and Connectors.

Default

snowflake

Note

The externalbrowser authenticator is only supported in terminal windows that have web browser access. For example, a terminal window on a remote machine accessed through a SSH (Secure Shell) session may require additional setup to open a web browser.

If you don’t have access to a web browser, but your IdP is Okta, you can use native Okta (i.e. set the authenticator to https://<okta_account_name>.okta.com).

### --token¶

Description

Specifies the OAuth token to use for authentication. This parameter is required only when you specify --authenticator=oauth.

Value

String

Default

None

### -v , --version¶

Description

Use the specified SnowSQL version or, if no version is specified, display the latest SnowSQL version installed.

Value

String

Default

None

### --versions¶

Description

Lists all available versions of SnowSQL that can be installed and run. To install an earlier SnowSQL version from the list, use the -v option and specify the version you want to install.

Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A

### --noup¶

Description

Disables auto-upgrade for this run. If this option is not included and a newer version is available, SnowSQL automatically downloads and installs the new version. The next time you run SnowSQL, the new version is used.

Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A

### -D , --variable¶

Description

Defines SnowSQL variables on the command line. This option can be used to set specific variables to use in Snowflake.

Value

String

For example:

$snowsql ... -D tablename=CENUSTRACKONE --variable db_key=$DB_KEY ...

Default

None

### -o , --option¶

Description

Defines SnowSQL configuration options on the command line. These options override any options that have been set in the SnowSQL configuration file. For descriptions of the options you can set/override, see SnowSQL Configuration Options Reference.

Value

String

Default

None

### -f , --filename¶

Description

Specifies a SQL file to execute in batch mode.

The value can be a file name (including the directory path, if needed) or a URL to the file.

Value

String

Default

None

### -q , --query¶

Description

Specifies a SQL query to execute.

The value can be a single SQL query or a semicolon-separated list of queries to execute (e.g. 'select current_user(); select current_role()').

Value

String

Default

None

### --config¶

Description

Specifies the location (i.e. directory path) for the SnowSQL configuration file. Include this connector parameter if you want to move or copy the configuration file from the default location.

Value

String

Default

OS-specific:

Linux/macOS

~/.snowsql/

Windows

%USERPROFILE%\.snowsql\

### -P , --prompt¶

Description

Forces a password prompt when the password is stored in the SnowSQL configuration file.

Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A

### -M, --mfa-prompt¶

Description

Forces a prompt for the second token for MFA. Alternatively use --mfa-passcode <string> if you want to pass in to the command line.

Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A

### -c , --connection¶

Description

Specifies a connection to use, where the specified string is the name of a connection defined in the SnowSQL configuration file. For more details, see Using Named Connections (in this topic).

Value

String

Default

None

### --single-transaction¶

Description

Combined with --filename, --query, or standard input commands, this option wraps BEGIN/COMMIT around the statements to ensure all commands complete successfully or no change is applied.

Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A

Note

Note that if the input commands use BEGIN, COMMIT, or ROLLBACK, this option will not work correctly. Also, if any command cannot be executed inside a transaction block, this option will cause the command to fail.

### --private-key-path¶

Description

Path to private key file in PEM format used for key pair authentication. The private key file must be encrypted, and the passphrase must be specified in the environment variable SNOWSQL_PRIVATE_KEY_PASSPHRASE.

Value

String

Default

None

### --disable-request-pooling¶

Description

By default, snowsql uses connection pooling. Connection pooling usually reduces the lag time to make a connection. However, it can slow down client failover to an alternative DNS when a DNS problem occurs. This parameter allows you to turn off connection pooling.

This parameter applies only to customers who have replication enabled.

Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A

### -U , --upgrade¶

Description

Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A

Note

### -K , --client-session-keep-alive¶

Description

Keep the session active indefinitely, even if there is no activity from the user.

Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A

Note

Internally the parameter CLIENT_SESSION_KEEP_ALIVE is set to true for the session.

### -? , --help¶

Description

Shows the command line quick usage guide.

Value

N/A (parameter doesn’t take a value)

Default

N/A