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Command-line interface (CLI)

clickhouse client is a client application that is used to connect to ClickHouse from the command line. clickhouse local is a client application that is used to query files on disk and across the network. Many of the guides in the ClickHouse documentation will have you examine the schema of a file (CSV, TSV, Parquet, etc.) with clickhouse local, query the file, and even manipulate the data from the file in order to prepare it for insertion into ClickHouse. We will often have you query a file with clickhouse local and pipe the output to clickhouse client to stream the data into ClickHouse. There are example datasets that use both clickhouse client and clickhouse local in the Next Steps section at the end of this document.


If you have already installed ClickHouse server locally you may have clickhouse client and clickhouse local installed. Check by running clickhouse client and clickhouse local at the commandline. Otherwise, follow the instructions for your operating system.

Prerequisite for Microsoft Windows

In Microsoft Windows 10 or 11 with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) version 2 (WSL 2) you can run Ubuntu Linux, and then run clickhouse client and clickhouse local.

Install WSL by following Microsoft's WSL documentation.

Open a shell in WSL 2:

By running the bash command from your terminal you will enter WSL:


Download ClickHouse

curl | sh

Verify clickhouse client

./clickhouse client

clickhouse client will try to connect to a local ClickHouse server instance, if you do not have one running it will timeout. See the clickhouse-client docs for examples.

Verify clickhouse local

./clickhouse local

Next Steps

See the NYPD Complaint dataset for example use of both clickhouse-client and clickhouse-local.

See the clickhouse-client docs.

See the clickhouse-local docs.

See the ClickHouse install docs.