Using SQL*PLUS, I cannot use the backspace button to erase content during a line command.

When I hit backspace, instead of erasing it writes ^H

Is there a way to configure backspace so it works as intended ?

  • Ctrl + backspace works okay for me, ;)
    – federico
    Dec 15, 2017 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


If you're using Linux/Unix, there's a way of making SQL*Plus loads friendlier on the command line - use rlwrap. It adds readline support to SQLPlus, allowing you to use the cursor keys to navigate to previous queries (it retains a history), and edit them when you've made a mistake.

Launch SQL*Plus with rlwrap -i sqlplus or add alias sqlplus="rlwrap -i sqlplus" to your shell dot file (.bashrc/.cshrc/etc).

To install rlwrap on RHEL 5.0 use the following commands:

wget http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/5/i386/epel-release-5-4.noarch.rpm
rpm -Uvh epel-release-5-4.noarch.rpm
yum install rlwrap
rlwrap –i sqlplus 

Use the following command in SQL*PLUS : !stty erase <backspace> but instead of the <backspace> statement, simply press the backspace button and hit return with what it gives you.

  • 1
    this works for me! No need to install another package. Mar 13, 2018 at 5:37

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