The generate-changelog command creates a changelog file that has a sequence of changesets which describe how to re-create the current state of the database.


The generate-changelog command is typically used when you want to capture the current state of a database, then apply those changes to any number of databases. This is typically only done when a project has an existing database, but hasn't used Liquibase before. See How to set up Liquibase with an Existing Project and Multiple Environments for more details.

Note: When using the update command to apply the changes in the changelog, Liquibase will not create a new database or schema. You must create them before applying the changelog to it.

By default,

Running the generate-changelog command

To generate a changelog:

  1. Configure the Liquibase properties file to include your driver, classpath, and URL for the database you want to capture.
  2. Note: For more information on how to configure the Liquibase properties file, see the Specifying Properties in a Connection Profile topic. Instead of using a properties file, you can pass the necessary information from the command line.

  3. Open your CLI and run the following command:
  4. liquibase --changelog-file=dbchangelog.xml generate-changelog

    Note: If you want to create an SQL changelog file, add your database type name when specifying the changelog file: liquibase generate-changelog. Replace .oracle.sql with your database type. When in doubt about your database type name, check Supported Databases.

generate-changelog global attributes

Tip: For best results, specify all commands and parameters with the --kebab-case format in the CLI. If your preference is camelCase, it will still work in the CLI.

Attribute Definition Requirement

The root changelog


The JDBC database connection URL


The database username


The database password


Specifies the default database catalog to use.


Specifies the default database schema to use.


The JDBC driver class


The JDBC driver properties file


Objects to exclude from diff


Objects to include in diff


Your Liquibase Pro license key


Note: The username and password attributes are not required for connections and systems which use alternate means of authentication.

generate-changelog command attributes

Attribute Definition Requirement

Sends the data output as a CSV file in the given directory.


Includes a list of diff types in a changelog file expressed as a comma-separated list (without spaces) from: catalogs,tables,functions,views,columns,indexes,

Optional **

Includes the catalog in a generated changesets if the value is true. The default value is false.


Includes the schema in a generated changesets if the value is true. The default value is false.


Includes the tablespace of tables and indexes in a generated changesets if the value is true. The default value is false.

Optional *

Uses the names as schemaName instead of the real names on the generate-changelog command.


Determines whether generate-changelog can overwrite an existing changelog, including one specified in --changelog-file. The default value is false.

--schemas=<name1, name2>

Specifies database schemas you want to include.


* --includeTablespace only captures the tablespace if it was specified in the create table statement.

** If the --diffTypes value is null, then the default types will be: tables, views, columns, indexes, foreignkeys, primarykeys, uniqueconstraints.

This command will look as follows:

liquibase --changelog-file=dbchangelog3.xml --diffTypes="tables,functions,views,columns,indexes,foreignkeys,primarykeys,uniqueconstraints,data,storedprocedure,triggers,sequences,databasePackage,databasePackageBody" generate-changelog


The generate-changelog command generates a changelog that contains all your objects (represented as changesets) and places the file in the same directory where the command was ran.

The extension you provide determines the format of the changelog, so if you specify the filename as changelog.xml, you will get an XML formatted changelog. However, if you specify the filename as changelog.yaml, changelog.json, or changelog.postgresql.sql, you will get changelogs formatted in YAML, JSON, or SQL, respectively.

Additional functionality with Liquibase Pro

While Liquibase Open Source stores all changesets in a changelog, Liquibase Pro creates a directory called Objects and places the directory at the same level as your changelog. The Objects directory contains a subdirectory for each of the following stored logic types:

  • package
  • packagebody
  • function
  • stored procedure
  • trigger
  • view

Note: Some database platforms may not support all of these stored logic types.

The generate-changelog command will not create the Objects directory if:

  • You don't have a valid ProKey
  • There are no stored logic objects in the database
  • The changelog file is written in formatted SQL (the Objects folder can only be created when generating XML, JSON or YAML changelogs)
  • The target database is not supported with the generate-changelog command and stored logic objects

If your database contains stored logic objects, you may have issues attempting to run the generate-changelog command more than once, even with a new changelog name, because the stored logic files already exist in the Objects directory.

To generate a newer version of the changelog file with stored logic objects based on the current database state, you need to delete, rename, or move the Objects directory that was created by running the generate-changelog command previously. Then, you can run the generate-changelog command again.

Note: If there is a pre-existing Objects directory that is not related to Liquibase, you need to delete, rename, or move it to run the generate-changelog command.

If you want to track the history of stored logic objects, use the diff-changelog command. The diff-changelog command structures stored logic files into timestamped directories every time you run the command.