The output-file-encoding global parameter is a string that determines which character encoding to use when writing Liquibase command outputs to external files. By default, it is set to UTF-8.


If you need to send the output of a Liquibase command like generate-changelog command, update-sql command, or diff command to a text file that does not use UTF-8, you must specify the correct character encoding. This ensures that all symbols in your file display correctly.

Alternative or legacy character encodings include US-ASCII, Windows-1252, UTF-16, and others.

Setting the output-file-encoding parameter

You can set output-file-encoding in four ways:

  • In the Liquibase properties file
  • As a global parameter in the CLI
  • As a JVM system property
  • As an environment variable (Liquibase Pro)

Liquibase properties file parameter

In Liquibase 4.1+, add the following to Liquibase properties file:

liquibase.outputFileEncoding: <string>

CLI global parameter

In your command line, use a global parameter with a single Liquibase command:

liquibase --output-file-encoding=<string> update --changelog-file=dbchangelog.xml

Java system property

In your command line, use the JAVA_OPTS Environment Variable to set a JVM system property:

Mac/Linux syntax:


Windows syntax:

set JAVA_OPTS=-Dliquibase.outputFileEncoding=<string>

Note: To use a Liquibase command alongside JAVA_OPTS, add && liquibase <command> to the end of your input.

Environment variable (Liquibase Pro)

In Liquibase Pro, set an environment variable:

Mac/Linux syntax:


Windows syntax:


Note: These environment variable commands only apply to the current shell. If you need to pass an environment variable to a child process without affecting the parent process, you can use the export command on Mac/Linux or the setx command on Windows.