Recommendations for an SQLite browser on Apple Silicon (Android developer)

I recently purchased a new Macbook Pro, and figured it would be time to look at the latest and greatest SQLite browsers that support SQLCipher-encrypted databases. I just need to be able to execute queries and inspect the results, so I don’t need anything fancy.

Side note: is it better strategy to just do a command line decrypt and use some other (non-sqlcipher supporting) browser?

In the past I’ve used and SQLiteManager: The most powerful database management system for sqlite databases both of which are clunky and the latter’s last update was about 3 years ago. The former is not optimised for Apple Silicon, though I guess that’s not a big deal?

Any recommendations please?

Hello @marcardar - most of the time we recommend using DB Browser for SQLite, the first option you mentioned. While the interface may see a bit unconventional at first, it does become second nature as you become familiar with it. It has a very good feature set, and a long history of keeping up with SQLCipher releases and features. While I’m not sure about the Apple Silicon, I believe they have the option to build / install using homebrew, and I wonder if that might work?

The other option would be to use the SQLCipher command line tool. This can be easily built from source, or is available directly from Zetetic upon request to Commercial / Enterprise licensees with active support. While it doesn’t provide a GUI, it is quite flexible.

Finally, we generally don’t recommend decrypting databases unless you have very good control of the environment and the data is not very sensitive. The risks of plaintext data getting copied, cached or otherwise leaked is much higher.

Thanks very much Stephen for those tips.

I’m using DB Browser at the moment on Apple Silicon, and it’s working as well as it did for me on Intel. Maybe I’m missing something, but can you only have one database open at one time?

Hi @marcardar you can only open one main database at a time, but you can attach other databases after that using the “Attach Database” button. Then they can bet queried across, manipulated, viewed, etc.

As a data point, we (DB Browser for SQLite team) now have an M1 mac (gen 1 mac mini), and have started working on creating initial native builds for it.

It turns out to be a bit more complicated than expected, but we should have something to try out in a few weeks if that’s useful. :slight_smile:

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@justinclift that’s great to hear! Thanks very much for sharing.

I’ve actually being having many crashes with the existing version. Seems to crash once every few queries (just simple SELECTs on single tables).

That’s using an Intel version of the software, on ARM64 Mac via Rosetta yeah?

If so, then yeah. A few people have reported things like that, thus our desire to get a native M1 build happening. :smile:

Hi @justinclift just wondering if there has been much progress on this and how I can keep track of it?

Oops, just remembered this.

We’ve added Apple Silicon (eg arm64) builds to our nightly release builds, which can be downloaded here:

Bw aware that they’re not notarised (yet), so macOS Gatekeeper will complain about them. You’ll need to right-click on the .app file to launch it the first time around.

As a data point, the macOS arm64 nightly builds now are notarised.

There shouldn’t be any macOS Gatekeeper issues with them.

Thanks for the update @justinclift!