Using Liquibase with H2

H2 is a standard SQL database that you can use to simulate anything required to be done in your own database.

Note: For more information, see the H2 page.

The web-based console allows you to see all objects in your database in the left navigation and run SQL statements on the right side. The console includes the Refresh button, which you can use to reload the left-side object view if you make changes to your database with Liquibase.

Supported database versions

  • 2.1.21X
  • 1.4.200


  1. Introduction to Liquibase – Dive into Liquibase concepts.
  2. Install Liquibase – Download Liquibase on your machine.
  3. Get Started with Liquibase – Learn how to use Liquibase with an example database.
  4. Design Your Liquibase Project – Create a new Liquibase project folder and organize your changelogs
  5. How to Apply Your Liquibase Pro License Key – If you use Liquibase Pro, activate your license.

Note: Instead of creating a new Liquibase project folder, you can also use the example directory included in the installation package for the H2 database.

Install drivers

To use Liquibase and H2, you need the JDBC driver JAR file.

The latest version of Liquibase has a pre-installed driver for this database in the liquibase/internal/lib directory, so you don't need to install it yourself.

If you use Maven, you must include the driver JAR as a dependency in your pom.xml file.


Test your connection

  1. Start the H2 database by navigating to the examples folder in the CLI and running liquibase init start-h2.
  2. Tip: The examples folder stores the H2 database start-h2.bat, the sample SQL, XML. YAML, and JSON changelogs, and the Liquibase properties file.

    Note: To stop the example H2 database, you can use ctrl-c.

    The init start-h2 command starts a local H2 database on port 9090 and opens the database console on the same port in the browser.

    Note: The example H2 database does not store data and will reset to its starting state when the init start-h2 process ends.

    • A developer database corresponds to what you may use as a local database.
    • An integration database corresponds to another database in your pipeline.

    You can view the integration database with the link provided from the developer database browser. The URL, which is at the top of the object view, shows to which database you are connected.


    • Memory: jdbc:h2:tcp://localhost:9090/mem:dev
    • File: jdbc:h2:file:C:/tools/LB_DBs/H2Example/h2tutorial
  1. Check the status of the database by entering create table test_table (id int) in the text area and select Run. You will see TEST_TABLE appear in the object view.
  2. Tip: To apply a Liquibase Pro key to your project, add the following property to the Liquibase properties file: licenseKey: <paste code here>

  1. Create a text file called changelog (.xml, .sql, .json, or .yaml) in your project directory and add a changeset.
  2. If you already created a changelog using the init project command, you can use that instead of creating a new file. When adding onto an existing changelog, be sure to only add the changeset and to not duplicate the changelog header.

    XML example
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
        <changeSet id="1" author="Liquibase">
            <createTable tableName="test_table">
                <column name="test_id" type="int">
                    <constraints primaryKey="true"/>
                <column name="test_column" type="INT"/>
    SQL example
    -- liquibase formatted sql
    -- changeset liquibase:1
    CREATE TABLE test_table (test_id INT, test_column INT, PRIMARY KEY (test_id))

    Tip: Formatted SQL changelogs generated from Liquibase versions before 4.2 might cause issues because of the lack of space after a double dash ( -- ). To fix this, add a space after the double dash. For example: -- liquibase formatted sql instead of --liquibase formatted sql and -- changeset myname:create-table instead of --changeset myname:create-table.

    YAML example
       - changeSet:
           id: 1
           author: Liquibase
           - createTable:
               tableName: test_table
               - column:
                   name: test_column
                   type: INT
                       primaryKey:  true
                       nullable:  false
    JSON example
      "databaseChangeLog": [
          "changeSet": {
            "id": "1",
            "author": "Liquibase",
            "changes": [
                "createTable": {
                  "tableName": "test_table",
                  "columns": [
                      "column": {
                        "name": "test_column",
                        "type": "INT",
                        "constraints": {
                          "primaryKey": true,
                          "nullable": false
  3. Navigate to your project folder in the CLI and run the Liquibase status command to see whether the connection is successful:
  4. liquibase status --username=test --password=test --changelog-file=<changelog.xml>

    Note: You can specify arguments in the CLI or keep them in the Liquibase properties file.

    If your connection is successful, you'll see a message like this:

    4 changesets have not been applied to <your_jdbc_url>
    Liquibase command 'status' was executed successfully.
  5. Inspect the SQL with the update-sql command. Then make changes to your database with the update command.
  6. liquibase update-sql --changelog-file=<changelog.xml>
    liquibase update --changelog-file=<changelog.xml>

    If your update is successful, Liquibase runs each changeset and displays a summary message ending with:

    Liquibase: Update has been successful.
    Liquibase command 'update' was executed successfully.
  7. From a database UI tool, ensure that your database contains the test_table you added along with the DATABASECHANGELOG table and DATABASECHANGELOGLOCK table.

Now you're ready to start making deployments with Liquibase!

Related links