Command-Line Client

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This page is part of the Getting Started Section. It introduces you to the standalone command-line mode of BaseX.


The command-line client can be started as follows:

  • Run one of the basex or basex.bat scripts.
  • If you have installed BaseX on Windows, click on the BaseX Standalone icon.

Various command-line options are available to simplify batch processing. The start script can be adjusted for individual purposes (e.g. if the default memory limit is too restrictive).

Please note that the standalone client must not be used if you perform parallel (concurrent) read and write operations on your databases. See Concurrent Operations for more details.


Create a Database[edit]

  • To create a database you need an XML document, e.g. factbook.xml.
  • Save this document to your working directory.
  • Type in the following command to create and open the database:

> CREATE DB factbook factbook.xml

factbook is the name of the database
factbook.xml is the initial input of the database
Where is the database stored?

By default, databases are stored in the basex/data directory, which is located in your home folder. Depending on your Configuration, the location of your home folder varies. For example, on a Mac it's /Users/John, if your name is John.

Execute a Query[edit]

The XQUERY command lets you run a query.

  • For example, the following query returns all country nodes in the currently opened factbook database.

> XQUERY //country

  • You can also run queries in files:

> RUN /Users/John/query.xq

Database Commands[edit]

  • The following command lists all databases than can be opened by the currently logged in user:


  • To open an existing database, execute the following:

> OPEN factbook

  • To get information on the currently opened database, type:


  • You can also address a database within your query with the db:open function:

> XQUERY db:open("factbook")//country

  • To close the current database, please type:


  • Use the DROP DB command to delete a database:

> DROP DB factbook

Multiple Resources[edit]

One database can contain not only a single, but millions of documents. All documents can have a different structure.

With the following commands, you can create an empty database and add two documents. It is also possible to address resources via URLs:

> CREATE DB store
> ADD factbook.xml

  • Deleting a document from a database is easy, but make sure that the database, which contains the addressed document, is currently opened:

> DELETE factbook.xml

Backup and Restore[edit]

  • To backup your database, type:

> CREATE BACKUP factbook

  • To restore your database, type:

> RESTORE factbook

The backup file is stored in the database directory. It contains the name of the database and a timestamp: [db-name]-[timestamp].zip. If a database is to be restored, and if several backups exist, the backup with the newest timestamp is taken.