Database Server

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This step by step tutorial is part of the Getting Started Guide. It shows you how to run BaseX in client-server mode from a terminal. You can copy and paste all commands to get them running on your machine. After you finished this tutorial, you will be familiar with the basic administration of BaseX. Visit the commands section for a complete list of database commands.


First of all, please launch a Server and Client instance of BaseX: double click on the BaseX Server/Client icons, or run the basexserver and basexclient scripts. Follow this link for more information (or check out the additional command-line options).

Create a database

  • To create a database you need an XML document, e.g. factbook.xml.
  • Save this document to the directory you are working in.
  • In the client terminal, type in:

> CREATE DB factbook factbook.xml

factbook is the name of the database
factbook.xml is the xml file, which is used to create the database

If everything works you see the following lines:

Database 'factbook' created in 950.83 ms.
Where is the database stored?

By default, databases are stored in the BaseXData 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. If you have used the Windows Installer, the directory will be named data, and reside in the application directory.

Execute a query

The XQUERY command lets you run a query.

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

> XQUERY //country

  • You can also run queries in files:

> RUN /Users/John/query.xq

Create a new database

Now we will create another database from the xmark.xml document.

  • Create the new database, named 'xmark'.

> CREATE DB xmark xmark.xml

  • Set the new database xmark as the context:

> OPEN xmark

  • Now you can easily execute queries on your new database:

> XQUERY //people/person/name

Switch the database

  • You can explicitly query the factbook database with the doc(...) funtion, no matter what the current context is.
>[[Commands#XQUERY|XQUERY]] doc("factbook")//country
  • Otherwise, to set factbook as the current context, execute the following:
>[[Commands#OPEN|OPEN]] factbook
  • To list the current context, type:

That yields the following lines:

1 opened database(s):
- factbook (1x)

Close or delete a database

  • To close the current context database, please type:
  • Use the DROP command to delete the xmark database:
>[[Commands#DROP DATABASE|DROP DB]] xmark

Create a collection

What is a collection? With BaseX you can group documents into one logical collection. A collection is a database that contains two or more documents. Collections accept any type of XML documents, regardless of their structure.

Let's add the xmark.xml document to the factbook database to create a collection. The name of the original factbook database remains.

  • First make sure factbook is opened:
>[[Commands#OPEN|OPEN]] factbook
  • Now add the xmark.xml document:
>[[Commands#ADD|ADD]] xmark.xml

Delete a document

  • Deleting a document from a collection is easy:
>[[Commands#DELETE|DELETE]] xmark.xml

Make sure that the collection, which contains the xmark.xml document, is opened.

Delete a collection

Deleting a collection is the same as deleting a database.

  • To delete the collection factbook, type:
>[[Commands#DROP DATABASE|DROP DB]] factbook

Get server information

Several commands help to explore the state of a server. For a complete list, please visit the Commands Section.

  • To see all databases on the server, type:
  • To see which database is currently opened:
  • To see the general information of the opened database, type:
  • To see the users in BaseX, type:

Backup and restore

  • To backup your database, type:
> [[Commands#CREATE BACKUP|CREATE BACKUP]] factbook
  • To restore your database, type:
> [[Commands#RESTORE|RESTORE]] factbook

Where is the backup-file stored?

The backup-file is stored in the database directory. The file is named ( To restore the database the file with the newest timestamp is taken.

See also

Standalone Mode, GUI, Getting Started, Advanced Usage