Database Server

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This is a step by step tutorial to get BaseX running in client-server mode via terminals. You can copy & paste the commands to get it running on your machine. After the completion of this quick tutorial, you will be familiar with the basic BaseX commands.


You need to have Java installed. If you don't know how to install it, please visit
We assume that you are familiar with a shell at a basic level.


Download the basex.jar.
In this example we assume that the basex.jar file is stored in the directory /basex.

Run the Server

Go to the directory where the basex.jar is stored (> cd /basex) and execute:

> java -cp BaseX.jar org.basex.BaseXServer

A default admin user is created:
Username: admin
Password: admin
The password can be changed using the password command.

If you want to interact (execute commands, add databases, add users) with the server, start the server with the -i flag.

> java -cp BaseX.jar org.basex.BaseXServer -i

If the server is succesfully started, this is coming up:

BaseXServer [Server]
Server was started.

Run the Client

Open a new terminal window, make sure you are in the right directory and execute:

> java -cp BaseX.jar org.basex.BaseXClient
If you haven't changed the password with the server, the default user admin with the password admin is available.

First Operations

To get to know BaseX, we advise to run some of the following operations to see how it works and get your first indentations.

Create a database

In order to create a database you need a xml-document, e.g. factbook.xml.
Save this document to the /basex directory. On the client terminal run:

> 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, this messege will appear, the time might differ.

Database 'factbook' created in 1950.83 ms.
Where is the database stored?

It is stored in the BaseXData directory in your home directory. In my case it's in /Users/JohnDoe/BaseXData/factbook.

Execute a query

To run a query the xquery command is used. After xquery you can insert any valid xquery you like.
This query returns all the countries in the database.

> xquery //country

If you wish, you can also save your query in a file, and run it on basex.

> run /pathToQuery/query.txt

Create an another database / switch between databases

Now we will create an another database. You can get the xml document from here [1].

> create db xmark xmark.xml

To set the new database xmark as the context (the active, opened database), use:

> open xmark

Now you can simply type your xquery:

> xquery //people/person/name

If you want to query the factbook database you can access it by explicitly naming it with the doc()-function.

> xquery doc("factbook")//country

If you want to set the factbook database as the context, you can use:

> open factbook

To see which database is opened, use:

> show databases

Close or delete a database

If you want to close the opened database, simple type:

> close

If you want to delete the xmark database, use:

> 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. You can put any type of XML documents into the collection, regardless of their structure.

Now we will add the xmark.xml document to the factbook database, and thus create a collection. The collection will keep the name factbook.

First make sure factbook is opened:

> open factbook

Now add the xmark.xml document:

> add xmark.xml

Delete a document from a collection

Deleting a document from a collection is very easy, just type:

> delete xmark.xml

N.B. The collection has to be the context i.e. the database which contains the document has to be opened.

Delete a collection

Deleting a collection is the same as deleting a database. If you want to delete the collection factbook, type:

> drop factbook

Getting information about the server

To see all databases in BaseX, type:

> list

To see which database is currently opened, type:

> show databases

To see the general information of the opened database, type:

> info

To see the users in BaseX, type:

> show users

Backup and Restrore

To backup your database, type:

> backup factbook

To restore your database, type:

> restore factbook

Where is the backup-file stored?

The backup-file is stored in the BaseXData directory, which is in your home directory. The file is named ( To restore the database the file with the newest timestamp is taken.