From BaseX Documentation
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Getting Started

BaseX is very light-weight. It can be run and used in various ways:

It can also be embedded as a library in your own application.

First of all, download BaseX from our homepage. The following distributions are available:


Core Package

The Core Package is a small JAR file. It contains the BaseX database management system, the XQuery processor, the client/server architecture, and the graphical user interface. It does not require any additional libraries.

Full Distributions

In addition, the ZIP Package and the Windows Installer contain extra libraries for RESTXQ web applications and other advanced features, Start Scripts, and BaseX's browser-based database administration interface (DBA).

After BaseX has been unzipped or installed, the following directories will be available:

  • bin/: Start scripts (Windows, Linux).
  • data/: Database directory. See Configuration for more details.
  • etc/: Example data: XML sample, catalog and DTD files.
  • lib/: Extra libraries (Jetty, Tagsoup, …).
  • lib/custom/: Directory, in which additional JAR files can be placed (such as the Saxon library).
  • repo/: Repository for external XQuery modules (the FunctX library is included as example).
  • src/: Directory for your XQuery scripts and other source data.
  • webapp/: Web Application directory: home of the RESTXQ web application, REST scripts, and DBA.

If BaseX is started via the start scripts or the Windows icons, all JAR files in the lib directory and its descendant directories will be added to the classpath.

If you work with the ZIP distribution, and if you want to make BaseX globally available, you can add the bin directory to your PATH environment variable.

Web Archive

The WAR Archive can be embedded in existing Java web servers.

Other Distributions

Various other distributions are available from the download page, most of which contain only the core package and, optionally, scripts for starting BaseX.


BaseX is platform-independent and runs on any system that provides an implementation of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE):

  • Since Version 9 of BaseX, Java 8 is required.
  • Since Version 8, Java 7 is required.
  • Older versions are based on Java 6.

BaseX has been tested on several platforms, including Windows (2000, XP, Vista, 7), Mac OS X (10.x), Linux (SuSE xxx, Debian, Ubuntu) and OpenBSD (4.x).

Concurrent Operations

If you want to perform parallel (concurrent) read and write operations on your databases, you must use the client/server architecture or deploy BaseX as web application. You can safely open a database in different JVMs (Java virtual machines) for read-only access, and you will not encounter any problems when reading from and writing to different databases, but update operations from different JVMs to the same database will be rejected or may even lead to corrupt databases.

For example, if you only read data, you can easily run several clients (standalone, GUI, database clients) at the same time. If you update your data, however, you shouldn’t use the GUI or a standalone instance at the same time.

More details on concurrency can be found on the Transaction Management page.

Standalone Mode

The Standalone Mode can be used to execute XQuery expressions or run database commands on the command line. It can also be used for both scripting and batch processing your XML data. It can be started as follows:

  • Run one of the basex or basex.bat scripts.
  • Execute the following command: java -cp BaseX.jar org.basex.BaseX
  • On Windows: Double click on the BaseX icon.

It is important to remember that the standalone mode does not interact with the client/server architecture. More information on the standalone mode's command-line options can be found here.

Graphical User Interface

The GUI is the visual interface to the features of BaseX. It can be used to create new databases, perform queries or interactively explore your XML data. It is a fully fledged XML editor and can be started as follows:

  • Double click on the BaseX.jar file.
  • Run one of the basexgui or basexgui.bat scripts.
  • Execute the following command: java -cp BaseX.jar org.basex.BaseXGUI
  • On Windows: Double click on the BaseX GUI icon.
  • For Maven users: type in mvn exec:java in the main directory of the basex project.

Note that the GUI does not interact with the client/server architecture. More information on the GUI's command-line options can be found here.

Database Server

The Database Server comes into play if BaseX is to be used by more than one user (client). It handles concurrent read and write transactions, manages user permissions and logs all user interactions.

By default, the server listens to the port 1984. There are several ways of starting and stopping the server:

  • Run one of the basexserver or basexserver.bat scripts. Add the stop keyword to gracefully shut down the server.
  • Execute the following command: java -cp BaseX.jar org.basex.BaseXServer. Again, the stop keyword will ensure a graceful shutdown.
  • On Windows: Double click on the BaseX Server icon, which will also start the HTTP Server used for Web Applications, or the BaseX Server (stop) icon.

Pressing Ctrl+c will close all connections and databases and shut down the server process. More information on the database server's command-line options can be found here.


The BaseX Client interface can be used to send commands and queries to the server instance on command line.

It can be started as follows:

  • Run one of the basexclient or basexclient.bat scripts.
  • Execute the following command: java -cp BaseX.jar org.basex.BaseXClient
  • On Windows: Double click on the BaseX Client icon.

More information on the client's command-line options can be found here.

The default admin user can be used to connect to the server:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: admin

The password should be changed with the PASSWORD command after the first login.

We provide additional clients in various programming languages.

Web Application

With the HTTP Server, BaseX can be used to build Web Applications. It provides access to the REST, RESTXQ and WebDAV services. An instance of the Jetty Web Server will be created, which by default listens to the port 8984. Additionally, the BaseX Database Server will be started, which is accessible on port 1984.

It can be started as follows:

  • Run one of the basexhttp or basexhttp.bat scripts. Call the script with the stop keyword to gracefully shut down the server.
  • On Windows: Double click on the BaseX Server or BaseX Server (stop) icon.
  • BaseX can also be deployed as web servlet.

In the first two cases, the command-line output will look similar to the following lines (the JSP warning message can be ignored):

[main] INFO org.eclipse.jetty.server.Server - jetty-8.1.18.v20150929
[main] INFO org.eclipse.jetty.webapp.StandardDescriptorProcessor - NO JSP Support for /, did not find org.apache.jasper.servlet.JspServlet
[main] INFO org.eclipse.jetty.server.AbstractConnector - Started SelectChannelConnector@
HTTP Server was started (port: 8984).

You can adjust the Jetty logging level by adding the following properties to the start script:

-Dorg.eclipse.jetty.util.log.class=org.eclipse.jetty.util.log.StdErrLog -D{classref}.LEVEL=DEBUG

After that, you can e. g. open your browser and navigate to the RESTXQ start page http://localhost:8984.

More information on the HTTP server's command-line options can be found here.

Database Administration

The DBA is a web-based database administration interface. It allows you to create and administrate databases, evaluate queries in realtime, view log files, manage users, etc.

It can be accessed via http://localhost:8984/dba/.


Version 8.0
  • Update: Switched to Java 7
Version 7.0
  • Updated: BaseXJAXRX has been replaced with BaseXHTTP