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This article is part of the Getting Started Guide. It tells you how to get BaseX running.


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

  1. BaseX comes with a graphical user interface that offers you marvellous tools for managing, querying and visualizing your (XML) data and write complex applications in XQuery.
  2. You can start BaseX as standalone command-line client if you prefer to work on command-line line and want to do batch processing.
  3. The Database Server is the right choice if you have multiple users or clients, if you don’t require HTTP services, and if you tend to communicate with BaseX on a technical level.
  4. The HTTP Server provides REST and WebDAV services. With RESTXQ, complex web applications can be built, and the embedded DBA application allows you to work with BaseX in the browser.

BaseX can also be embedded as library in your own applications.

Concurrent Operations

If you want to perform parallel (concurrent) read and write operations on your databases, you must use the client/server architecture or run 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.


First of all, download BaseX from our homepage.

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).

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.


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