HarperDB CLI

HarperDB CLI

The HarperDB command line interface (CLI) is used to administer self-installed HarperDB instances.

Installing HarperDB

To install HarperDB with CLI prompts, run the following command:

harperdb install

Alternatively, HarperDB installations can be automated with environment variables or command line arguments; see a full list of configuration parameters here. Note, when used in conjunction, command line arguments will override environment variables.

Environment Variables

#minimum required parameters for no additional CLI prompts
export TC_AGREEMENT=yes
export HDB_ADMIN_PASSWORD=password
export ROOTPATH=/tmp/hdb/
harperdb install

Command Line Arguments

#minimum required parameters for no additional CLI prompts

Starting HarperDB

To start HarperDB after it is installed, run the following command:

harperdb start

Stopping HarperDB

To stop HarperDB once it is running, run the following command:

harperdb stop

Restarting HarperDB

To restart HarperDB once it is running, run the following command:

harperdb restart

Getting the HarperDB Version

To check the version of HarperDB that is installed run the following command:

harperdb version

Renew self-signed certificates

To renew the HarperDB generated self-signed certificates, run:

harperdb renew-certs

Copy a database with compaction

To copy a HarperDB database with compaction (to eliminate free-space and fragmentation), use

harperdb copy-db <source-database> <target-database-path>

For example, to copy the default database:

harperdb copy-db data /home/user/hdb/database/copy.mdb

Get all available CLI commands

To display all available HarperDB CLI commands along with a brief description run:

harperdb help

Get the status of HarperDB and clustering

To display the status of the HarperDB process, the clustering hub and leaf processes, the clustering network and replication statuses, run:

harperdb status


HarperDB uses a transactional commit process that ensures that data on disk is always transactionally consistent with storage. This means that HarperDB maintains database integrity in the event of a crash. It also means that you can use any standard volume snapshot tool to make a backup of a HarperDB database. Database files are stored in the hdb/database directory. As long as the snapshot is an atomic snapshot of these database files, the data can be copied/moved back into the database directory to restore a previous backup (with HarperDB shut down) , and database integrity will be preserved. Note that simply copying an in-use database file (using cp, for example) is not a snapshot, and this would progressively read data from the database at different points in time, which yields unreliable copy that likely will not be usable. Standard copying is only reliable for a database file that is not in use.

Operations API through the CLI

Some of the API operations are available through the CLI, this includes most operations that do not require nested parameters. To call the operation use the following convention: <api-operation> <parameter>=<value>. By default, the result will be formatted as YAML, if you would like the result in JSON pass: json=true.

Some examples are:

$ harperdb describe_table database=dev table=dog

schema: dev
name: dog
hash_attribute: id
audit: true
schema_defined: false
  - attribute: id
    is_primary_key: true
  - attribute: name
    indexed: true
clustering_stream_name: 3307bb542e0081253klnfd3f1cf551b
record_count: 10
last_updated_record: 1724483231970.9949

harperdb set_configuration logging_level=error

harperdb deploy_component project=my-cool-app package=https://github.com/HarperDB/application-template

harperdb get_components

harperdb search_by_id database=dev table=dog ids='["1"]' get_attributes='["*"]' json=true

harperdb search_by_value table=dog search_attribute=name search_value=harper get_attributes='["id", "name"]'

harperdb sql sql='select * from dev.dog where id="1"'

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