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level

Universal abstract-level database for Node.js and browsers. This is a convenience package that exports classic-level in Node.js and browser-level in browsers, making it an ideal entry point to start creating lexicographically sorted key-value databases.

📌 Which module should I use? What is abstract-level? Head over to the FAQ.

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Table of Contents

Click to expand

Usage

If you are upgrading: please see UPGRADING.md.

const { Level } = require('level')

// Create a database
const db = new Level('example', { valueEncoding: 'json' })

// Add an entry with key 'a' and value 1
await db.put('a', 1)

// Add multiple entries
await db.batch([{ type: 'put', key: 'b', value: 2 }])

// Get value of key 'a': 1
const value = await db.get('a')

// Iterate entries with keys that are greater than 'a'
for await (const [key, value] of db.iterator({ gt: 'a' })) {
  console.log(value) // 2
}

All asynchronous methods also support callbacks.

Callback example
db.put('a', { x: 123 }, function (err) {
  if (err) throw err

  db.get('a', function (err, value) {
    console.log(value) // { x: 123 }
  })
})

TypeScript type declarations are included and cover the methods that are common between classic-level and browser-level. Usage from TypeScript requires generic type parameters.

TypeScript example
// Specify types of keys and values (any, in the case of json).
// The generic type parameters default to Level<string, string>.
const db = new Level<string, any>('./db', { valueEncoding: 'json' })

// All relevant methods then use those types
await db.put('a', { x: 123 })

// Specify different types when overriding encoding per operation
await db.get<string, string>('a', { valueEncoding: 'utf8' })

// Though in some cases TypeScript can infer them
await db.get('a', { valueEncoding: db.valueEncoding('utf8') })

// It works the same for sublevels
const abc = db.sublevel('abc')
const xyz = db.sublevel<string, any>('xyz', { valueEncoding: 'json' })

Install

With npm do:

npm install level

For use in browsers, this package is best used with browserify, webpack, rollup or similar bundlers. For a quick start, visit browserify-starter or webpack-starter.

Supported Platforms

At the time of writing, level works in Node.js 12+ and Electron 5+ on Linux, Mac OS, Windows and FreeBSD, including any future Node.js and Electron release thanks to Node-API, including ARM platforms like Raspberry Pi and Android, as well as in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, iOS Safari and Chrome for Android. For details, see Supported Platforms of classic-level and Browser Support of browser-level.

Binary keys and values are supported across the board.

API

The API of level follows that of abstract-level. The documentation below covers it all except for Encodings, Events and Errors which are exclusively documented in abstract-level. For options and additional methods specific to classic-level and browser-level, please see their respective READMEs.

An abstract-level and thus level database is at its core a key-value database. A key-value pair is referred to as an entry here and typically returned as an array, comparable to Object.entries().

db = new Level(location[, options])

Create a new database or open an existing database. The location argument must be a directory path (relative or absolute) where LevelDB will store its files, or in browsers, the name of the IDBDatabase to be opened.

The optional options object may contain:

  • keyEncoding (string or object, default 'utf8'): encoding to use for keys
  • valueEncoding (string or object, default 'utf8'): encoding to use for values.

See Encodings for a full description of these options. Other options (except passive) are forwarded to db.open() which is automatically called in a next tick after the constructor returns. Any read & write operations are queued internally until the database has finished opening. If opening fails, those queued operations will yield errors.

db.status

Read-only getter that returns a string reflecting the current state of the database:

  • 'opening' - waiting for the database to be opened
  • 'open' - successfully opened the database
  • 'closing' - waiting for the database to be closed
  • 'closed' - successfully closed the database.

db.open([callback])

Open the database. The callback function will be called with no arguments when successfully opened, or with a single error argument if opening failed. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned. Options passed to open() take precedence over options passed to the database constructor. The createIfMissing and errorIfExists options are not supported by browser-level.

The optional options object may contain:

  • createIfMissing (boolean, default: true): If true, create an empty database if one doesn't already exist. If false and the database doesn't exist, opening will fail.
  • errorIfExists (boolean, default: false): If true and the database already exists, opening will fail.
  • passive (boolean, default: false): Wait for, but do not initiate, opening of the database.

It's generally not necessary to call open() because it's automatically called by the database constructor. It may however be useful to capture an error from failure to open, that would otherwise not surface until another method like db.get() is called. It's also possible to reopen the database after it has been closed with close(). Once open() has then been called, any read & write operations will again be queued internally until opening has finished.

The open() and close() methods are idempotent. If the database is already open, the callback will be called in a next tick. If opening is already in progress, the callback will be called when that has finished. If closing is in progress, the database will be reopened once closing has finished. Likewise, if close() is called after open(), the database will be closed once opening has finished and the prior open() call will receive an error.

db.close([callback])

Close the database. The callback function will be called with no arguments if closing succeeded or with a single error argument if closing failed. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned.

A database may have associated resources like file handles and locks. When the database is no longer needed (for the remainder of a program) it's recommended to call db.close() to free up resources.

After db.close() has been called, no further read & write operations are allowed unless and until db.open() is called again. For example, db.get(key) will yield an error with code LEVEL_DATABASE_NOT_OPEN. Any unclosed iterators or chained batches will be closed by db.close() and can then no longer be used even when db.open() is called again.

db.supports

A manifest describing the features supported by this database. Might be used like so:

if (!db.supports.permanence) {
  throw new Error('Persistent storage is required')
}

db.get(key[, options][, callback])

Get a value from the database by key. The optional options object may contain:

  • keyEncoding: custom key encoding for this operation, used to encode the key.
  • valueEncoding: custom value encoding for this operation, used to decode the value.

The callback function will be called with an error if the operation failed. If the key was not found, the error will have code LEVEL_NOT_FOUND. If successful the first argument will be null and the second argument will be the value. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned.

db.getMany(keys[, options][, callback])

Get multiple values from the database by an array of keys. The optional options object may contain:

  • keyEncoding: custom key encoding for this operation, used to encode the keys.
  • valueEncoding: custom value encoding for this operation, used to decode values.

The callback function will be called with an error if the operation failed. If successful the first argument will be null and the second argument will be an array of values with the same order as keys. If a key was not found, the relevant value will be undefined. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned.

db.put(key, value[, options][, callback])

Add a new entry or overwrite an existing entry. The optional options object may contain:

  • keyEncoding: custom key encoding for this operation, used to encode the key.
  • valueEncoding: custom value encoding for this operation, used to encode the value.

The callback function will be called with no arguments if the operation was successful or with an error if it failed. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned.

db.del(key[, options][, callback])

Delete an entry by key. The optional options object may contain:

  • keyEncoding: custom key encoding for this operation, used to encode the key.

The callback function will be called with no arguments if the operation was successful or with an error if it failed. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned.

db.batch(operations[, options][, callback])

Perform multiple put and/or del operations in bulk. The operations argument must be an array containing a list of operations to be executed sequentially, although as a whole they are performed as an atomic operation.

Each operation must be an object with at least a type property set to either 'put' or 'del'. If the type is 'put', the operation must have key and value properties. It may optionally have keyEncoding and / or valueEncoding properties to encode keys or values with a custom encoding for just that operation. If the type is 'del', the operation must have a key property and may optionally have a keyEncoding property.

An operation of either type may also have a sublevel property, to prefix the key of the operation with the prefix of that sublevel. This allows atomically committing data to multiple sublevels. Keys and values will be encoded by the sublevel, to the same effect as a sublevel.batch(..) call. In the following example, the first value will be encoded with 'json' rather than the default encoding of db:

const people = db.sublevel('people', { valueEncoding: 'json' })
const nameIndex = db.sublevel('names')

await db.batch([{
  type: 'put',
  sublevel: people,
  key: '123',
  value: {
    name: 'Alice'
  }
}, {
  type: 'put',
  sublevel: nameIndex,
  key: 'Alice',
  value: '123'
}])

The optional options object may contain:

  • keyEncoding: custom key encoding for this batch, used to encode keys.
  • valueEncoding: custom value encoding for this batch, used to encode values.

Encoding properties on individual operations take precedence. In the following example, the first value will be encoded with the 'utf8' encoding and the second with 'json'.

await db.batch([
  { type: 'put', key: 'a', value: 'foo' },
  { type: 'put', key: 'b', value: 123, valueEncoding: 'json' }
], { valueEncoding: 'utf8' })

The callback function will be called with no arguments if the batch was successful or with an error if it failed. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned.

chainedBatch = db.batch()

Create a chained batch, when batch() is called with zero arguments. A chained batch can be used to build and eventually commit an atomic batch of operations. Depending on how it's used, it is possible to obtain greater performance with this form of batch(). On browser-level however, it is just sugar.

await db.batch()
  .del('bob')
  .put('alice', 361)
  .put('kim', 220)
  .write()

iterator = db.iterator([options])

Create an iterator. The optional options object may contain the following range options to control the range of entries to be iterated:

  • gt (greater than) or gte (greater than or equal): define the lower bound of the range to be iterated. Only entries where the key is greater than (or equal to) this option will be included in the range. When reverse is true the order will be reversed, but the entries iterated will be the same.
  • lt (less than) or lte (less than or equal): define the higher bound of the range to be iterated. Only entries where the key is less than (or equal to) this option will be included in the range. When reverse is true the order will be reversed, but the entries iterated will be the same.
  • reverse (boolean, default: false): iterate entries in reverse order. Beware that a reverse seek can be slower than a forward seek.
  • limit (number, default: Infinity): limit the number of entries yielded. This number represents a maximum number of entries and will not be reached if the end of the range is reached first. A value of Infinity or -1 means there is no limit. When reverse is true the entries with the highest keys will be returned instead of the lowest keys.

The gte and lte range options take precedence over gt and lt respectively. If no range options are provided, the iterator will visit all entries of the database, starting at the lowest key and ending at the highest key (unless reverse is true). In addition to range options, the options object may contain:

  • keys (boolean, default: true): whether to return the key of each entry. If set to false, the iterator will yield keys that are undefined. Prefer to use db.keys() instead.
  • values (boolean, default: true): whether to return the value of each entry. If set to false, the iterator will yield values that are undefined. Prefer to use db.values() instead.
  • keyEncoding: custom key encoding for this iterator, used to encode range options, to encode seek() targets and to decode keys.
  • valueEncoding: custom value encoding for this iterator, used to decode values.

📌 To instead consume data using streams, see level-read-stream and level-web-stream.

keyIterator = db.keys([options])

Create a key iterator, having the same interface as db.iterator() except that it yields keys instead of entries. If only keys are needed, using db.keys() may increase performance because values won't have to fetched, copied or decoded. Options are the same as for db.iterator() except that db.keys() does not take keys, values and valueEncoding options.

// Iterate lazily
for await (const key of db.keys({ gt: 'a' })) {
  console.log(key)
}

// Get all at once. Setting a limit is recommended.
const keys = await db.keys({ gt: 'a', limit: 10 }).all()

valueIterator = db.values([options])

Create a value iterator, having the same interface as db.iterator() except that it yields values instead of entries. If only values are needed, using db.values() may increase performance because keys won't have to fetched, copied or decoded. Options are the same as for db.iterator() except that db.values() does not take keys and values options. Note that it does take a keyEncoding option, relevant for the encoding of range options.

// Iterate lazily
for await (const value of db.values({ gt: 'a' })) {
  console.log(value)
}

// Get all at once. Setting a limit is recommended.
const values = await db.values({ gt: 'a', limit: 10 }).all()

db.clear([options][, callback])

Delete all entries or a range. Not guaranteed to be atomic. Accepts the following options (with the same rules as on iterators):

  • gt (greater than) or gte (greater than or equal): define the lower bound of the range to be deleted. Only entries where the key is greater than (or equal to) this option will be included in the range. When reverse is true the order will be reversed, but the entries deleted will be the same.
  • lt (less than) or lte (less than or equal): define the higher bound of the range to be deleted. Only entries where the key is less than (or equal to) this option will be included in the range. When reverse is true the order will be reversed, but the entries deleted will be the same.
  • reverse (boolean, default: false): delete entries in reverse order. Only effective in combination with limit, to delete the last N entries.
  • limit (number, default: Infinity): limit the number of entries to be deleted. This number represents a maximum number of entries and will not be reached if the end of the range is reached first. A value of Infinity or -1 means there is no limit. When reverse is true the entries with the highest keys will be deleted instead of the lowest keys.
  • keyEncoding: custom key encoding for this operation, used to encode range options.

The gte and lte range options take precedence over gt and lt respectively. If no options are provided, all entries will be deleted. The callback function will be called with no arguments if the operation was successful or with an error if it failed. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned.

sublevel = db.sublevel(name[, options])

Create a sublevel that has the same interface as db (except for additional methods specific to classic-level or browser-level) and prefixes the keys of operations before passing them on to db. The name argument is required and must be a string.

const example = db.sublevel('example')

await example.put('hello', 'world')
await db.put('a', '1')

// Prints ['hello', 'world']
for await (const [key, value] of example.iterator()) {
  console.log([key, value])
}

Sublevels effectively separate a database into sections. Think SQL tables, but evented, ranged and real-time! Each sublevel is an AbstractLevel instance with its own keyspace, events and encodings. For example, it's possible to have one sublevel with 'buffer' keys and another with 'utf8' keys. The same goes for values. Like so:

db.sublevel('one', { valueEncoding: 'json' })
db.sublevel('two', { keyEncoding: 'buffer' })

An own keyspace means that sublevel.iterator() only includes entries of that sublevel, sublevel.clear() will only delete entries of that sublevel, and so forth. Range options get prefixed too.

Fully qualified keys (as seen from the parent database) take the form of prefix + key where prefix is separator + name + separator. If name is empty, the effective prefix is two separators. Sublevels can be nested: if db is itself a sublevel then the effective prefix is a combined prefix, e.g. '!one!!two!'. Note that a parent database will see its own keys as well as keys of any nested sublevels:

// Prints ['!example!hello', 'world'] and ['a', '1']
for await (const [key, value] of db.iterator()) {
  console.log([key, value])
}

📌 The key structure is equal to that of subleveldown which offered sublevels before they were built-in to abstract-level. This means that an abstract-level sublevel can read sublevels previously created with (and populated by) subleveldown.

Internally, sublevels operate on keys that are either a string, Buffer or Uint8Array, depending on parent database and choice of encoding. Which is to say: binary keys are fully supported. The name must however always be a string and can only contain ASCII characters.

The optional options object may contain:

  • separator (string, default: '!'): Character for separating sublevel names from user keys and each other. Must sort before characters used in name. An error will be thrown if that's not the case.
  • keyEncoding (string or object, default 'utf8'): encoding to use for keys
  • valueEncoding (string or object, default 'utf8'): encoding to use for values.

The keyEncoding and valueEncoding options are forwarded to the AbstractLevel constructor and work the same, as if a new, separate database was created. They default to 'utf8' regardless of the encodings configured on db. Other options are forwarded too but abstract-level (and therefor level) has no relevant options at the time of writing. For example, setting the createIfMissing option will have no effect. Why is that?

Like regular databases, sublevels open themselves but they do not affect the state of the parent database. This means a sublevel can be individually closed and (re)opened. If the sublevel is created while the parent database is opening, it will wait for that to finish. If the parent database is closed, then opening the sublevel will fail and subsequent operations on the sublevel will yield errors with code LEVEL_DATABASE_NOT_OPEN.

chainedBatch

chainedBatch.put(key, value[, options])

Queue a put operation on this batch, not committed until write() is called. This will throw a LEVEL_INVALID_KEY or LEVEL_INVALID_VALUE error if key or value is invalid. The optional options object may contain:

  • keyEncoding: custom key encoding for this operation, used to encode the key.
  • valueEncoding: custom value encoding for this operation, used to encode the value.
  • sublevel (sublevel instance): act as though the put operation is performed on the given sublevel, to similar effect as sublevel.batch().put(key, value). This allows atomically committing data to multiple sublevels. The key will be prefixed with the prefix of the sublevel, and the key and value will be encoded by the sublevel (using the default encodings of the sublevel unless keyEncoding and / or valueEncoding are provided).

chainedBatch.del(key[, options])

Queue a del operation on this batch, not committed until write() is called. This will throw a LEVEL_INVALID_KEY error if key is invalid. The optional options object may contain:

  • keyEncoding: custom key encoding for this operation, used to encode the key.
  • sublevel (sublevel instance): act as though the del operation is performed on the given sublevel, to similar effect as sublevel.batch().del(key). This allows atomically committing data to multiple sublevels. The key will be prefixed with the prefix of the sublevel, and the key will be encoded by the sublevel (using the default key encoding of the sublevel unless keyEncoding is provided).

chainedBatch.clear()

Clear all queued operations on this batch.

chainedBatch.write([options][, callback])

Commit the queued operations for this batch. All operations will be written atomically, that is, they will either all succeed or fail with no partial commits.

There are no options (that are common between classic-level and browser-level). Note that write() does not take encoding options. Those can only be set on put() and del().

The callback function will be called with no arguments if the batch was successful or with an error if it failed. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned.

After write() or close() has been called, no further operations are allowed.

chainedBatch.close([callback])

Free up underlying resources. This should be done even if the chained batch has zero queued operations. Automatically called by write() so normally not necessary to call, unless the intent is to discard a chained batch without committing it. The callback function will be called with no arguments. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned. Closing the batch is an idempotent operation, such that calling close() more than once is allowed and makes no difference.

chainedBatch.length

The number of queued operations on the current batch.

chainedBatch.db

A reference to the database that created this chained batch.

iterator

An iterator allows one to lazily read a range of entries stored in the database. The entries will be sorted by keys in lexicographic order (in other words: byte order) which in short means key 'a' comes before 'b' and key '10' comes before '2'.

A classic-level iterator reads from a snapshot of the database, created at the time db.iterator() was called. This means the iterator will not see the data of simultaneous write operations. A browser-level iterator does not offer such guarantees, as is indicated by db.supports.snapshots. That property will be true in Node.js and false in browsers.

Iterators can be consumed with for await...of and iterator.all(), or by manually calling iterator.next() or nextv() in succession. In the latter case, iterator.close() must always be called. In contrast, finishing, throwing, breaking or returning from a for await...of loop automatically calls iterator.close(), as does iterator.all().

An iterator reaches its natural end in the following situations:

  • The end of the database has been reached
  • The end of the range has been reached
  • The last iterator.seek() was out of range.

An iterator keeps track of calls that are in progress. It doesn't allow concurrent next(), nextv() or all() calls (including a combination thereof) and will throw an error with code LEVEL_ITERATOR_BUSY if that happens:

// Not awaited and no callback provided
iterator.next()

try {
  // Which means next() is still in progress here
  iterator.all()
} catch (err) {
  console.log(err.code) // 'LEVEL_ITERATOR_BUSY'
}

for await...of iterator

Yields entries, which are arrays containing a key and value. The type of key and value depends on the options passed to db.iterator().

try {
  for await (const [key, value] of db.iterator()) {
    console.log(key)
  }
} catch (err) {
  console.error(err)
}

iterator.next([callback])

Advance to the next entry and yield that entry. If an error occurs, the callback function will be called with an error. Otherwise, the callback receives null, a key and a value. The type of key and value depends on the options passed to db.iterator(). If the iterator has reached its natural end, both key and value will be undefined.

If no callback is provided, a promise is returned for either an entry array (containing a key and value) or undefined if the iterator reached its natural end.

Note: iterator.close() must always be called once there's no intention to call next() or nextv() again. Even if such calls yielded an error and even if the iterator reached its natural end. Not closing the iterator will result in memory leaks and may also affect performance of other operations if many iterators are unclosed and each is holding a snapshot of the database.

iterator.nextv(size[, options][, callback])

Advance repeatedly and get at most size amount of entries in a single call. Can be faster than repeated next() calls. The size argument must be an integer and has a soft minimum of 1. There are no options at the moment.

If an error occurs, the callback function will be called with an error. Otherwise, the callback receives null and an array of entries, where each entry is an array containing a key and value. The natural end of the iterator will be signaled by yielding an empty array. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned.

const iterator = db.iterator()

while (true) {
  const entries = await iterator.nextv(100)

  if (entries.length === 0) {
    break
  }

  for (const [key, value] of entries) {
    // ..
  }
}

await iterator.close()

iterator.all([options][, callback])

Advance repeatedly and get all (remaining) entries as an array, automatically closing the iterator. Assumes that those entries fit in memory. If that's not the case, instead use next(), nextv() or for await...of. There are no options at the moment. If an error occurs, the callback function will be called with an error. Otherwise, the callback receives null and an array of entries, where each entry is an array containing a key and value. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned.

const entries = await db.iterator({ limit: 100 }).all()

for (const [key, value] of entries) {
  // ..
}

iterator.seek(target[, options])

Seek to the key closest to target. Subsequent calls to iterator.next(), nextv() or all() (including implicit calls in a for await...of loop) will yield entries with keys equal to or larger than target, or equal to or smaller than target if the reverse option passed to db.iterator() was true.

The optional options object may contain:

  • keyEncoding: custom key encoding, used to encode the target. By default the keyEncoding option of the iterator is used or (if that wasn't set) the keyEncoding of the database.

If range options like gt were passed to db.iterator() and target does not fall within that range, the iterator will reach its natural end.

iterator.close([callback])

Free up underlying resources. The callback function will be called with no arguments. If no callback is provided, a promise is returned. Closing the iterator is an idempotent operation, such that calling close() more than once is allowed and makes no difference.

If a next() ,nextv() or all() call is in progress, closing will wait for that to finish. After close() has been called, further calls to next() ,nextv() or all() will yield an error with code LEVEL_ITERATOR_NOT_OPEN.

iterator.db

A reference to the database that created this iterator.

iterator.count

Read-only getter that indicates how many keys have been yielded so far (by any method) excluding calls that errored or yielded undefined.

iterator.limit

Read-only getter that reflects the limit that was set in options. Greater than or equal to zero. Equals Infinity if no limit, which allows for easy math:

const hasMore = iterator.count < iterator.limit
const remaining = iterator.limit - iterator.count

keyIterator

A key iterator has the same interface as iterator except that its methods yield keys instead of entries. For the keyIterator.next(callback) method, this means that the callback will receive two arguments (an error and key) instead of three. Usage is otherwise the same.

valueIterator

A value iterator has the same interface as iterator except that its methods yield values instead of entries. For the valueIterator.next(callback) method, this means that the callback will receive two arguments (an error and value) instead of three. Usage is otherwise the same.

sublevel

A sublevel is an instance of the AbstractSublevel class, which extends AbstractLevel and thus has the same API as documented above. Sublevels have a few additional properties.

sublevel.prefix

Prefix of the sublevel. A read-only string property.

const example = db.sublevel('example')
const nested = example.sublevel('nested')

console.log(example.prefix) // '!example!'
console.log(nested.prefix) // '!example!!nested!'

sublevel.db

Parent database. A read-only property.

const example = db.sublevel('example')
const nested = example.sublevel('nested')

console.log(example.db === db) // true
console.log(nested.db === db) // true

Contributing

Level/level is an OPEN Open Source Project. This means that:

Individuals making significant and valuable contributions are given commit-access to the project to contribute as they see fit. This project is more like an open wiki than a standard guarded open source project.

See the Contribution Guide for more details.

Donate

Support us with a monthly donation on Open Collective and help us continue our work.

License

MIT