The versioned, forkable, syncable database
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eirinikos and aboodman edit Noms license info so that GitHub recognizes it
GitHub uses a library called Licensee to identify a project's license
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can unambiguously identify the license.

This commit modifies a few of Noms' docs so that Licensee is able
to recognize the repository's license type. It updates LICENSE so that
it contains the full text of the Apache license. It also updates the
README with a new "Licensing" section.

Collectively, these changes allow Licensee to successfully identify the
license type of Noms as Apache 2.0.

Signed-off-by: Andrea Kao <>
Latest commit 95e8b35 May 17, 2018

Use Cases  |  Setup  |  Status  |  Documentation  |  Contact

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Noms is a decentralized database philosophically descendant from the Git version control system.

Like Git, Noms is:

  • Versioned: By default, all previous versions of the database are retained. You can trivially track how the database evolved to its current state, easily and efficiently compare any two versions, or even rewind and branch from any previous version.
  • Synchronizable: Instances of a single Noms database can be disconnected from each other for any amount of time, then later reconcile their changes efficiently and correctly.

Unlike Git, Noms is a database, so it also:

  • Primarily stores structured data, not files and directories (see: the Noms type system)
  • Scales well to large amounts of data and concurrent clients
  • Supports atomic transactions (a single instance of Noms is CP, but Noms is typically run in production backed by S3, in which case it is "effectively CA")
  • Supports efficient indexes (see: Noms prolly-trees)
  • Features a flexible query model (see: GraphQL)

A Noms database can reside within a file system or in the cloud:

  • The (built-in) NBS ChunkStore implementation provides two back-ends which provide persistence for Noms databases: one for storage in a file system and one for storage in an S3 bucket.

Finally, because Noms is content-addressed, it yields a very pleasant programming model.

Working with Noms is declarative. You don't INSERT new data, UPDATE existing data, or DELETE old data. You simply declare what the data ought to be right now. If you commit the same data twice, it will be deduplicated because of content-addressing. If you commit almost the same data, only the part that is different will be written.

Use Cases


Because Noms is very good at sync, it makes a decent basis for rich, collaborative, fully-decentralized applications.

ClientDB (coming someday)

Embed Noms into mobile applications, making it easier to build offline-first, fully synchronizing mobile applications.


# You probably want to add this to your environment

go get
go install


Import some data:

go install
curl '' > /tmp/data.csv
csv-import /tmp/data.csv /tmp/noms::nycdemo


noms show /tmp/noms::nycdemo

Should show:

struct Commit {
  meta: struct Meta {
    date: "2017-09-19T19:33:01Z",
    inputFile: "/tmp/data.csv",
  parents: set {},
  value: [  // 236 items
    struct Row {
      countAmericanIndian: "0",
      countAsianNonHispanic: "3",
      countBlackNonHispanic: "21",
      countCitizenStatusTotal: "44",
      countCitizenStatusUnknown: "0",
      countEthnicityTotal: "44",


Data Format

We are fairly confident in the core data format, and plan to support Noms database version 7 and forward. If you create a database with Noms today, future versions will have migration tools to pull your databases forward.


We plan to implement the following for Noms version 8:

Learn More About Noms

For the decentralized web: The Decentralized Database

Learn the basics: Technical Overview

Tour the CLI: Command-Line Interface Tour

Tour the Go API: Go SDK Tour

Contact Us

Interested in using Noms? Awesome! We would be happy to work with you to help understand whether Noms is a fit for your problem. Reach out at:


Noms is open source software, licensed by Attic Labs, Inc. under the Apache License, Version 2.0.