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Open Source, Google Zanzibar-inspired permissions database to enable fine-grained authorization for customer applications


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SpiceDB sets the standard for authorization that scales.

Scale with
Traffic • Dev Velocity • Functionality • Geography

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What is SpiceDB?

SpiceDB is a graph database purpose-built for storing and evaluating access control data.

As of 2021, broken access control became the #1 threat to the web. With SpiceDB, developers finally have the solution to stopping this threat the same way as the hyperscalers.

Why SpiceDB?

  • World-class engineering: painstakingly built by experts that pioneered the cloud-native ecosystem
  • Authentic design: mature and feature-complete implementation of Google's Zanzibar paper
  • Proven in production: 5ms p95 when scaled to millions of queries/s, billions of relationships
  • Global consistency: consistency configured per-request unlocks correctness while maintaining performance
  • Multi-paradigm: caveated relationships combine the best concepts in authorization: ABAC & ReBAC
  • Safety in tooling: designs schemas with real-time validation or validate in your CI/CD workflow
  • Reverse Indexes: queries for "What can subject do?", "Who can access resource?"

Joining the Community

SpiceDB is a community project where everyone is invited to participate and feel welcomed. While the project has a technical goal, participation is not restricted to those with code contributions.


Contribute documents communication, contribution flow, legal requirements, and common tasks when contributing to the project.

You can find issues by priority: Urgent, High, Medium, Low, Maybe. There are also good first issues.

Our documentation website is also open source if you'd like to clarify anything you find confusing.

Getting Started

Installing the binary

Binary releases are available for Linux, macOS, and Windows on AMD64 and ARM64 architectures.

Homebrew users for both macOS and Linux can install the latest binary releases of SpiceDB and zed using the official tap:

brew install authzed/tap/spicedb authzed/tap/zed

Debian-based Linux users can install SpiceDB packages by adding a new APT source:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y curl ca-certificates gpg
curl | sudo apt-key add -
sudo echo "deb * *" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/fury.list
sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y spicedb zed

RPM-based Linux users can install SpiceDB packages by adding a new YUM repository:

sudo cat << EOF >> /etc/yum.repos.d/Authzed-Fury.repo
name=AuthZed Fury Repository
sudo dnf install -y spicedb zed

Running a container

Container images are available for AMD64 and ARM64 architectures on the following registries:

Docker users can run the latest SpiceDB container with the following:

docker run --rm -p 50051:50051 authzed/spicedb serve --grpc-preshared-key "somerandomkeyhere"

SpiceDB containers use Chainguard Images to ship the bare minimum userspace which is a huge boon to security, but can complicate debugging. If you want to execute a user session into a running SpiceDB container and install packages, you can use one of our debug images.

Appending -debug to any tag will provide you an image that has a userspace with debug tooling:

docker run --rm -ti --entrypoint sh authzed/spicedb:latest-debug

Containers are also available for each git commit to the main branch under ${REGISTRY}/authzed/spicedb-git:${COMMIT}.

Deploying to Kubernetes

Production Kubernetes users should be relying on a stable release of the SpiceDB Operator. The Operator enforces not only best practices, but orchestrates SpiceDB updates without downtime.

If you're only experimenting, feel free to try out one of our community-maintained examples for testing SpiceDB on Kubernetes:

kubectl apply -f

Developing your own schema

You can try both SpiceDB and zed entirely in your browser in the hosted Playground thanks to the power of WebAssembly. The Playground app is open source and can also be self-hosted.

If you don't want to start with the examples loadable from the Playground, you can follow a guide for developing a schema or review the the schema language design documentation.

Watch the SpiceDB primer video to get started with schema development:

SpiceDB Primer YouTube Thumbnail

Trying out the API

For debugging or getting started, we recommend installing zed, the official command-line client. The Playground also has a tab for experimenting with zed all from within your browser.

When it's time to write code, we recommend using one of the existing client libraries whether it's official or community-maintained.

Because every millisecond counts, we recommend using libraries that leverage the gRPC API for production workloads.

To get an understanding of integrating an application with SpiceDB, you can follow the Protecting Your First App guide or review API documentation on the Buf Registry or Postman.


SpiceDB is a community project fueled by contributions from both organizations and individuals. We appreciate all contributions, large and small, and would like to thank all those involved.

In addition, we'd like to highlight a few notable contributions:

  • github logo The GitHub Authorization Team for implementing and contributing the MySQL datastore
  • netflix logo The Netflix Authorization Team for sponsoring and being a design partner for caveats
  • equinix logo The Equinix Metal Team for sponsoring our benchmarking hardware