Innostore is a simple Erlang API to Embedded InnoDB.
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Innostore is a simple Erlang API to Embedded InnoDB.

Innostore does not attempt to provide the same API as Inno itself, but instead provides a simpler interface which is sufficient for many uses. This interface is exported by the innostore module of the innostore application.

An example of use of that interface can be found in the innostore_riak module, which is a valid Riak backend module using innostore for storage.


  1. Download or clone the innostore project from
  2. In the innostore directory, build it:
 $ make
  1. Install innostore (may need root privs)…
    1. Option 1: … into your Erlang distribution:
     $ make install

    This will install innostore to $OTPROOT/lib, so be sure you have it set in your environment.

    1. Option 2: … into an existing Riak build:
     $ RIAK=/usr/lib/riak make install

    This will allow you to custom install innostore into the lib folder that Riak is using.

  2. Finally, configure riak to use innostore in app.config by setting the storage_backend. Change riak/etc/app.config:
 {storage_backend, riak_kv_innostore_backend}
  1. You may wish to also tune the innostore engine. Add an innostore application section to the riak/etc/app.config:
%% Inno db config
{innostore, [
             {data_home_dir,            "/mnt/innodb"},
             {log_group_home_dir,       "/mnt/innodb"},
             {buffer_pool_size,         2147483648} %% 2G of buffer


While InnoDB can be extremely fast for a durable store, its performance is highly dependent on tuning the configuration to match the hardware and dataset. All the configuration is available as application variables in the innostore application scope. An example configuration follows:

%% InnoDB config
{innostore, [
             %% Where data files go
             {data_home_dir,            "/innodb"},

             %% Where log files go
             {log_group_home_dir,       "/innodb-log"},

             %% 2G in-memory buffer in bytes
             {buffer_pool_size,         2147483648},

             %% How many files you need -- usually, 3 < x < 6
             {log_files_in_group,       6},

             %% No bigger than 256MB
             {log_file_size,            134217728}

In general, only the first three parameters (data_home_dir, log_group_home_dir and buffer_pool_size) will need to be changed. It is strongly recommended that the data home dir and log home dir are kept on separate spindles/drives.

The buffer_pool_size determines how much data Inno tries to keep in memory at once. Obviously, the more of your dataset that can fit in RAM, the better Inno will perform. If you are running a 64-bit Erlang VM, the buffer_pool_size can safely be set above 2G.

You can control the number of file descriptors Inno will use with open_files. Inno defaults to 300 which can cause problems on some platforms (e.g. OS X has a default limit of 256 handles). Either set {open_files, 100} in the config or increase the number of handles available.

Make sure to set noatime on any disk involved with Inno, particularly if you are expecting significant load.

When running innostore on solaris+zfs, make sure to set the recordsize=16k on the pool where data_home_dir lives (prior to starting innostore). You may also find that setting primarycache=metadata will positively influence performance.


By default log output from Inno will be delivered on stderr. The error_log config option allows redirecting to a file, for example to redirect to /var/log/innostore.log

 {innostore, [{error_log, "/var/log/innostore.log"}]}.

InnoDB Table Format

Embedded InnoDb offers several table formats: compact, dynamic and compressed.

  • compact format stores the first 768 bytes of the value with the key and any extra data on extension pages. This is a good option for small values.
  • dynamic format stores the value outside separately from the index. For larger values (>600 bytes) this will make the index pages denser and may provide a performance increase.
  • compressed format is like dynamic format, except it compresses the key and data pages.

The default format is compact to match previous innostore releases. To configure, set the format option in your innostore config. The setting is system wide and will be used for all buckets.

%% Use dynamic format tables.
{innostore, [{format, dynamic}]}.

If you wish to use compressed tables the page_size must be set to 0 (changing this is not recommended for any other case).

{innostore, [{format, compressed},
             {page_size, 0}]}.


We encourage contributions to innostore from the community.

  1. Fork the innostore repository on Github.
  2. Clone your fork or add the remote if you already have a clone of the repository.
git clone
# or
git remote add mine
  1. Create a topic branch for your change.
git checkout -b some-topic-branch
  1. Make your change and commit. Use a clear and descriptive commit message, spanning multiple lines if detailed explanation is needed.
  2. Push to your fork of the repository and then send a pull-request through Github.
git push mine some-topic-branch
  1. A Basho engineer or community maintainer will review your patch and merge it into the main repository or send you feedback.