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ChaiSQL is a modern embedded SQL database, focusing on flexibility and ease of use for developers.

Build Status reference Status

Key Features

  • PostgreSQL API: ChaiSQL SQL API is compatible with PostgreSQL
  • Optimized for Go: Native Go implementation with no CGO dependency.
  • Storage flexibility: Store data on-disk or in-memory.
  • Solid foundations: ChaiSQL is backed by Pebble for native Go toolchains, and RocksDB for non-Go or CGO builds (coming soon).


ChaiSQL is work in progress and is not ready yet for production.

Here is a high level list of features that we want to implement in the near future, in no particular order:

  • Stable storage format (90% completed)
  • Implement most of the SQL-92 standard (detailed roadmap coming soon)
  • Provide clients for other languages (JS/TS, Python, etc) and add support for RocksDB as the backend
  • Compatibility with PostgreSQL drivers and ORMs


Install the ChaiSQL database

go install


package main

import (


func main() {
    // Create a database instance, here we'll store everything on-disk
    db, err := chai.Open("mydb")
    if err != nil {
    defer db.Close()

    err = db.Exec(`
        CREATE TABLE user (
            id              INT         PRIMARY KEY,
            name            TEXT        NOT NULL UNIQUE,
            created_at      TIMESTAMP   NOT NULL

    err = db.Exec(`INSERT INTO user (id, name, age) VALUES ($1, $2, $3)`, 20, "foo", 40)

    rows, err := db.Query("SELECT id, name, age, address FROM user WHERE age >= $1", 18)
    defer rows.Close()

    err = rows.Iterate(func(r *chai.Row) error {
        // scan each column
        var id, name, age
        err = r.Scan(&id, &name, &age)
        // or into a struct
        var u User
        err = r.StructScan(&u)
        // or even a map
        var m map[string]any
        err = r.MapScan(&m)
        return nil

Checkout the Go doc and the usage example in the README to get started quickly.

In-memory database

For in-memory operations, simply use :memory::

db, err := chai.Open(":memory:")

Using database/sql

// import chai as a blank import
import _ ""

// Create a sql/database DB instance
db, err := sql.Open("chai", "mydb")
if err != nil {
defer db.Close()

// Then use db as usual
res, err := db.ExecContext(...)
res, err := db.Query(...)
res, err := db.QueryRow(...)

// use the driver.Scanner to scan into a struct
var u User
err = res.Scan(driver.Scanner(&u))

chai shell

The chai command line provides an SQL shell for database management:

go install

Usage example:

# For in-memory database:

# For disk-based database:
chai dirName


Contributions are welcome!

A big thanks to our contributors!

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For any questions or discussions, open an issue.