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Dolt is Git for Data!

Dolt is a SQL database that you can fork, clone, branch, merge, push and pull just like a git repository. Connect to Dolt just like any MySQL database to run queries or update the data using SQL commands. Use the command line interface to import CSV files, commit your changes, push them to a remote, or merge your teammate's changes.

All the commands you know for Git work exactly the same for Dolt. Git versions files, Dolt versions tables. It's like Git and MySQL had a baby!

We also built DoltHub, a place to share Dolt databases. We host public data for free! If you want to host your own version of DoltHub, we have DoltLab.

Join us on Discord to say hi and ask questions!

What's it for?

Lots of things! Dolt is a generally useful tool with countless applications. But if you want some ideas, here's how people are using it so far.

How do I use it?

Check out our quick-start guide to skip the docs and get started as fast as humanly possible! Or keep reading for a high level overview of how to use the command line tool.

Having problems? Read the FAQ to find answers.

Dolt CLI

The dolt CLI has the same commands as git, with some extras.

$ dolt
Valid commands for dolt are
                init - Create an empty Dolt data repository.
              status - Show the working tree status.
                 add - Add table changes to the list of staged table changes.
                diff - Diff a table.
               reset - Remove table changes from the list of staged table changes.
              commit - Record changes to the repository.
                 sql - Run a SQL query against tables in repository.
          sql-server - Start a MySQL-compatible server.
          sql-client - Starts a built-in MySQL client.
                 log - Show commit logs.
              branch - Create, list, edit, delete branches.
            checkout - Checkout a branch or overwrite a table from HEAD.
               merge - Merge a branch.
           conflicts - Commands for viewing and resolving merge conflicts.
              revert - Undo the changes introduced in a commit.
               clone - Clone from a remote data repository.
               fetch - Update the database from a remote data repository.
                pull - Fetch from a dolt remote data repository and merge.
                push - Push to a dolt remote.
              config - Dolt configuration.
              remote - Manage set of tracked repositories.
              backup - Manage a set of server backups.
               login - Login to a dolt remote host.
               creds - Commands for managing credentials.
                  ls - List tables in the working set.
              schema - Commands for showing and importing table schemas.
               table - Commands for copying, renaming, deleting, and exporting tables.
                 tag - Create, list, delete tags.
               blame - Show what revision and author last modified each row of a table.
         constraints - Commands for handling constraints.
             migrate - Executes a repository migration to update to the latest format.
         read-tables - Fetch table(s) at a specific commit into a new dolt repo
                  gc - Cleans up unreferenced data from the repository.
       filter-branch - Edits the commit history using the provided query.
          merge-base - Find the common ancestor of two commits.
             version - Displays the current Dolt cli version.
                dump - Export all tables in the working set into a file.


From Latest Release

To install on Linux or Mac based systems run this command in your terminal:

sudo bash -c 'curl -L | bash'

This will download the latest dolt release and put it in /usr/local/bin/, which is probably on your $PATH.

The install script needs sudo in order to put dolt in /usr/local/bin. If you don't have root privileges or aren't comfortable running a script with them, you can download the dolt binary for your platform from the latest release, unzip it, and put the binary somewhere on your $PATH.


Dolt is on Homebrew, updated every release.

brew install dolt


Download the latest Microsoft Installer (.msi file) in releases and run it.

For information on running on Windows, see here.


You can install dolt using Chocolatey:

choco install dolt

From Source

Make sure you have Go installed, and that go is in your path.

Clone this repository and cd into the go directory. Then run:

go install ./cmd/dolt


Verify that your installation has succeeded by running dolt in your terminal.

$ dolt
Valid commands for dolt are

Configure dolt with your user name and email, which you'll need to create commits. The commands work exactly the same as git.

$ dolt config --global --add YOU@DOMAIN.COM
$ dolt config --global --add "YOUR NAME"

Getting started

Let's create our first repo, storing state population data.

$ mkdir state-pops
$ cd state-pops

Run dolt init to set up a new dolt repo, just like you do with git. Then run some SQL queries to insert data.

$ dolt init
Successfully initialized dolt data repository.
$ dolt sql -q "create table state_populations ( state varchar(14), population int, primary key (state) )"
$ dolt sql -q "show tables"
| tables            |
| state_populations |
$ dolt sql -q "insert into state_populations (state, population) values
('Delaware', 59096),
('Maryland', 319728),
('Tennessee', 35691),
('Virginia', 691937),
('Connecticut', 237946),
('Massachusetts', 378787),
('South Carolina', 249073),
('New Hampshire', 141885),
('Vermont', 85425),
('Georgia', 82548),
('Pennsylvania', 434373),
('Kentucky', 73677),
('New York', 340120),
('New Jersey', 184139),
('North Carolina', 393751),
('Maine', 96540),
('Rhode Island', 68825)"
Query OK, 17 rows affected

Use dolt sql to jump into a SQL shell, or run single queries with the -q option.

$ dolt sql -q "select * from state_populations where state = 'New York'"
| state    | population |
| New York | 340120     |

add the new tables and commit them. Every command matches git exactly, but with tables instead of files.

$ dolt add .
$ dolt commit -m "initial data"
$ dolt status
On branch master
nothing to commit, working tree clean

Update the tables with more SQL commands, this time using the shell:

$ dolt sql
# Welcome to the DoltSQL shell.
# Statements must be terminated with ';'.
# "exit" or "quit" (or Ctrl-D) to exit.
state_pops> update state_populations set population = 0 where state like 'New%';
Query OK, 3 rows affected
Rows matched: 3  Changed: 3  Warnings: 0
state_pops> exit

See what you changed with dolt diff:

$ dolt diff
diff --dolt a/state_populations b/state_populations
--- a/state_populations @ qqr3vd0ea6264oddfk4nmte66cajlhfl
+++ b/state_populations @ 17cinjh5jpimilefd57b4ifeetjcbvn2
|     | state         | population |
|  <  | New Hampshire | 141885     |
|  >  | New Hampshire | 0          |
|  <  | New Jersey    | 184139     |
|  >  | New Jersey    | 0          |
|  <  | New York      | 340120     |
|  >  | New York      | 0          |

Then commit your changes once more with dolt add and dolt commit.

$ dolt add state_populations
$ dolt commit -m "More like Old Jersey"

See the history of your repository with dolt log.

% dolt log
commit babgn65p1r5n36ao4gfdj99811qauo8j
Author: Zach Musgrave <>
Date:   Wed Nov 11 13:42:27 -0800 2020

    More like Old Jersey

commit 9hgk7jb7hlkvvkbornpldcopqh2gn6jo
Author: Zach Musgrave <>
Date:   Wed Nov 11 13:40:53 -0800 2020

    initial data

commit 8o8ldh58pjovn8uvqvdq2olf7dm63dj9
Author: Zach Musgrave <>
Date:   Wed Nov 11 13:36:24 -0800 2020

    Initialize data repository

Importing data

If you have data in flat files like CSV or JSON, you can import them using the dolt table import command. Use dolt table import -u to add data to an existing table, or dolt table import -c to create a new one.

$ head -n3 data.csv
$ dolt table import -c -pk=state state_populations data.csv

Branch and merge

Just like with git, it's a good idea to make changes on your own branch, then merge them back to master. The dolt checkout command works exactly the same as git checkout.

$ dolt checkout -b <branch>

The merge command works the same too.

$ dolt merge <branch>

Working with remotes

Dolt supports remotes just like git. Remotes are set up automatically when you clone data from one.

$ dolt clone dolthub/corona-virus
$ cd corona-virus
$ dolt remote -v

To push to a remote, you'll need credentials. Run dolt login to open a browser to sign in and cache your local credentials. You can sign into DoltHub with your Google account, your Github account, or with a user name and password.

$ dolt login

If you have a repo that you created locally that you now want to push to a remote, add a remote exactly like you would with git.

$ dolt remote add origin myname/myRepo
$ dolt remote -v

And then push to it.

$ dolt push origin master

Other remotes

dolt also supports directory, aws, and gcs based remotes:

  • file - Use a directory on your machine
dolt remote add <remote> file:///Users/xyz/abs/path/
  • aws - Use an S3 bucket
dolt remote add <remote> aws://dynamo-table:s3-bucket/database
  • gs - Use a GCS bucket
dolt remote add <remote> gs://gcs-bucket/database

Interesting datasets to clone

DoltHub has lots of interesting datasets to explore and clone. Here are some of our favorites.

Running A SQL Server

Dolt comes built in with a SQL server that you can connect to with either the MySQL client, or your favorite MySQL-compatible tool. Simply run:

dolt sql-server

You connect with mysql using the default port 3306 as follows. The default username is "root", and the default password is "" (empty password)

mysql -h -u root  --port 3306 -p

Checkout these portions of the documentation for more configuration options.

More documentation

There's a lot more to Dolt than can fit in a README file! For full documentation, check out the docs on DoltHub. Some of the topics we didn't cover here:

Credits and License

Dolt relies heavily on open source code and ideas from the Noms project. We are very thankful to the Noms team for making this code freely available, without which we would not have been able to build Dolt so rapidly.

Dolt is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. See LICENSE for details.