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Kivik provides a common interface to CouchDB or CouchDB-like databases for Go and GopherJS.
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flimzy Merge pull request #363 from go-kivik/stubs
Encode attachment stubs differently, for proper document updates
Latest commit 61089ff Mar 16, 2019
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driver Allow passing ctx to DBUpdates() method, and update docs Feb 15, 2019
errors Add status text for missing codes. Aug 3, 2018
travis Add CI test for version number Sep 13, 2018
.codecov.yml Remove old drivers Dec 10, 2017
.gitignore Remove kivik server files Oct 25, 2017
.linter.json Move linter config to json file Nov 18, 2017
Makefile Add PouchDB support for CreateIndex Apr 14, 2017 Drop Go 1.8 support Feb 9, 2019
attachments.go Encode attachment stubs differently, for proper document updates Mar 16, 2019
bulk_test.go Change BulkDocs to accept a slice, rather than depending on reflection Feb 13, 2019
common_test.go Consolidate mock_test.go and common_test.go Dec 16, 2017
constants.go Deprecate custom error status codes Feb 1, 2019
db.go Typo in DeleteAttachment doc Feb 21, 2019
db_test.go Finish removing rev argumnet from GetAttachmentMeta Feb 12, 2019
doc.go Update doc examples to show new deferred errors for Get() Nov 11, 2018
errors.go Remove Reason() method Mar 2, 2019
find.go Switch to new Error type Feb 1, 2019
glide.gopherjs.yaml Refactor mergeOptions not to depend on mergo library Feb 6, 2019
iterator.go Switch to new Error type Feb 1, 2019
kivik.go Make CreateDB() return just an error Mar 12, 2019
kivik_test.go Make CreateDB() return just an error Mar 12, 2019
registry.go Update paths Dec 14, 2017
rows.go Switch to new Error type Feb 1, 2019

Build Status Codecov Go Report Card GoDoc Website


Package kivik provides a common interface to CouchDB or CouchDB-like databases.

The kivik package must be used in conjunction with a database driver.

The kivik driver system is modeled after the standard library's sql and sql/driver packages, although the client API is completely different due to the different database models implemented by SQL and NoSQL databases such as CouchDB.


You are browsing the development branch of Kivik. The stable version is available here.

This branch which will eventually become the Kivik 2.0.0 release. The API is subject to rapid and unannounced changes at this stage of development. For production work, you are encouraged to use the latest 1.x release of Kivik, which is stable.

To use the stable version of Kivik, please use a dependency manager to ensure you're using version 1.x of Kivik and the Kivik driver.

Example configs for common dependency managers follow.


Update your Gopkg.toml file:

  name = ""
  version = "^1.6.0"

  name = ""
  version = "^1.6.0"


Update your glide.yaml file:

- package:
  version: ^1.6.0
- package:
  version: ^1.6.0


Fetch the latest stable version of Kivik and the CouchDB driver with the following command:

govendor fetch
govendor fetch


Install Kivik as you normally would for any Go package:

go get -u
go get -u

This will install the main Kivik package and the CouchDB database driver. See the list of Kivik database drivers for a complete list of available drivers.

Example Usage

Please consult the the package documentation for all available API methods, and a complete usage documentation. And for additional usage examples, consult the wiki.

package main

import (

    // "" // Stable version of Kivik
    "" // Development version of Kivik
    _ "" // The CouchDB driver

func main() {
    client, err := kivik.New("couch", "http://localhost:5984/")
    if err != nil {

    db, err := client.DB(context.TODO(), "animals")
    if err != nil {

    doc := map[string]interface{}{
        "_id":      "cow",
        "feet":     4,
        "greeting": "moo",

    rev, err := db.Put(context.TODO(), "cow", doc)
    if err != nil {
    fmt.Printf("Cow inserted with revision %s\n", rev)

Frequently Asked Questions

Nobody has ever asked me any of these questions, so they're probably better called "Never Asked Questions" or possibly "Imagined Questions."

Why another CouchDB client API?

Read the design goals for the general design goals.

Specifically, I was motivated to write Kivik for a few reasons:

  1. I was unhappy with any of the existing CouchDB drivers for Go. The best one had a number of shortcomings:

    • It is no longer actively developed.
    • It doesn't have an open source license.
    • It doesn't support iterating over result sets, forcing one to load all results of a query into memory at once.
    • It doesn't support CouchDB 2.0 sequence IDs or MongoDB-style queries.
    • It doesn't natively support CookieAuth (it does allow a generic Auth method which could be used to do this, but I think it's appropriate to put directly in the library).
  2. I wanted a single client API that worked with both CouchDB and PouchDB. I had previously written go-pouchdb, a GopherJS wrapper around the PouchDB library with a public API modeled after fjl/go-couchdb, but I still wanted a unified driver infrastructure.

  3. I want an unambiguous, open source license. This software is released under the Apache 2.0 license. See the included file for details.

  4. I wanted the ability to mock CouchDB connections for testing. This is possible with the sql / sql/driver approach by implementing a mock driver, but was not possible with any existing CouchDB client libraries. This library makes that possible for CouchDB apps, too.

  5. I wanted a simple, mock CouchDB server I could use for testing. It doesn't need to be efficient, or support all CouchDB servers, but it should be enough to test the basic functionality of a PouchDB app, for instance. Kivik aims to do this with the kivik serve command, in the near future.

  6. I wanted a toolkit that would make it easy to build a proxy to sit in front of CouchDB to handle custom authentication or other logic that CouchDB cannot support natively. Kivik aims to accomplish this in the future.

What are Kivik's requirements?

Kivik's test suite is automatically run on Linux and OSX for every pull request, but should work on all supported Go platforms.

Below are the compatibility targets for specific runtime and database versions. If you discover a bug affecting any of these supported environments, please let me know by submitting a bug report via GitHub.

  • Go Kivik 2.x aims for full compatibility with all stable releases of Go from 1.9. For Go 1.7 or 1.8 you can use Kivik 1.x
  • CouchDB The Kivik 1.x CouchDB driver aims for compatibility with all stable releases of CouchDB from 1.6.1.
  • GopherJS GopherJS always requires the latest stable version of Go, so building Kivik with GopherJS has this same requirement.
  • PouchDB The Kivik 1.x PouchDB driver aims for compatibility with all stable releases of PouchDB from 6.0.0.

What is the development status?

Kivik 1.x is considered production-ready and comes with a complete client API client and backend drivers for CouchDB and PouchDB.

Kivik 2.x is under development, and adds new features and a streamlined API.

Future goals are to flesh out the Memory driver, which will make automated testing without a real CouchDB server easier. Then I will work on completing the 'serve' mode.

You can see a complete overview of the current status on the Compatibility chart

Why the name "Kivik"?

Kivik is a line of sofas (couches) from IKEA. And in the spirit of IKEA, and build-your-own furniture, Kivik aims to allow you to "build your own" CouchDB client, server, and proxy applications.

What license is Kivik released under?

This software is released under the terms of the Apache 2.0 license. See, or read the full license.

What projects currently use Kivik?

If your project uses Kivik, and you'd like to be added to this list, create an issue or submit a pull request.

  • Cayley is an open-source graph database. It uses Kivik for the CouchDB and PouchDB storage backends.
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