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Elevator pitch

Sider is a command-line tool for running and restoring multiple databases locally.

Longer story

Sider was born out of frustration of often fetching a production-dump, starting it up locally and then accidentally destroying it whilst debugging and having to do the process all over again.

There was also the issue of running two or more databases of the same type on different ports locally, which is often tricky to do with a system-wide install.

Using docker to bind-mount in the dump was a bit better since you could run multiple databases at the same time on different ports, but still painful since labeling, copying and setting up the docker mounts took time and concentration.

Sider is the answer to this. I wanted a tool to manage several database dumps locally at once. I wanted to run some or all of them at the same time and when I did destroy some crucial data I wanted to quickly revert to the fetched dump being able to start over again.

There's a bit more non-essential background and history here.

For the impatient and brave

Say to yourself: "I have docker installed" three times.

npm i -g @jonaslu/sider
sider install-completion
sider help
sider <tab><tab>

Check the wiki - at least the changelog if you are upgrading.

Supported databases

  • Redis
  • Postgres
  • Mariadb
  • Mongodb

Common use case scenario:

Here's a every day usage scenario to get your appetite up:

$ sider snapshot add redis prod-dump /home/jonasl/temp/dump/prod-dump/dump.rdb
Successfully added snapshot prod-dump

$ sider snapshot list
│ name      │ engine │ created           │ cloned by │
│ prod-dump │ redis  │ a few seconds ago │           │

$ sider db clone test-feature-1 prod-dump
✨ Successfully cloned database test-feature-1 from snapshot prod-dump 🚀

$ sider db start test-feature-1
✨ Starting database test-feature-1 on port 6379 🚀
... hack hack ...
... Stuck, I'll work on feature-2 on the meantime ...
ctrl + c

$ sider db clone test-feature-2 prod-dump
✨ Successfully cloned database test-feature-2 from snapshot prod-dump 🚀

$ sider db start test-feature-2
✨ Starting database test-feature-2 on port 6379 🚀
... hack hack ...
... Oh noes, I destroyed the data ...
ctrl + c

$ sider db reset test-feature-2
Successfully reset test-feature-2
... hack hack ...
... Yes, I figured out how to solve feature-1 ...

<new terminal>

$ sider db list
│ name           │ snapshot  │ engine │ created       │ last used     │
│ test-feature-1 │ prod-dump │ redis  │ 4 minutes ago │ 4 minutes ago │
│ test-feature-2 │ prod-dump │ redis  │ 3 minutes ago │ 2 minutes ago │

$ sider db start test-feature-1 port=6380
✨ Starting database test-feature-1 on port 6380 🚀
... I think I need feature 1 to always run on port 6380...
.... ctrl + c ...

$ sider db setconf test-feature-1 port=6380
Successfully stored settings on database test-feature-1

$ sider db start test-feature-1
✨ Starting database test-feature-1 on port 6380 🚀

<new terminal>

$ sider snapshot empty postgres test-data
✨ Starting empty snapshot test-data on port 5432 🚀
...Set up a empty database with some schema...
...And insert some data...
.... ctrl + c ...

$ sider db clone hope-it-works test-data
✨ Successfully cloned database hope-it-works from snapshot test-data 🚀

$ sider db start hope-it-works
✨ Starting database hope-it-works on port 5432 🚀
... ctrl + c ....

...Oh, I wrote the program but can't remember that command-line switch...
$> sider help



A snapshot is an imported dump of a database. You can also create empty snapshots and initialize them with data yourself.


The database is a cloned copy of a snapshot making the snapshot immutable and the database mutable. You can reset a database to the initial snapshot state at any time.


Is the supported database types - currently:

  • Redis
  • Postgres
  • Mariadb
  • Mongodb

Runtime settings

Settings are applied when running a database and controls what port to run plus any other individual settings supported by the engine (example: engine version).

The engine itself will provide default settings. Settings can be overriden on the engine, snapshot, db and command-line and prioritized in that order if overridden.

Settings are persisted between invocations with the exception of command-line settings.



Sider depends on docker for running the different supported database engines. You must have docker installed and on your path.

Test it by issuing: docker info in a terminal. If there is some output from docker you're good to go.

Getting it

npm install -g @jonaslu/sider

If there are any breaking changes a migration will be supplied during the upgrade process.

You can (but are not advised) to opt out of the migration during upgrade. If you do then there's will be a way of migrating manually here: migrations.

If you are upgrading, also read the changelog.

Installing tab-completion

Type sider install-completion and tab-tab away to your hearts content. Currently bash is supported. See issues for progress on more shells.


Working with engines

Holds both the defaults and overridden settings that are applied when running a database.

Persisting settings

sider engine setconf <name> <settings...>

Persists one or more settings on an engine. Any database using that engine will inherit it's settings unless overridden when started anew.

Example: sider engine setconf redis port=6780 version=3.2.6

Listing settings

sider engine getconf <name>

Lists all persisted settings on an engine.

Example: sider engine getconf redis

Removing settings

sider engine remconf <name> <settings...>

Removes one or more settings on an engine reverting back to the defaults.

Example: sider engine remconf redis port version

Working with snapshots

Snapshots are dumps exported from another database. The canonical example is getting a dump from production to work on some bug locally.

Redis accepts dump.rdb files, postgres, mariadb and mongodb accepts the contents of the data-dir.

See the wiki for importing pg_dump / mysqldump sql-files.

Adding a snapshot

sider snapshot add <engine-type> <name> <path-to-snapshot>

This will load the database dump into sider using the specified engine-type to load and process the database dump files.

It will not touch or alter any of the supplied original files.

Example: sider snapshot add redis prod-dump /home/jonasl/dump.rdb

Adding an empty snapshot

sider snapshot empty <engine> <name>

Empty snapshots are handy for adding self-generated data such as setting up schemas and test-data.

It's can also be used for importing .sql files (see the wiki).

Press ctrl+c to stop and save the snapshot.

Example: sider snapshot empty redis test-data

Listing imported snapshots

sider snapshot list

Displays a list of the currently available snapshots.

Removing a snapshot

sider snapshot remove <name>

This will delete the snapshot and databases cloned from it.

Example: sider snapshot remove prod-dump

Persisting settings

sider snapshot setconf <name> <settings...>

Persists one or more settings on a snapshot. Any database cloned from this snapshot will inherit it's settings unless overridden when started anew.

Example: sider snapshot setconf prod-dump port=6781 version=4.0.0

Listing settings

sider snapshot getconf <name>

Lists all persisted settings on a snapshot.

Example: sider snapshot getconf prod-dump

Removing settings

sider snapshot remconf <name>

Removes one or more settings on a snapshot.

Example: sider snapshot remconf prod-dump port version

Working with dbs

The purpose of a database is to work with and mutate data cloned from a snapshot.

A db has to be cloned out from a snapshot and cannot be started without an associated snapshot. Thus any associated databases are deleted when a snapshot is removed.

Cloning a snapshot

sider db clone <name> <snapshot-name>

Clones out a database from a snapshot. This is the only way to add a database.

Example: sider db clone bug-fix prod-dump

Starting a database

sider db start [-p] <name> [settings...]

Starts a previously cloned database. It retains state over restarts - use sider db reset to discard any changes made.

Press ctrl+c to shut down the database.

Any settings are applied to this invocation only unless the flag -p is given. If you whish to persist settings between invocations add the -p flag.


sider db start bug-fix
sider db start bug-fix port=1234
sider db start -p bug-fix port=1234

You can later change or remove the persisted settings via sider db setconf and sider db remconf.

Listing existing databases

sider db list [-s]

Lists the currently existing databases. Flag -s shows the settings (default + overriden) for the database.

Removing a database

sider db remove <name>

Removes a database.

Example: sider db remove bug-fix

Promote a database

sider db promote <name> <new-snapshot-name>

A database can be promoted into a new snapshot. The new snapshot can then be used as a base for further development.

Example: sider db promote bug-fix migrated-prod-data

Resetting a database

sider db reset <name>

Resets the database to the cloned snapshot state and thus discarding any changes made.

Any settings applied to database are kept even if it's reset.

Example: sider db reset bug-fix

Ejecting a database

sider db eject <name> <eject-path>

This will write out the working data-files in a database to disk. Example of this is if you've solved a bug and like to re-import the changes to some other environment.

The path will be create if it does not exist. The dump will be written into a subfolder named after ejected the database`

Example sider db eject migrated-prod-data /home/jonasl/iwon

Persisting settings

sider db setconf <name> <settings...>

Persists one or more settings on a database.

Example: sider db setconf bug-fix port=5432 version=4.0.3

Listing settings

sider db getconf <name>

Lists all persisted settings on a database.

Example: sider db getconf bug-fix

Removing settings

sider db remconf <name> <settings...>

Removes one or several settings on a database.

Example: sider db remconf bug-fix port version

Configuration file

Sider can be configured by adding a .siderrc to your home-folder. The .siderrc is a json-file. You can set the following values and will default to these if you don't:

basePath: '~/.sider',

Base path is the top folder where sider keeps all of it's snapshots, dbs and settings.


Database dumps made tolerable




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