This manual documents Octo, the YottaDB Database Management System.

Octo is a SQL database engine whose tables are stored in YottaDB global variables (i.e., YottaDB hierarchical key-value nodes). Octo is installed as a YottaDB plugin.

  • It is quick and efficient in pulling data from the YottaDB datastore.

  • It is tightly integrated with the YottaDB object technology that allows for a mix of relational as well as object access to the YottaDB datastore seamlessly. It does not sacrifice one for the other.

  • It aims to provide SQL-92 compliance.


  • Octo uses the PostgreSQL wire protocol, allowing SQL access to YottaDB databases via the PostgreSQL ODBC/JDBC/OLE DB driver.

  • It uses YottaDB local and global variables to hold mapping data, temporary tables, and cross references to provide an efficient relational schema overlay using an augmented SQL DDL language.

  • It uses a 3-phase architecture, consisting of parsing, logical-plan generation and optimization, and physical-plan generation and emission.

  • ROcto is the Remote Octo Server that can communicate with PostgreSQL Server clients.


Octo includes a full set of standard, relational features. These include:

  • The ability to define data structures, especially database schemas (Data Definition Language, or DDL).

  • The ability to retrieve data (Data Query Language, or DQL).

  • The ability to insert/update data (Data Manipulation Language, or DML).


At the time of the release of this document, the features that manage transactions in the database (Transaction Control Language, or TCL), and control access to data stored in a database (Data Control Language, or DCL) are yet to be implemented.


YottaDB r1.34 or greater is required for successful installation of Octo.

Installing and configuring YottaDB is described on its own documentation page. With the --octo option of YottaDB's script, you can install YottaDB and Octo with one command.


Octo is a YottaDB application, not an application that runs on the upstream GT.M for which YottaDB is a drop-in upward-compatible replacement.


Install Prerequisites

Install Plugins

The YottaDB POSIX and AIM plugins are now installed when the --octo option is used with the ydbinstall script.

Installing the YottaDB encryption plugin enables TLS support (recommended for production installations). You will need to make sure TLS/SSL is enabled for the driver in the client software chosen.

The YottaDB encryption plugin can be installed by adding the --encplugin option when installing YottaDB with the ydbinstall script:

./ydbinstall --encplugin


If YottaDB has already been installed, use the --plugins-only option with the script to install the plugins.

Install Octo

Octo is a continuously updated YottaDB plugin that is distributed as source code. A CI (Continuous Integration) pipeline runs a considerable number of unit and system tests before allowing any source code to be merged. This ensures that the master branch is always current with the latest production-ready source code.

Octo can be installed by using the --octo option when installing YottaDB with the ydbinstall script.

To do this, start by installing the prerequisite packages:

# Ubuntu
sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y --no-install-recommends bison build-essential ca-certificates cmake curl file flex git libconfig-dev libelf-dev libicu-dev libreadline-dev libssl-dev pkg-config wget

# Rocky Linux
sudo yum --enablerepo=powertools install -y bison cmake file findutils flex gcc git libconfig-devel libicu-devel make openssl-devel pkg-config postgresql procps readline-devel wget

# RHEL 8
sudo subscription-manager repos --enable codeready-builder-for-rhel-8-x86_64-rpms
sudo yum install -y bison cmake file findutils flex gcc git libconfig-devel libicu-devel make openssl-devel pkg-config postgresql procps readline-devel wget

# SUSE Enterprise Linux / openSUSE Linux
zypper install -y bison cmake file findutils flex gcc git libconfig-devel libicu-devel libopenssl-devel make pkg-config postgresql procps readline-devel wget

Then, install YottaDB, Octo, and the required POSIX plugin all together:

mkdir /tmp/tmp ; wget -P /tmp/tmp
cd /tmp/tmp ; chmod +x
sudo ./ --utf8 default --verbose --octo

./ –help gives a full list of its numerous options.

The Octo Developer Documentation provides instructions on building and installing Octo manually without ydbinstall /

Configure Octo

Setup environment variables

The following environment variables must be set for Octo to operate properly:

  • ydb_dist

  • ydb_gbldir

  • ydb_routines

  • ydb_xc_ydbposix

  • ydb_xc_octo

The environment variables ydb_dist, ydb_gbldir, ydb_routines, and ydb_xc_ydbposix can initially be set by sourcing ydb_env_set in your YottaDB installation directory.

Example setting of the environment variables (assuming default paths):

source /usr/local/lib/yottadb/r1.34/ydb_env_set
export ydb_xc_octo=$ydb_dist/plugin/octo/ydbocto.xc  # Allow usage of some SQL functions, e.g. DATE_FORMAT()

Setup Database


There is no need to create databases manually if ydb_env_set has been sourced.

Octo uses several global variables for its operation, which start with %ydbocto and %ydbAIM. Use GDE to map %ydbocto* and %ydbAIM* global variables to a separate region or regions. Global variables used by Octo and AIM must have NULL_SUBSCRIPTS=ALWAYS.

The following example creates OCTO and AIM database regions with the recommended setting in the $ydb_dir/$ydb_rel/g directory and assumes an existing application global directory at $ydb_dir/$ydb_rel/g/yottadb.gld. For more information on setting up a database in YottaDB, refer to the Administration and Operations Guide, and the YottaDB Acculturation Guide for self-paced exercises on YottaDB DevOps.

$ echo $ydb_dir $ydb_rel
/tmp/test r1.30_x86_64
$ $ydb_dist/yottadb -run GDE
%GDE-I-LOADGD, Loading Global Directory file
%GDE-I-VERIFY, Verification OK

GDE> add -segment OCTO -access_method=BG -file_name="$ydb_dir/$ydb_rel/g/octo.dat"
GDE> add -region OCTO -dynamic=OCTO -null_subscripts=ALWAYS -key_size=1019 -record_size=300000 -journal=(before,file="$ydb_dir/$ydb_rel/g/octo.mjl")
GDE> add -name %ydbocto* -region=OCTO
GDE> add -segment AIM -access_method=BG -allocation=20000 -block_size=2048 -extension_count=20000 -file_name="$ydb_dir/$ydb_rel/g/aim.dat"
GDE> add -region AIM -dynamic=AIM -null_subscripts=ALWAYS -key_size=992 -record_size=1008 -journal=(before,file="$ydb_dir/$ydb_rel/g/aim.mjl")
GDE> add -name %ydbAIM* -region=AIM
GDE> verify
%GDE-I-VERIFY, Verification OK

GDE> exit
%GDE-I-VERIFY, Verification OK

%GDE-I-GDUPDATE, Updating Global Directory file
$ $ydb_dist/mupip create -region=OCTO
%YDB-I-DBFILECREATED, Database file /tmp/test/r1.30_x86_64/g/octo.dat created
$ $ydb_dist/mupip create -region=AIM
%YDB-I-DBFILECREATED, Database file /tmp/test/r1.30_x86_64/g/aim.dat created
$ $ydb_dist/mupip set -journal=before,enable,on -region OCTO
%YDB-I-JNLCREATE, Journal file /tmp/test/r1.30_x86_64/g/octo.mjl created for region OCTO with BEFORE_IMAGES
%YDB-I-JNLSTATE, Journaling state for region OCTO is now ON
$ $ydb_dist/mupip set -journal=before,enable,on -region AIM
%YDB-I-JNLCREATE, Journal file /tmp/test/r1.30_x86_64/g/aim.mjl created for region AIM with BEFORE_IMAGES
%YDB-I-JNLSTATE, Journaling state for region AIM is now ON

The commands in the example above are reproduced below, to facilitate copying and pasting.

echo $ydb_dir $ydb_rel
$ydb_dist/yottadb -run GDE
add -segment OCTO -access_method=BG -file_name="$ydb_dir/$ydb_rel/g/octo.dat"
add -region OCTO -dynamic=OCTO -null_subscripts=ALWAYS -key_size=1019 -record_size=300000 -journal=(before,file="$ydb_dir/$ydb_rel/g/octo.mjl")
add -name %ydbocto* -region=OCTO
add -segment AIM -access_method=BG -allocation=20000 -block_size=1024 -extension_count=20000 -file_name="$ydb_dir/$ydb_rel/g/aim.dat"
add -region AIM -dynamic=AIM -null_subscripts=ALWAYS -key_size=992 -record_size=1008 -journal=(before,file="$ydb_dir/$ydb_rel/g/aim.mjl")
add -name %ydbAIM* -region=AIM
$ydb_dist/mupip create -region=OCTO
$ydb_dist/mupip create -region=AIM
$ydb_dist/mupip set -journal=before,enable,on -region OCTO
$ydb_dist/mupip set -journal=before,enable,on -region AIM

(Optional) Test with dummy data using Octo

You can use the Northwind sample database to get started. The dummy data set can be found in the tests/fixtures subdirectory of the YDBOcto repository created by git clone

A dummy data set consists of a .zwr file and a .sql file. The former contains the actual data to be stored in YottaDB, while the latter contains a schema that maps relational SQL structures (tables and columns) to the NoSQL data contained in YottaDB. Assuming that /tmp/YDBOcto is the directory from the git clone command :

# Source ydb_* variables:
source /usr/local/etc/ydb_env_set
# ydb_dir can optionally be set to use a location other than $HOME/.yottadb for the working environment.

mupip load /tmp/YDBOcto/tests/fixtures/northwind.zwr
octo -f /tmp/YDBOcto/tests/fixtures/northwind.sql

Once loaded, you can run octo to start the Octo interactive shell and use SELECT queries to access the data.

Sample Queries

Given below are some sample queries that can be run in Octo once the northwind data set has been loaded.

The following query selects only the DISTINCT values from the 'Country' column in the 'Suppliers' table.


The following query selects the first five records from the 'nwCustomers' table where the country is 'France'.

OCTO> SELECT * FROM nwCustomers
OCTO> WHERE Country='France'
7|Blondel père et fils|Frédérique Citeaux|24, place Kléber|Strasbourg|67000|France
9|Bon app'|Laurence Lebihans|12, rue des Bouchers|Marseille|13008|France
18|Du monde entier|Janine Labrune|67, rue des Cinquante Otages|Nantes|44000|France
23|Folies gourmandes|Martine Rancé|184, chaussée de Tournai|Lille|59000|France
26|France restauration|Carine Schmitt|54, rue Royale|Nantes|44000|France

The following query selects all products from the 'Products' table with a ProductName that starts with 'L'.

OCTO> WHERE ProductName LIKE 'L%';
65|Louisiana Fiery Hot Pepper Sauce|2|2|32 - 8 oz bottles|21.05
66|Louisiana Hot Spiced Okra|2|2|24 - 8 oz jars|17
67|Laughing Lumberjack Lager|16|1|24 - 12 oz bottles|14
74|Longlife Tofu|4|7|5 kg pkg.|10
76|Lakkalikööri|23|1|500 ml |18

The following query displays the average price of Products per Category.

OCTO> SELECT AVG(Price), CategoryID
OCTO> FROM Products

The following query displays each Product with its Category and Supplier in ascending order of the 'SupplierName'.

OCTO> SELECT Products.ProductName, Categories.CategoryName, Suppliers.SupplierName
OCTO> FROM ((Products
OCTO> INNER JOIN Categories ON Products.CategoryID = Categories.CategoryID)
OCTO> INNER JOIN Suppliers ON Products.SupplierID = Suppliers.SupplierID)
OCTO> ORDER BY Suppliers.SupplierName;
Côte de Blaye|Beverages|Aux joyeux ecclésiastiques
Chartreuse verte|Beverages|Aux joyeux ecclésiastiques
Sasquatch Ale|Beverages|Bigfoot Breweries
Steeleye Stout|Beverages|Bigfoot Breweries
Laughing Lumberjack Lager|Beverages|Bigfoot Breweries
Queso Cabrales|Dairy Products|Cooperativa de Quesos 'Las Cabras'
Queso Manchego La Pastora|Dairy Products|Cooperativa de Quesos 'Las Cabras'
Escargots de Bourgogne|Seafood|Escargots Nouveaux
Chais|Beverages|Exotic Liquid
Chang|Beverages|Exotic Liquid
Aniseed Syrup|Condiments|Exotic Liquid
Gorgonzola Telino|Dairy Products|Formaggi Fortini s.r.l.
Mascarpone Fabioli|Dairy Products|Formaggi Fortini s.r.l.
Mozzarella di Giovanni|Dairy Products|Formaggi Fortini s.r.l.
Sirop d'érable|Condiments|Forêts d'érables
Tarte au sucre|Confections|Forêts d'érables
Manjimup Dried Apples|Produce|G'day, Mate
Filo Mix|Grains/Cereals|G'day, Mate
Perth Pasties|Meat/Poultry|G'day, Mate
Raclette Courdavault|Dairy Products|Gai pâturage
Camembert Pierrot|Dairy Products|Gai pâturage
Grandma's Boysenberry Spread|Condiments|Grandma Kelly's Homestead
Uncle Bob's Organic Dried Pears|Produce|Grandma Kelly's Homestead
Northwoods Cranberry Sauce|Condiments|Grandma Kelly's Homestead
NuNuCa Nuß-Nougat-Creme|Confections|Heli Süßwaren GmbH & Co. KG
Gumbär Gummibärchen|Confections|Heli Süßwaren GmbH & Co. KG
Schoggi Schokolade|Confections|Heli Süßwaren GmbH & Co. KG
Maxilaku|Confections|Karkki Oy
Valkoinen suklaa|Confections|Karkki Oy
Lakkalikööri|Beverages|Karkki Oy
Singaporean Hokkien Fried Mee|Grains/Cereals|Leka Trading
Ipoh Coffee|Beverages|Leka Trading
Gula Malacca|Condiments|Leka Trading
Rűgede sild|Seafood|Lyngbysild
Tourtière|Meat/Poultry|Ma Maison
Pâté chinois|Meat/Poultry|Ma Maison
Genen Shouyu|Condiments|Mayumi's
Boston Crab Meat|Seafood|New England Seafood Cannery
Jack's New England Clam Chowder|Seafood|New England Seafood Cannery
Chef Anton's Cajun Seasoning|Condiments|New Orleans Cajun Delights
Chef Anton's Gumbo Mix|Condiments|New Orleans Cajun Delights
Louisiana Fiery Hot Pepper Sauce|Condiments|New Orleans Cajun Delights
Louisiana Hot Spiced Okra|Condiments|New Orleans Cajun Delights
Nord-Ost Matjeshering|Seafood|Nord-Ost-Fisch Handelsgesellschaft mbH
Geitost|Dairy Products|Norske Meierier
Gudbrandsdalsost|Dairy Products|Norske Meierier
Flűtemysost|Dairy Products|Norske Meierier
Gustaf's Knäckebröd|Grains/Cereals|PB Knäckebröd AB
Tunnbröd|Grains/Cereals|PB Knäckebröd AB
Gnocchi di nonna Alice|Grains/Cereals|Pasta Buttini s.r.l.
Ravioli Angelo|Grains/Cereals|Pasta Buttini s.r.l.
Pavlova|Confections|Pavlova, Ltd.
Alice Mutton|Meat/Poultry|Pavlova, Ltd.
Carnarvon Tigers|Seafood|Pavlova, Ltd.
Vegie-spread|Condiments|Pavlova, Ltd.
Outback Lager|Beverages|Pavlova, Ltd.
Rössle Sauerkraut|Produce|Plutzer Lebensmittelgroßmärkte AG
Thüringer Rostbratwurst|Meat/Poultry|Plutzer Lebensmittelgroßmärkte AG
Wimmers gute Semmelknödel|Grains/Cereals|Plutzer Lebensmittelgroßmärkte AG
Rhönbräu Klosterbier|Beverages|Plutzer Lebensmittelgroßmärkte AG
Original Frankfurter grüne Soße|Condiments|Plutzer Lebensmittelgroßmärkte AG
Guaraná Fantástica|Beverages|Refrescos Americanas LTDA
Teatime Chocolate Biscuits|Confections|Specialty Biscuits, Ltd.
Sir Rodney's Marmalade|Confections|Specialty Biscuits, Ltd.
Sir Rodney's Scones|Confections|Specialty Biscuits, Ltd.
Scottish Longbreads|Confections|Specialty Biscuits, Ltd.
Inlagd Sill|Seafood|Svensk Sjöföda AB
Gravad lax|Seafood|Svensk Sjöföda AB
Röd Kaviar|Seafood|Svensk Sjöföda AB
Mishi Kobe Niku|Meat/Poultry|Tokyo Traders
Ikura|Seafood|Tokyo Traders
Longlife Tofu|Produce|Tokyo Traders
Zaanse koeken|Confections|Zaanse Snoepfabriek
Chocolade|Confections|Zaanse Snoepfabriek

Test with dummy data using Rocto

The northwind data set can also be queried using ROcto (Remote Octo server). SQuirreL SQL needs to be configured in order to use ROcto. An alias needs to be created, including the server IP address and port number.

For example:


A username and password should also be added to the alias. This username and password combination must first be added to Octo using the ydboctoAdmin utility:

yottadb -r %ydboctoAdmin add user <username>

For example:

$ydb_dist/yottadb -r %ydboctoAdmin add user myusername
Enter password for user myusername:
Re-enter password for user myusername:
Successfully added user: "myusername"

In a shell with YottaDB and Octo environment variables set, start ROcto using the following command:


Now, in SQuirreL SQL press the Connect button for the alias created. You can now run queries on the northwind data set through SQuirreL SQL.

For example:


Squirrel SQL Sample Screenshot

Complete documentation of SQuirreL set-up can be found in the ROcto Documentation.


Before running Octo/ROcto make sure that the required YottaDB variables are set either by creating your own script or running source $ydb_dist/ydb_env_set.

To use the command-line SQL interpreter run $ydb_dist/plugin/bin/octo.

To use the PostgreSQL protocol compatible server run $ydb_dist/plugin/bin/rocto.

If you use the octo command line interpreter, history is stored by default in ~/.octo_history. More information is provided in the History document.

Launching Options

Octo has a few options that can be specified when it is launched.


Refer to this for information on launching options of ROcto.


The verbose option specifies the amount of additional information that is provided to the user when commands are run in Octo.


or equivalently,


The number given to the option corresponds to the following levels:






Information about all errors



Additional information useful to log



Includes information useful for debugging



Information logged stepping through actions

When a number level is specified, the verbose output contains all information corresponding to that level as well as the previous levels.

The default verbose level is set to zero(0) (ERROR).

A single -v in the command line puts the verbose level at one(1) (INFO), -vv puts the level at two(2) (DEBUG), and -vvv puts the level at three(3) (TRACE).


octo --verbose=3


OCTO> YDBOcto/build $ ./src/octo -vvv
[TRACE] YDBOcto/src/octo.c:50 2019-04-10 10:17:57 : Octo started
[ INFO] YDBOcto/src/run_query.c:79 2019-04-10 10:17:57 : Generating SQL for cursor 45
[ INFO] YDBOcto/src/run_query.c:81 2019-04-10 10:17:57 : Parsing SQL command
Starting parse
Entering state 0
Reading a token: OCTO> Next token is token ENDOFFILE (: )
Shifting token ENDOFFILE (: )
Entering state 15
Reducing stack by rule 8 (line 182):
   $1 = token ENDOFFILE (: )
Stack now 0
[ INFO] YDBOcto/src/run_query.c:83 2019-04-10 10:18:00 : Done!
[ INFO] YDBOcto/src/run_query.c:89 2019-04-10 10:18:00 : Returning failure from run_query


The dry-run option runs the parser, and performs checks and verifications on data types and syntax, but does not execute the SQL statements. The database is not altered when Octo is run with the --dry-run option.


or equivalently,



octo --dry-run


The emulate option allows the user to specify which SQL database Octo should emulate. Database names should be in all caps. Currently supported emulations are MYSQL and POSTGRES. If you wish to emulate MariaDB, choose MYSQL.


or equivalently,

-e <db_name>


octo --emulate=MYSQL


The input-file option takes a file as input to Octo, from which commands are read.

--input-file=<path to input file>

or equivalently,

-f <input file>


octo --input-file=files/commands.txt

Exit status

octo -f/--input-file exits with a non-zero status if at least one query it ran encountered an error. octo invocation without -f/--input-file or rocto are not affected.