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CockroachDB v20.1 is no longer supported as of November 12, 2021. For more details, refer to the Release Support Policy.

The EXPORT statement exports tabular data or the results of arbitrary SELECT statements to CSV files.

Using the CockroachDB distributed execution engine, EXPORT parallelizes CSV creation across all nodes in the cluster, making it possible to quickly get large sets of data out of CockroachDB in a format that can be ingested by downstream systems. If you do not need distributed exports, you can use the non-enterprise feature to export tabular data in CSV format.


This is an enterprise feature. Also, it is in beta and is currently undergoing continued testing. Please file a Github issue with us if you identify a bug.

Export file location

You can use remote cloud storage (Amazon S3, Google Cloud Platform, etc.) to store the exported CSV data. Alternatively, you can use an HTTP server accessible from all nodes.

For simplicity's sake, it's strongly recommended to use cloud/remote storage for the data you want to export. Local files are supported; however, they must be accessible identically from all nodes in the cluster.

Cancelling export

After the export has been initiated, you can cancel it with CANCEL QUERY.


EXPORT INTO CSV file_location opt_with_options FROM select_stmt TABLE table_name
The EXPORT statement cannot be used within a transaction.

Required privileges

Only members of the admin role can run EXPORT. By default, the root user belongs to the admin role.


Parameter Description
file_location Specify the URL of the file location where you want to store the exported CSV data.

Note: Exports do not generate unique names across exports, so each export should have a unique destination to avoid overwriting.
WITH kv_option Control your export's behavior with these options.
select_stmt Specify the query whose result you want to export to CSV format.
table_name Specify the name of the table you want to export to CSV format.

Export file URL

You can specify the base directory where you want to store the exported .csv files. CockroachDB will create the export file(s) in the specified directory with programmatically generated names (e.g., n1.1.csv, n1.2.csv, n2.1.csv, ...). Each export should have a unique destination to avoid overwriting other exports.

URLs for the file directory location you want to export to must use the following format:

Location Scheme Host Parameters
Amazon s3 Bucket name AUTH 1 (optional; can be implicit or specified), AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID, AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY, AWS_SESSION_TOKEN
Azure azure N/A (see Example file URLs AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY, AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME
Google Cloud 2 gs Bucket name AUTH (optional; can be default, implicit, or specified), CREDENTIALS
HTTP 3 http Remote host N/A
NFS/Local 4 nodelocal nodeID or self 5 (see Example file URLs) N/A
S3-compatible services 6 s3 Bucket name AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID, AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY, AWS_SESSION_TOKEN, AWS_REGION 7 (optional), AWS_ENDPOINT

The location parameters often contain special characters that need to be URI-encoded. Use Javascript's encodeURIComponent function or Go language's url.QueryEscape function to URI-encode the parameters. Other languages provide similar functions to URI-encode special characters.


If your environment requires an HTTP or HTTPS proxy server for outgoing connections, you can set the standard HTTP_PROXY and HTTPS_PROXY environment variables when starting CockroachDB.

New in v20.1: If you cannot run a full proxy, you can disable external HTTP(S) access (as well as custom HTTP(S) endpoints) when performing bulk operations (e.g., BACKUP, RESTORE, etc.) by using the --external-io-disable-http flag. You can also disable the use of implicit credentials when accessing external cloud storage services for various bulk operations by using the --external-io-disable-implicit-credentials flag.

  • 1 If the AUTH parameter is not provided, AWS connections default to specified and the access keys must be provided in the URI parameters. If the AUTH parameter is implicit, the access keys can be omitted and the credentials will be loaded from the environment.

  • 2 If the AUTH parameter is not specified, the cloudstorage.gs.default.key cluster setting will be used if it is non-empty, otherwise the implicit behavior is used. If the AUTH parameter is implicit, all GCS connections use Google's default authentication strategy. If the AUTH parameter is default, the cloudstorage.gs.default.key cluster setting must be set to the contents of a service account file which will be used during authentication. If the AUTH parameter is specified, GCS connections are authenticated on a per-statement basis, which allows the JSON key object to be sent in the CREDENTIALS parameter. The JSON key object should be base64-encoded (using the standard encoding in RFC 4648).

  • 3 You can create your own HTTP server with Caddy or nginx. A custom root CA can be appended to the system's default CAs by setting the cloudstorage.http.custom_ca cluster setting, which will be used when verifying certificates from HTTPS URLs.

  • 4 The file system backup location on the NFS drive is relative to the path specified by the --external-io-dir flag set while starting the node. If the flag is set to disabled, then imports from local directories and NFS drives are disabled.

  • 5 New in v20.1: Using a nodeID is required and the data files will be in the extern directory of the specified node. In most cases (including single-node clusters), using nodelocal://1/<path> is sufficient. Use self if you do not want to specify a nodeID, and the individual data files will be in the extern directories of arbitrary nodes; however, to work correctly, each node must have the --external-io-dir flag point to the same NFS mount or other network-backed, shared storage.

  • 6 A custom root CA can be appended to the system's default CAs by setting the cloudstorage.http.custom_ca cluster setting, which will be used when verifying certificates from an S3-compatible service.

  • 7 The AWS_REGION parameter is optional since it is not a required parameter for most S3-compatible services. Specify the parameter only if your S3-compatible service requires it.

Example file URLs

Location Example
Amazon S3 s3://acme-co/employees?AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=123&AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=456
Azure azure://employees?AZURE_ACCOUNT_KEY=123&AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME=acme-co
Google Cloud gs://acme-co
HTTP http://localhost:8080/employees
NFS/Local nodelocal://1/path/employees, nodelocal://self/nfsmount/backups/employees 5

Export options

You can control the EXPORT process's behavior using any of the following key-value pairs as a kv_option.


If not using comma as your column delimiter, you can specify another ASCII character as the delimiter.

Required? No
Key delimiter
Value The ASCII character that delimits columns in your rows
Example To use tab-delimited values: WITH delimiter = e'\t'


Convert SQL NULL values so they match the specified string.

Required? No
Key nullas
Value The string that should be used to represent NULL values. To avoid collisions, it is important to pick nullas values that does not appear in the exported data.
Example To use empty columns as NULL: WITH nullas = ''


Export a table

  WITH delimiter = '|' FROM TABLE bank.customers;

Export using a SELECT statement

  FROM SELECT * FROM bank.customers WHERE id >= 100;

Non-distributed export using the SQL shell

$ cockroach sql -e "SELECT * from bank.customers WHERE id>=100;" --format=csv > my.csv

View a running export

View running exports by using SHOW QUERIES:


Cancel a running export

Use SHOW QUERIES to get a running export's query_id, which can be used to cancel the export:

> CANCEL QUERY '14dacc1f9a781e3d0000000000000001';

Known limitation

EXPORT may fail with an error if the SQL statements are incompatible with DistSQL. In that case, use the non-enterprise feature to export tabular data in CSV format.

See also

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