cockroach Commands Overview

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This page introduces the cockroach commands for configuring, starting, and managing a CockroachDB cluster, as well as environment variables that can be used in place of certain flags.

You can run cockroach help in your shell to get similar guidance.


Command Usage
cockroach start Start a node as part of a multi-node cluster.
cockroach init Initialize a multi-node cluster.
cockroach start-single-node Start a single-node cluster.
cockroach cert Create CA, node, and client certificates.
cockroach sql Use the built-in SQL client.
cockroach sqlfmt Reformat SQL queries for enhanced clarity.
cockroach node List node IDs, show their status, decommission nodes for removal, or recommission nodes.
cockroach nodelocal upload Upload a file to the externalIODir on a node's local file system.
cockroach auth-session Create and manage web sessions and authentication tokens to the HTTP interface from the command line.
cockroach demo Start a temporary, in-memory CockroachDB cluster, and open an interactive SQL shell to it.
cockroach debug ballast Create a large, unused file in a node's storage directory that you can delete if the node runs out of disk space.
cockroach debug encryption-active-key View the encryption algorithm and store key.
cockroach debug job-trace Generate trace payloads for an executing job from a particular node.
cockroach debug list-files Show the files that will be collected by using cockroach debug zip.
cockroach debug merge-logs Merge log files from multiple nodes into a single time-ordered stream of messages with an added per-message prefix to indicate the corresponding node.
cockroach debug tsdump Generate a diagnostic dump of timeseries metrics that can help Cockroach Labs troubleshoot issues with your cluster.
cockroach debug zip Generate a .zip file that can help Cockroach Labs troubleshoot issues with your cluster.
cockroach convert-url Convert a connection URL to a format recognized by a supported client driver.
cockroach gen Generate man pages, a bash completion file, example SQL data, or an HAProxy configuration file for a running cluster.
cockroach statement-diag Manage and download statement diagnostics bundles.
cockroach userfile upload Upload a file to user-scoped file storage.
cockroach userfile list List the files stored in the user-scoped file storage.
cockroach userfile get Fetch a file from the user-scoped file storage.
cockroach userfile delete Delete the files stored in the user-scoped file storage.
cockroach version Output CockroachDB version details.
cockroach workload Run a built-in load generator against a cluster.
cockroach import Import a table or database from a local dump file into a running cluster. Supported file formats are PGDUMP and MYSQLDUMP.

Environment variables

For many common cockroach flags, such as --port and --user, you can set environment variables once instead of manually passing the flags each time you execute commands.

  • To find out which flags support environment variables, see the documentation for each command.
  • To output the current configuration of CockroachDB and other environment variables, run env.
  • When a node uses environment variables on startup, the variable names are printed to the node's logs; however, the variable values are not.

CockroachDB prioritizes command flags, environment variables, and defaults as follows:

  1. If a flag is set for a command, CockroachDB uses it.
  2. If a flag is not set for a command, CockroachDB uses the corresponding environment variable.
  3. If neither the flag nor environment variable is set, CockroachDB uses the default for the flag.
  4. If there's no flag default, CockroachDB gives an error.

For more details, see Client Connection Parameters.

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