2. Installing YottaDB

This chapter describes the installation procedure for YottaDB. Always read the release notes for special instructions before installing YottaDB.

Obtaining YottaDB Distribution Media

YottaDB distributions for selected platforms, including GNU/Linux on standard x86_64 and ARM architectures, can be downloaded under the terms of the Affero GNU General Public License (AGPL) version 3, from the YottaDB releases page on GitLab. Each distribution is a tarball that includes a ydbinstall script. Unpack the tarball in a temporary directory, change to that directory, and run the script. For Supported platforms, and selected Supportable platforms, we recommend using the ydbinstall.sh script, which will download, unpack, and install YottaDB for the platform on which it is run. The instructions for ydbinstall script and ydbinstall.sh script are identical.

Before You Begin

Before you begin installing YottaDB, perform the following tasks:

  • Read the YottaDB Release Notes Documentation. The release documents contain the latest information that may be critical for installing and configuring YottaDB. They are located under the Tags in the YottaDB GitLab repository and can also be reached from the Documentation page on the YottaDB website

  • Determine whether or not YottaDB access is restricted to a specific group. Keep the group name handy as you will have to enter it during the installation process.

  • Set the environment variable ydb_log to a directory where YottaDB should create log files. If you do not set ydb_log, YottaDB creates log files in a directory in /tmp. However, this is not recommended because it makes YottaDB log files vulnerable to the retention policy of a temporary directory.


In the latest version, gtmsecshr logs its messages in the system log and the environment variable ydb_log is ignored.

  • If you need to perform UTF-8 mode operations in YottaDB, you must have at least ICU version 3.6 installed. YottaDB uses ICU 3.6 (or above) to provide support for Unicode. YottaDB generates the distribution for Unicode only if ICU 3.6 (or above) is installed on your system. By default, YottaDB uses the most current version of ICU. YottaDB expects ICU to have been built with symbol renaming disabled and issues an error at startup if the currently installed version of ICU has been built with symbol renaming enabled. If you intend to use a version of ICU built with symbol renaming enabled or any version other than the default, keep the MAJOR VERSION and MINOR VERSION numbers ready as you will have to enter it as MajorVersion.MinorVersion (for example "3.6" to denote ICU-3.6) during the installation process.


Installing YottaDB on an NFS mounted directory is not recommended. Several NFS characteristics violate YottaDB database design assumptions which may manifest themselves as hard to diagnose problems. If you still choose to install and operate YottaDB from an NFS mounted directory, there are chances that at some point you will face significant problems with performance and response time. While you should never operate the YottaDB database and journal files from an NFS mounted directory you can safely, except on Linux, use an NFS mounted directory for keeping source and object code modules and performing sequential file IO. While NFS mounted files may work for you, historically they have not provided sufficient support for file locking over NFS to prevent intermittent errors when you have significant concurrent file activity.

Installation Procedure

Installing prerequisite packages

Install the following packages:

# Ubuntu/Debian
apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends file binutils libelf-dev libicu-dev nano wget

# RHEL/Rocky Linux
yum install -y file binutils findutils elfutils-libelf libicu wget procps-ng nano gzip

Installing YottaDB

  • Create a temporary directory and change to it, e.g.: mkdir /tmp/tmp ; cd /tmp/tmp

  • Get the YottaDB installer: wget https://download.yottadb.com/ydbinstall.sh

  • Make it executable: chmod +x ydbinstall.sh

  • Run it with your choice of directory where you want it installed (omit the –verbose option for less output):

    sudo --preserve-env=ydb_icu_version ./ydbinstall.sh --installdir /opt/yottadb/ --utf8 --verbose

    The --preserve-env=ydb_icu_version is needed in case the ydb_icu_version env var is set to a value other than what pkg-config --modversion icu-io would return (seen as necessary for example, on a SLED 15 or openLeap 15 SUSE Linux system). It is not needed otherwise but does not hurt either.

  • yottadb -version provides a detailed report on the YottaDB build, e.g.,

    $ yottadb -version
    YottaDB release:         r1.30
    Upstream base version:   GT.M V6.3-008
    Platform:                Linux x86_64
    Build date/time:         2020-08-11 20:55
    Build commit SHA:        177eb8e48098204dafe564cac2bcb84312b2853a

Note that the ydbinstall script explicitly removes setgid, setuid and sticky bits from the target installation directory if it exists with those bits set. Previously the sub-directories created by the installation script inappropriately carried the setgid settings.

Additionally, the ydbinstall script records ownership, permissions and OpenSSH SHA256 checksum values of all installed files for future reference in $ydb_dist/install_permissions.log and $ydb_dist/install_sha256_checksum.log.

Compiling the Reference Implementation Plugin

Compile the reference implementation plugin as follows:

  • Install the development headers and libraries for libgcrypt, libgpgme, libconfig, and libssl. On Linux, the package names of development libraries usually have a suffix such as -dev or -devel and are available through the package manager. For example, on Ubuntu_x86_64, the following command installs the required development libraries:

    sudo apt-get install libgcrypt11-dev libgpgme11-dev libconfig-dev libssl-dev

    The package names vary by distribution/version.


    $ydb_dist points to the absolute path for the directory where YottaDB is installed.

  • Unpack $ydb_dist/plugin/gtmcrypt/source.tar to a temporary directory, for example:

mkdir /tmp/plugin-build
cd /tmp/plugin-build
cp $ydb_dist/plugin/gtmcrypt/source.tar .
tar -xvf source.tar
  • Follow the instructions in the README.

    • Open Makefile with your editor; review and edit the common header (IFLAGS) and library paths (LIBFLAGS) in the Makefile to reflect those on your system.

    • Define the ydb_dist environment variable to point to the absolute path for the directory where YottaDB is installed

    • Copy and paste the commands from the README to compile and install the encryption plugin with the permissions defined at install time

  • Compare the permissions of $ydb_dist/libyottadb.so to the newly installed shared libraries in $ydb_dist/plugin. Adjust the permission of the newly installed libraries as necessary.

ydbinstall Script

ydbinstall.sh is a stand-alone YottaDB installation script that installs YottaDB using reasonable defaults. It deduces the distribution from /etc/os-release and downloads the appropriate binary distribution. For selected derivatives of Supported distributions (e.g., Rocky Linux as a derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux), it downloads the YottaDB binary distribution of the Supported distribution. The derivative distributions are Supportable, not Supported. ydbinstall.sh then invokes the ydbinstall in the unpacked distribution, passing to it command line switches as discussed below.

ydbinstall in each YottaDB binary distribution installs YottaDB from the temporary directory in which the distribution is unpacked. It allows considerable customization using the following command line switches:

Command Line Switches




Download and install the YottaDB AIM plugin

--branch branchname

Builds YottaDB from a specific git branch; use with --from-source

--build-type buildtype


Type of YottaDB build, default is pro

--copyenv [dirname]

Copy ydb_env_set, ydb_env_unset, and gtmprofile files to dirname, default /usr/local/etc; incompatible with linkenv

--copyexec [dirname]

Copy ydb and gtm scripts to dirname, default /usr/local/bin; incompatible with linkexec



Turn on debugging option with set -x

--distrib dirname or URL

Source directory for YottaDB distribution tarball, local or remote


Do everything short of installing YottaDB, including downloading the distribution


Download and install the YottaDB encryption plugin

--filename filename

Name of the YottaDB distribution tarball


Install even if the current platform is not supported

--from-source reponame

Clone the repository specified by reponame in current directory and change to YDB/ subdirectory

--group group

Group that should own the YottaDB installation


Limit execution to a group; defaults to unlimited if not specified


Install GT.M instead of YottaDB


Download and install the YottaDB GUI


Print this usage information

--installdir dirname

Directory where YottaDB is to be installed (defaults to /usr/local/lib/yottadb/release)


Keep .o files of M routines (normally deleted on platforms with YottaDB support for routines in shared libraries);

--linkenv [dirname]

Create or update links in dirname to ydb_env_set, ydb_env_unset and gtmprofile files, default /usr/local/etc; incompatible with copyenv

--linkexec [dirname]

Create or update links in dirname to ydb and gtm scripts, default /usr/local/bin; incompatible with copyexec


Do not copy ydb_env_set, ydb_env_unset, and gtmprofile to another directory


Do not copy ydb and gtm scripts to another directory


Do not install deprecated components, especially %DSEWRAP


Do not create link to ydb_env_set, ydb_env_unset, and gtmprofile from another directory


Do not create link to ydb and gtm scripts from another directory


Do not create yottadb.pc for pkg-config, or update an existing file

--octo parameters

Download and install Octo® a YottaDB plugin for SQL access to databases. Also installs required POSIX and AIM plugins. Specify optional cmake parameters for Octo as necessary


Install into an existing directory, overwriting contents; defaults to requiring new directory


Add or update specified plugins to an existing YottaDB installation. This option requires the --overwrite-existing option as the YottaDB directory must already exist.


Download and install the YottaDB POSIX plugin


Do not allow changes to RemoveIPC in /etc/systemd/logind.conf if needed; defaults to allow changes



YottaDB installation script prompts for group; default is yes


Install only upper case utility program names; defaults to both if not specified

--user username

User who should own YottaDB installation; default is root


Install UTF-8 support using the default ICU version of the system


Install the YottaDB web server plugin



Output diagnostic information as the script executes; default is to run quietly


Download and install the YDBzlib plugin

  • Options that take a value (e.g, --group) can be specified as either --option=value or --option value

  • Options marked with * are likely to be of interest primarily to YottaDB developers

  • Options marked with † require Internet access as well as that gcc and required libraries be installed.

  • Version is defaulted from the yottadb file if one exists in the same directory as the installer

  • This script must run as root.

ydbinstall / ydbinstall.sh creates usr/share/pkgconfig (the directory where pkg-config by default tracks packages) if it does not exist. Note that this was added effective release r1.34.


sudo --preserve-env=ydb_icu_version ./ydbinstall.sh

This example installs the latest YottaDB release in a subdirectory of /usr/local/lib/yottadb, e.g., /usr/local/lib/yottadb/r134.

sudo --preserve-env=ydb_icu_version ./ydbinstall.sh --utf8 --verbose

This example installs the latest YottaDB release with added support for UTF-8 and outputs diagnostic information as the script executes.

sudo --preserve-env=ydb_icu_version ./ydbinstall.sh --installdir /r120 r1.20

This example installs YottaDB release r1.20 in the r120 directory.

sudo ./ydbinstall.sh --gtm

This example installs the latest GT.M version in a subdirectory of /usr/local/lib/yottadb/.

The --encplugin, --octo and --posix options were added to the ydbinstall / ydbinstall.sh script effective release r1.30.

If the build of any plugin (those installed by --encplugin, --octo, --posix, and --zlib command line options) does not succeed, the ydbinstall script retains the directory where it built the plugin.

The --plugins-only option was added to the ydbinstall / ydbinstall.sh script effective release r1.34. It adds or updates specified plugins to an existing YottaDB installation. Note that this option requires the --overwrite-existing option as the YottaDB directory must already exist.

With the --from-source <repo> option, the ydbinstall / ydbinstall.sh script clones the repository specified by <repo> using git clone <repo> in the current directory, and changes to the YDB/ subdirectory. If --branch <branch> is specified, it executes git checkout -B <branch> to specify a branch other than the default. Then it builds YottaDB, and if successful, installs the built YottaDB using sudo ydbinstall of the ydbinstall script of the built YottaDB, passing it all command line options except the --from-source and --branch options. The sudo ydbinstall prompts for a password as required. For example, ydbinstall --from-source https://gitlab.com/ydbuser/YDB.git --branch working --utf8 --aim --install-directory /usr/local/lib/yottadb/devel_$(date +%Y%m%d) will checkout, build, and install the working branch of YottaDB from the YDB repository of GitLab user ydbuser in a date-stamped directory, along with the Application Independent Metadata plugin. This was added effective release r1.34.

For YottaDB to correctly operate on Linux systems using systemd, the RemoveIPC=no setting is required in /etc/systemd/logind.conf. The ydbinstall/ ydbinstall.sh script checks this setting:

  • If RemoveIPC is set to no, it proceeds with the installation.

  • If RemoveIPC is set to yes, the script checks the command line option --preserveRemoveIPC:

    • If --preserveRemoveIPC is set to no, the script changes the setting in /etc/systemd/logind.conf and outputs a message to indicate the change. A restart of systemd-logind is required to complete the installation.

    • If --preserveRemoveIPC is set to yes, then change RemoveIPC to no and restart systemd-logind to complete the installation.