ROcto is the Remote Octo server. It is an implementation of the Postgres server, and receives SQL queries from any clients that can communicate with Postgres over the network. These queries are passed to Octo, which interacts with the database and passes results back through ROcto to the clients.

ROcto Usage

Starting & Stopping ROcto

You can start ROcto by simply typing rocto.

To terminate the ROcto instance, you may use CTRL+C. Note that the rocto instance may not exit immediately upon sending CTRL+C if there are still active client connections. In that case, rocto will gracefully exit once all client connections are closed.

Command Line Flags

rocto can take the following command line flags.


Mandatory arguments for long options are also mandatory for short options.

  1. -a, --allowschemachanges


    The -a/--allowschemachanges option is off by default and must be explicitly enabled since normal users will not need to change the schema. When using this option, implement security measures appropriate to the environment, e.g. network controls to restrict access to the listening TCP port to a specific host or subnet.

    Allows ROcto to make changes to the schema (CREATE TABLE and DROP TABLE) and to modify existing tables (INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE).

  2. -c, --config-file=<filepath>


    Octo looks for configuration files in default locations, e.g. $ydb_dist/plugin/octo/octo.conf. If a configuration file is specified on the command line, this will override any configuration specified in files from the default locations.

    Use specified configuration file instead of the default.

  3. -e, --emulate=<db_name>

    Specify the SQL database that Octo should emulate. Currently supported emulations are MYSQL and POSTGRES. If you wish to emulate MariaDB, choose MYSQL.

  4. -h, --help

    Display the help message and exit.

  5. -p, --port=<number>

    Listen on the specified port.

  6. -v, --verbose=<number>

    Specify amount of information to output when running commands specifying a numeric value from zero to five or adding additional 'v' characters. See Verbose Launching Option for more information on verbosity levels.

  7. -r, --version

    Display version information and exit.

  8. -w, --readwrite

    Allow users with read-write permissions to run INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE.

  9. -r, --release

    Display release information and exit.

Creating a ROcto service using Systemd

ROcto can also be managed as a Systemd service by creating a rocto.service file in the appropriate directory, e.g. /lib/systemd/system/ on Ubuntu. For example:


ExecStart=/bin/bash -c '. "$0" && exec "$@"' /usr/local/lib/yottadb/r138/pro/ydb_env_set /usr/local/lib/yottadb/r138/pro/plugin/bin/rocto -v -p 1337
ExecStop=/usr/local/lib/yottadb/r138/pro/mupip stop ${MAINPID}


You can also use an environment file to set YottaDB environment variables. For instance, consider this rocto.service file:


ExecStartPre=rm -f /dev/shm/temp.dat
ExecStartPre=/usr/local/lib/yottadb/r138/mupip create -reg=TEMP
ExecStartPre=/usr/local/lib/yottadb/r138/mupip journal -recover -backward \"j/aim.mjl j/vehu.mjl j/octo.mjl\"
ExecStart=/usr/local/lib/yottadb/r138/plugin/bin/rocto -v -p 1338
ExecStop=/usr/local/lib/yottadb/r138/mupip stop ${MAINPID}


Here are the contents of the matching environment file, in this case /extra3/vista/vehu/etc/env-systemd:

ydb_zinterrupt='I $$JOBEXAM^ZU($ZPOSITION)'
ydb_zstep='n oldio s oldio=$i u 0 zp @$zpos b  u oldio'
ydb_routines=/extra3/vista/vehu/o*(/extra3/vista/vehu/r) $ydb_dist/plugin/o/ $ydb_dist/plugin/o/ $ydb_dist/plugin/o/ $ydb_dist/plugin/o/ $ydb_dist/plugin/o/ $ydb_dist/

Writing queries using the YottaDB GUI

Octo queries can be written interactively using the YottaDB GUI. If you installed the GUI when you installed YottaDB, then you can start it by running:

yottadb -run %ydbgui --readwrite

You can then access the GUI by directing your browser to localhost:9080:


YottaDB GUI dashboard

To write a new query, navigate to Development -> Octo -> New Query:


Navigating to the Octo query editor

Here, you can use the top text box to write SQL queries, then run them with the "play" button:


Writing an Octo query in the GUI query editor

As seen in the above screenshot, you can also use the left hand tree to browse the SQL tables and functions. You can even also drag and drop tables and functions into the SQL editor.

Accessing ROcto data on Microsoft Windows

Configuring the PostgreSQL ODBC driver

The easiest way to access ROcto using Microsoft tools is via the PostgreSQL ODBC driver. So, before demonstrating how to use ROcto with Excel and PowerBI, we'll show you how to setup the PostgreSQL ODBC driver for use with ROcto on Windows.

First, download an ODBC driver with at least version 13 from the PostgreSQL ODBC MSI downloads page. Then, run the file you downloaded to open the install wizard, then click through to install the driver.

Once the ODBC driver is installed, run the ODBC Data Sources application (odbcad32.exe). In the application window, click Add ... to add a new User DSN:


Running ODBC Data Sources

Then, in the Create New Data Source window, scroll down to the PostgreSQL ANSI driver you just installed, select it, and click Finish:


Creating a new Data Source

Next, in the PostgreSQL ANSI ODBC Driver (psqlODBC) Setup window, fill out the form with the connectivity information for your ROcto instance. For example, if accessing a ROcto instance running inside WSL2, your configuration will look similar to this:


Configuring the PostgreSQL ANSI ODBC Driver

If you haven't yet started ROcto, then do so now. Then, click the Test button to test the connection; if everything is working, you should see a Connection successful message:


Testing the PostgreSQL ANSI ODBC Driver connection

Press OK to go back to the main dialog.


Successful PostgreSQL ANSI ODBC Driver connection

You are now done. Press OK to close the ODBC Data Sources application.

That's it for setting up the ODBC driver.

Importing ROcto data into Microsoft Excel

To import ROcto data into Microsoft Excel, start by opening up Excel. Then, navigate to the DATA tab and select From Other Sources:


Getting data "From Other Sources" in Excel

In the drop down, select From Microsoft Query:


Selecting "Microsoft Query" in Excel

Select the previously set-up Octo data source:


Choosing a ROcto data source in Excel

In the Query Wizard - Choose Columns window, select which tables and/or columns you would like to include in your query, e.g.:


Choosing data columns using the Excel Query Wizard

Then, click Next to move on, then click through the subsequent windows using the Next button until you get to the Query Wizard - Finish window. Then, click Finish:


Finishing the Excel Query Wizard

Finally, in the Import Data window, specify how you'd like to view the data and where you want to put it, e.g.:


Importing ROcto data into Excel

You should then see the data you selected in your Excel spreadsheet, e.g.:


Viewing ROcto data imported into Excel

Importing ROcto data into Microsoft PowerBI

First, open PowerBI, then click on Get Data and select the More... option from the drop down menu:


Bringing up the "Get Data" menu in PowerBI

Next, search for ODBC in the Get Data window and select the ODBC option from the panel on the right, and then click Connect:


Choosing the ODBC driver data source in PowerBI

Then, select the Data Source Name of the Octo data source created in the above ODBC setup section and click OK, e.g.:


Choosing the ODBC Data Source Name in PowerBI

Next, put in your ROcto credentials and click the Connect button:


Entering ROcto credentials in PowerBI

If everything works properly, you will then see the Navigator window, e.g.:


Viewing the Navigator window in PowerBI

Here, you can navigate all the tables and columns in ROcto using the drill down menu on the left and select the ones you want to draw data from, e.g.:


Using the Navigator window in PowerBI

Once you've chosen the data you want, you can then click Load to pull it into PowerBI:


Loading data from the Navigator window in PowerBI

Connecting using SQuirreL SQL


SQuirreL SQL is an open-source Java SQL Client program for any JDBC compliant database. This documentation will describe in detail how to connect it to ROcto.

Pre-requisite steps:

  1. Make sure you know the IP address/port for your ROcto server. The port can be configured for ROcto in the config file.

  2. ROcto requires the creation of a user name and password. Follow the directions given in the Octo Administration Guide to add a new user.

Note that users must be created with adequate permissions to run certain types of SQL statements, i.e. CREATE, DROP, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE. See the Octo Administration Guide for more information on user permissions.

The overall steps are as follows:

  1. Install Java on your computer.

  2. Install Squirrel SQL with the PostgreSQL driver

  3. Launch Squirrel SQL

  4. Configure the PostgreSQL driver to use the installed driver files.

  5. Create a connection (called an Alias) using the PostgreSQL driver.

  6. Connect using the Alias

Keep in mind that an Alias in Squirrel really means a connection, or more properly, a type of connection using a specific driver.

Detailed Steps

Java is required to be installed in order to use SQuirrel SQL. Install Java if not already installed. Note that the Oracle version has some licensing limitations, but OpenJDK does not; but the OpenJDK version does not include auto-updating capabilities on some platforms.

Download JAR from Squirrel SQL's website.

Launch the installer program as an administrator/root. On Windows, see here for some guidance, as it is not on the right-click menu for jars.

Press Next three times going through these screens, NOTE where you are installing it, and STOP at the last one

  • Welcome Screen

  • Information Screen

  • Installation Path Screen (NOTE DOWN THE INSTALL PATH)

  • Extra Packs Screen (STOP HERE)

At the Extra Packs Screen, scroll down and check "Optional Plugin - PostgreSQL", as shown in the following figure, then press Next.


Check "Optional Plugin - PostgreSQL"

Installation will proceed. Press Next after that to create shortcuts, then Next, then Done.

Launch SquirrelSQL using the shortcut that got created on your desktop or menu.

The first time you launch it, you will be greeted with a Welcome Screen. Go ahead and close that. This is what you should see now.


SquirrelSQL before any configuration

Click on Windows menu > View Drivers


SquirrelSQL View Drivers 1

Scroll down until you see "PostgreSQL", and then click on it.


SquirrelSQL View Drivers 2

Click on Drivers menu > Modify Driver


SquirrelSQL Modify Postgres Driver - Main Screen

Click on the "Extra Class Path" tab


SquirrelSQL Modify Postgres Driver - Extra Path Tab

Click on the "Add" button. A file open dialog will present itself.


SquirrelSQL Modify Postgres Driver - Add button dialog

Remember the SquirrelSQL install path you were asked to note down? We need it now. Navigate to that install path, then to "plugins", then to "postgres", then to "lib".


SquirrelSQL Modify Postgres Driver - Navigation

Within the "lib" directory, you will find two files. We want the one called "postgresql-nn.n.n.jar". Click on that.


SquirrelSQL Modify Postgres Driver - Select

Press "open".


SquirrelSQL Modify Postgres Driver - After Open

Next, press "List Drivers". You will see the "Class Name" fill out.


SquirrelSQL Modify Postgres Driver - List Drivers

Then, you will see this after you press OK. Notice the check mark next to the driver. That's what we want to see.


SquirrelSQL Modify Postgres Driver - Completion

Next, create an alias for your ROcto server, including the server IP address and port number. First, click on the Windows menu > Aliases.


SquirrelSQL Add Alias - Side Bar

Then, click on Aliases, new Alias.


SquirrelSQL Add Alias - Main Screen

In here, fill the fields as follows:

  • Name: Any name will do. ROcto for now.

  • Driver: Should be pre-selected to PostgreSQL.

  • URL: Should be in the format jdbc:postgresql://{ip_address}:{port}/{db_name}. Replace ip_address and port with proper values. Octo does not currently support multiple databases exposed from a single ROcto process, so db_name can be anything.

  • Username: ROcto username set-up in pre-requisites section.

  • Password: ROcto password set-up in pre-requisites section.

Here's a sample fully filled out dialog:


SquirrelSQL Add Alias - Main Screen Filled Out

You should press "Test" and then "Connect" on the Test Dialog to test your connection. Once you are done, press OK. Once you do that, you will be immediately presented with another dialog to connect to ROcto:


SquirrelSQL ROcto Connection Prompt

Now press "Connect". If you have a big schema, you will get this warning that it's taking too long to load. It's okay to ignore this warning. Press "Close".


SquirrelSQL ROcto Load Time Warning

At this point, you will see the main screen. In this screen, you can explore the schema for the tables in Octo.


SquirrelSQL ROcto Connected At Last!

To write SQL statements, switch to the SQL tab. Drag down the divider to give yourself more editing space.


SquirrelSQL ROcto SQL Tab

Suppose there is a table "names" with records in it:


A simple query in SQuirreL SQL could be:

SELECT * FROM names;

Result after the query

To make querying easier, Octo supports "Auto-Complete". To initiate it, type TABLENAME., then press CTRL-SPACE. E.g.


Octo Auto-Complete with Squirrel