Getting Started on macOS

This guide walks through installing a locally accessible FoundationDB server that is suitable for development on macOS.


This version of FoundationDB server is intended only for locally available operation for development purposes. Externally available operation, performance testing, and production use are supported by the Linux version.

First steps

  • Validate that your system has

    • x86-64 processor architecture

    • 4 GB RAM (per process)

    • macOS 10.7 or newer

  • Download the FoundationDB packages for your system from Downloads.

  • Before upgrading from a previous version of FoundationDB, see Upgrading.

Installing or upgrading FoundationDB

To begin installation, double-click on FoundationDB-7.1.59.pkg. Follow the instructions and select the components that you want to install.

Client-only installation

By default, the FoundationDB installer installs the binaries required to run both clients and a local development server. If you don’t intend to run the FoundationDB server on your machine, you can deselect the “FoundationDB Server” option. Copy the cluster file from a server or client in the cluster you want to connect to and place it in /usr/local/etc/foundationdb/.

Other considerations

FoundationDB installs in a single-server mode appropriate for a development workstation. In this mode data is not replicated, and therefore the database is not failure tolerant. This default database is also configured to use the memory storage engine which, while using the disk for durability, requires data to fit in RAM.

By default FoundationDB uses the loopback IP ( In this configuration all parts of FoundationDB, including client applications, must run on the same machine and communicate via, not via external IPs.

Testing your FoundationDB installation

To verify that the local FoundationDB database is operational, open the command line interface (fdbcli) and use the status command.

host:~ user$ fdbcli
Using cluster file `/usr/local/etc/foundationdb/fdb.cluster'.

The database is available.

Welcome to the fdbcli. For help, type `help'.
fdb> status

  Redundancy mode        - single
  Storage engine         - memory
  Coordinators           - 1

  FoundationDB processes - 1
  Machines               - 1
  Memory availability    - 4.1 GB per process on machine with least available
  Fault Tolerance        - 0 machines
  Server time            - Thu Mar 15 14:41:34 2018

  Replication health     - Healthy
  Moving data            - 0.000 GB
  Sum of key-value sizes - 8 MB
  Disk space used        - 103 MB

Operating space:
  Storage server         - 1.0 GB free on most full server
  Transaction log        - 1.0 GB free on most full server

  Read rate              - 2 Hz
  Write rate             - 0 Hz
  Transactions started   - 2 Hz
  Transactions committed - 0 Hz
  Conflict rate          - 0 Hz

Backup and DR:
  Running backups        - 0
  Running DRs            - 0

Client time: Thu Mar 15 14:41:34 2018

If these steps were successful you have installed and validated FoundationDB. You can now start using the database!


If the database is not operational the status command will provide diagnostic information to help you resolve the issue.

Managing the FoundationDB service

Next steps

  • Install the APIs for Ruby, Java, or Go if you intend to use those languages. Python and C APIs were installed using the FoundationDB installer above.

  • See Tutorials for samples of developing applications with FoundationDB.

  • See Developer Guide for information of interest to developers, including common design patterns and performance considerations.

  • See Administration for detailed administration information.

  • See Known Limitations of the system.