Using the command-line


These examples requires the irmin-cli package to be installed from opam:

$ opam install irmin-cli

After that is finished you should have the irmin binary installed! To get a list of commands run:

$ irmin help

Working with stores

Now you can do things like create an in-memory store and serve it over GraphQL:

$ irmin graphql --store mem --address --port 8888

Or create a new store on-disk and manipulate it directly from the terminal:

$ irmin init
$ export EXAMPLE=/tmp/irmin/example
$ mkdir -p $EXAMPLE
$ irmin set -s git --root $EXAMPLE "My key" "My value"
$ irmin get -s git --root $EXAMPLE "My key"
My value
$ irmin remove -s git --root $EXAMPLE "My key"

We can also list the contents of the store in a couple of ways. irmin tree is used to inspect the contents of the store and irmin list $KEY is used to list the contents under a specific path.

$ irmin set -s git --root $EXAMPLE a/b/c 123
$ irmin set -s git --root $EXAMPLE x 0
$ irmin list -s git --root $EXAMPLE /
$ irmin list -s git --root $EXAMPLE /a
$ irmin list -s git --root $EXAMPLE /a/b
$ irmin tree -s git --root $EXAMPLE


If you get sick of passing around --root all the time, you can create a configuration file called ./irmin.yml or ~/.irmin/config.yml with global configuration options:

root: /tmp/irmin/example
store: git
contents: string

See the output of irmin help irmin.yml for a list of configurable parameters and the output of irmin options for a list of backend-specific configuration options.


Store types (-s/--store):

  • git: on-disk Git-compatible store
  • git-mem: in-memory Git-compatible store
  • mem: in-memory store
  • fs: on-disk store

Content types (-c/--contents):

  • string
  • json: JSON objects
  • json_value: JSON values


It is possible to extend the irmin executable using Irmin_cli.Resolver and Irmin_cli:

module R = Irmin_cli.Resolver

let config_spec = Irmin.Backend.Conf.Spec.v "my-config-spec"

let () =
  R.Contents.add "my-content-type" (module Irmin.Contents.String);
  R.Store.add "my-store-type" (R.Store.Fixed_hash (fun (module Contents) ->
    R.Store.v config_spec (module Irmin_mem.KV.Make(Contents)))
  Irmin_cli.(run ~default commands)

Starting a GraphQL server

irmin comes with a built-in GraphQL server, which can be used to easily query/modify a store remotely:

$ irmin graphql --port 8080

To verify the GraphQL server is up and running, you can try the following queries:

$ curl http://localhost:8080/graphql -d 'query { main { head { hash } } }' -H 'Content-Type: application/graphql'

$ curl http://localhost:8080/graphql -d '{"query": "query { main { head { hash } } }"}' -H 'Content-Type: application/json'

You can also visit http://localhost:8080/graphql for an interactive environment for writing GraphQL queries. Of course, you're also free to use your GraphQL client of choice!


To get a reference to the current state of the database:

$ irmin snapshot

And to restore to that point:

$ irmin revert 7941ae769181f4fbf5056d8b2bfe1cd8e10928bd

Git compatibility

irmin and git can be used interchangeably to inspect and modify a repository. For instance, here are some examples of operations that can be achieved using either git or irmin.

Cloning a remote repository

$ irmin clone -s git $GIT_REPO_URL
$ git clone $GIT_REPO_URL

Restoring to a previous commit

$ irmin revert -s git $COMMIT_HASH
$ git reset --hard $COMMIT_HASH

Pushing to a remote repository

$ irmin push -s git $GIT_REPO_URL
$ git push $GIT_REPO_URL main

As you can see, the command-line application has many capabilities, but it's just a fraction of what's available when using Irmin from OCaml! For more information about using Irmin and OCaml, check out the next section.