Getting started

Play with a live demo

The best way to experience Datasette for the first time is with a demo:

Try Datasette without installing anything using Glitch

Glitch is a free online tool for building web apps directly from your web browser. You can use Glitch to try out Datasette without needing to install any software on your own computer.

Here’s a demo project on Glitch which you can use as the basis for your own experiments:

glitch.com/~datasette-csvs

Glitch allows you to “remix” any project to create your own copy and start editing it in your browser. You can remix the datasette-csvs project by clicking this button:

https://cdn.glitch.com/2703baf2-b643-4da7-ab91-7ee2a2d00b5b%2Fremix-button.svg

Find a CSV file and drag it onto the Glitch file explorer panel - datasette-csvs will automatically convert it to a SQLite database (using sqlite-utils) and allow you to start exploring it using Datasette.

If your CSV file has a latitude and longitude column you can visualize it on a map by uncommenting the datasette-cluster-map line in the requirements.txt file using the Glitch file editor.

Need some data? Try this Public Art Data for the city of Seattle - hit “Export” and select “CSV” to download it as a CSV file.

For more on how this works, see Running Datasette on Glitch.

Using Datasette on your own computer

First, follow the Installation instructions. Now you can run Datasette against a SQLite file on your computer using the following command:

datasette serve path/to/database.db

This will start a web server on port 8001 - visit http://localhost:8001/ to access the web interface.

serve is the default subcommand, you can omit it if you like.

Use Chrome on OS X? You can run datasette against your browser history like so:

datasette ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google/Chrome/Default/History

Now visiting http://localhost:8001/History/downloads will show you a web interface to browse your downloads data:

Downloads table rendered by datasette

http://localhost:8001/History/downloads.json will return that data as JSON:

{
    "database": "History",
    "columns": [
        "id",
        "current_path",
        "target_path",
        "start_time",
        "received_bytes",
        "total_bytes",
        ...
    ],
    "rows": [
        [
            1,
            "/Users/simonw/Downloads/DropboxInstaller.dmg",
            "/Users/simonw/Downloads/DropboxInstaller.dmg",
            13097290269022132,
            626688,
            0,
            ...
        ]
    ]
}

http://localhost:8001/History/downloads.json?_shape=objects will return that data as JSON in a more convenient but less efficient format:

{
    ...
    "rows": [
        {
            "start_time": 13097290269022132,
            "interrupt_reason": 0,
            "hash": "",
            "id": 1,
            "site_url": "",
            "referrer": "https://www.dropbox.com/downloading?src=index",
            ...
        }
    ]
}

datasette serve options

$ datasette serve --help

Usage: datasette serve [OPTIONS] [FILES]...

  Serve up specified SQLite database files with a web UI

Options:
  -i, --immutable PATH      Database files to open in immutable mode
  -h, --host TEXT           Host for server. Defaults to 127.0.0.1 which means only
                            connections from the local machine will be allowed. Use
                            0.0.0.0 to listen to all IPs and allow access from other
                            machines.
  -p, --port INTEGER        Port for server, defaults to 8001
  --debug                   Enable debug mode - useful for development
  --reload                  Automatically reload if database or code change detected -
                            useful for development
  --cors                    Enable CORS by serving Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
  --load-extension PATH     Path to a SQLite extension to load
  --inspect-file TEXT       Path to JSON file created using "datasette inspect"
  -m, --metadata FILENAME   Path to JSON file containing license/source metadata
  --template-dir DIRECTORY  Path to directory containing custom templates
  --plugins-dir DIRECTORY   Path to directory containing custom plugins
  --static MOUNT:DIRECTORY  Serve static files from this directory at /MOUNT/...
  --memory                  Make :memory: database available
  --config CONFIG           Set config option using configname:value
                            datasette.readthedocs.io/en/latest/config.html
  --version-note TEXT       Additional note to show on /-/versions
  --help-config             Show available config options
  --help                    Show this message and exit.