System and Language Basics

Running GSQL

To enter the GSQL shell and work in interactive mode, type gsql from an operating system shell prompt. A user name, password, and a graph name may also be provided on the command line.

If a user name if provided but not a password, the GSQL system will then ask for the user's password:

If a user name is not given, then GSQL will assume that you are attempting to log in as the default tigergraph user:

To exit the GSQL shell, type either exitor quitat the GSQL prompt:


Multiple Shell Sessions

Multiple shell sessions of GSQL may be run at the same time. This feature can be used to have multiple clients (human or machine) using the system to perform concurrent operations. A basic locking scheme is used to maintain isolation and consistency.

Multi-line Mode - BEGIN, END, ABORT

In interactive mode, the default behavior is to treat each line as one statement; the GSQL interpreter will activate as soon as the End-Of-Line character is entered.

Multi-line mode allows the user to enter several lines of text without triggering immediate execution. This is useful when a statement is very long and the user would like to split it into multiple lines. It is also useful when defining a JOB, because jobs typically contain multiple statements.

To enter multi-line mode, use the command BEGIN. The end-of-line character is now disabled from triggering execution. The shell remains in multi-line mode until the command END is entered. The END command also triggers the execution of the multi-line block. In the example below, BEGIN and END are used to allow the SELECT statement to be split into several lines:

Alternately, the ABORT command exits multi-line mode and discards the multi-line block.

Command Files and Inline Commands

A command file is a text file containing a series of GSQL statements. Blank lines and comments are ignored. By convention, GSQL command files end with the suffix . gsql , but this is not a requirement. Command files are automatically treated as multi-line mode, so BEGIN and END statements are not needed. Command files may be run either from within the GSQL shell by prefixing the filename with an @ symbol:

GSQL> @file.gsql

or from the operating system (i.e., a Linux shell) by giving the filename as the argument after gsql:

os$ gsql file.gsql

Similarly, a single GSQL command can be run by enclosing the command string in quotation marks and placing it at the end of the GSQL statement. Either single or double quotation marks. It is recommended to use single quotation marks to enclose the entire command and double quotation marks to enclose any strings within the command.

In the example below, the file name_query.gsql contains the multi-line CREATE QUERY block to define the query namesSimilar.

Help and Information

The help command displays a summary of the available GSQL commands:


Note that the HELP command has options for showing more details about certain categories of commands.

The ls command displays the catalog : all the vertex types, edge types, graphs, queries, jobs, and session parameters which have been defined by the user.

--reset option

The --reset option will clear the entire graph data store and erase all related definitions (graph schema, loading jobs, and queries) from the Dictionary. The data deletion cannot be undone; use with extreme caution. The REST++, GPE, and GSE modules will be turned off.


The table below summaries the basic system commands introduced so far.

Session Parameters

Session parameters are built-in system variables whose values are valid during the current session; their values do not endure after the session ends. In interactive command mode, a session starts and ends when entering and exiting interactive mode, respectively. When running a command file, the session lasts during the execution of the command file.

Use the SET command to set the value of a session parameter:

Attribute Data Types

Each attribute of a vertex or edge has an assigned data type. The following types are currently supported.

Primitive Types

Advanced Types

Additionally, GSQL also support following complex data types:

Complex Types

  • User Defined Tuple (UDT) : UDT represents an ordered structure of several fields of same or different types. The supported field types are listed below. Each field in a UDT has a fixed size. A STRING field must be given a size in characters, and the loader will only load the first given number of characters. A INT or UINT field can optionally be given a size in bytes.

Below is an example of defining a UDT:

In this example, myTuple is the name of this UDT. It contains four fields: a 1-byte INT field named field1, a 4-byte UINT field named field2, a 10-character STRING field named field3, and a (8-byte) DOUBLE field named field4.

  • LIST/SET : A set is a unordered collection of unique elements of the same type; A list is an ordered collection of elements of the same type. A list can contain duplicate elements; a set cannot. The default value of either is an empty list/set. The supported element types of a list or a set are INT, UINT, DOUBLE, FLOAT, STRING, STRING COMPRESS, DATETIME, and UDT. To declare a list or set type, use <> brackets to enclose the element type, e.g., SET<INT>, LIST<STRING COMPRESS>.

  • MAP : A map is a collection of key-value pairs. It cannot contain duplicate keys, and each key maps to one value. The default value is an empty map. The supported key types are INT, STRING, STRING COMPRESS, and DATETIME. The supported value types are INT, DOUBLE, STRING, STRING COMPRESS, DATETIME, and UDT. To declare a map type, use <> to enclose the types, with a comma to separate the key and value types, e.g., MAP<INT, DOUBLE>.