The GSQL Shell

The GSQL shell is a fully functional Java environment for interacting with the TigerGraph database. It is one of the primary ways to interact with the TigerGraph database and is included in a standard TigerGraph installation.

To learn more about the GSQL language, follow our tutorial series starting with GSQL 101.

Launch the shell

As the TigerGraph Linux user, type gsql into the bash terminal to start a GSQL shell session:

$ gsql

If authentication is enabled, you will need to provide credentials in order to launch the shell.

Change scope

In the GSQL shell, you can run commands on a global scope or on a local scope. When you start a GSQL session, you are in the global scope. To change to the local scope of a graph, run the USE GRAPH command.

Using graph 'social'

To switch back to the global scope, run USE GLOBAL.


Operating on different scopes will require different privileges. For more information, see Roles and Privileges.

Multi-line commands

By default, GSQL treats each line as one command; the GSQL interpreter will activate as soon as the end-df-line character is entered.

GSQL > ls (1)
---- Global vertices, edges, and all graphs
Vertex Types:
  - DIRECTED EDGE Friend(FROM Person, TO Person, weight FLOAT, tag STRING, flag BOOL) WITH REVERSE_EDGE="Also_Friend"
  - DIRECTED EDGE Also_Friend(FROM Person, TO Person, weight FLOAT, tag STRING, flag BOOL) WITH REVERSE_EDGE="Friend"
  - UNDIRECTED EDGE Coworker(FROM Person, TO Person, weight FLOAT, tag STRING, flag BOOL)

  - Graph social(Person:v, Friend:e, Also_Friend:e, Coworker:e)

JSON API version: v2
Syntax version: v1
GSQL > CREATE QUERY example () { (2)
Encountered "<EOF>" at line 1, column 25.
Was expecting:
    "}" ...
1 GSQL executes a single-line command immediately after encountering the end-of-line character.
2 Trying to enter a multi-line command in the default single-line mode will cause an error.

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 or query, because they 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 or ABORT is entered. The END command triggers the execution of the multi-line block. Alternately, the ABORT command exits multi-line mode and discards the multi-line block.


In the example below, BEGIN and END are used to allow the SELECT statement to be split into several lines:

GSQL > CREATE QUERY example () {
GSQL > PRINT "Hello world";
GSQL > }
Successfully created queries: [example].

Run GSQL scripts and in-line commands

You don’t always need to enter the interactive shell in order to run a GSQL command. You can also run command in-line or through a GSQL script.

To run a GSQL command non-interactively, run the bash command gsql followed by the GSQL commands you want to run in quotes:

$ gsql 'ls'

To run a GSQL script, put all your GSQL commands in a file (conventionally ending with the extension .gsql), and run:

$ gsql <filename>

Replace <filename> with the name of the script file.

You can also run a GSQL script from the GSQL shell. To do so, type in the file name prefixed with the @ character:

GSQL > @<filename>

Replace <filename> with the name of the script file.