Copy data from files into a table.

Table of Contents


COPY table_ident [ PARTITION (partition_column = value [ , ... ]) ]
FROM uri [ WITH ( option = value [, ...] ) ] [ RETURN SUMMARY ]

where option can be one of:

  • bulk_size integer
  • shared boolean
  • num_readers integer
  • compression string
  • overwrite_duplicates boolean


COPY FROM copies data from a URI to the specified table as a raw data import.

The nodes in the cluster will attempt to read the files available at the URI and import the data.

Supported Formats

CrateDB accepts both JSON and CSV inputs. The format is inferred from the file extension (.json or .csv respectively) if possible. The format can also be provided as an option (see WITH). If a format is not specified and the format cannot be inferred, the file will be processed as JSON.

Files must be UTF-8 encoded. Any keys in the object will be added as columns, regardless of the previously defined table. Empty lines are skipped.

JSON files must contain a single JSON object per line.

Example JSON data:

{"id": 1, "quote": "Don't panic"}
{"id": 2, "quote": "Ford, you're turning into a penguin. Stop it."}

CSV files must contain a header with comma-separated values, which will be added as columns.

Example CSV data:

1,"Don't panic"
2,"Ford, you're turning into a penguin. Stop it."

See also: Import and Export.

Type Casts and Constraints

CrateDB does not check if the column’s data types match the types from the import file. It does not cast the types but will always import the data as in the source file. Furthermore CrateDB will only check for primary key duplicates but not for other Column Constraints like NOT NULL.

For example a WKT string cannot be imported into a column of geo_shape or geo_point type, since there is no implict cast to the GeoJSON format.


In case the COPY FROM statement fails, the log output on the node will provide an error message. Any data that has been imported until then has been written to the table and should be deleted before restarting the import.


A string literal or array of string literals containing URIs. Each URI must be formatted according to the URI Scheme.


If you are using Microsoft Windows, you must include the drive letter in the file URI. Consult the Windows documentation for more information.

In case the URI scheme is missing the value is assumed to be a file path and will be converted to a file:// URI implicitly.

For example:

/tmp folder/file.json

Is converted to:


Supported Schemes


The provided (absolute) path should point to files available on at least one node with read access to the CrateDB process (with its default user ‘crate’) there.

By default each node will attempt to read the files specified. In case the URI points to a shared folder (where other CrateDB nodes also have access) the shared option must be set to true in order to avoid importing duplicates.


Can be used to access buckets on the Amazon AWS S3 Service:


If no credentials are set the s3 client will operate in anonymous mode, see AWS Java Documentation.

Using the ‘s3://’ URI scheme sets the shared option implicitly.


A secretkey provided by Amazon Web Services can contain characters such as ‘/’, ‘+’ or ‘=’. These characters must be URL encoded. For a detailed explanation read the official AWS documentation.

Additionally, versions prior to 0.51.x use HTTP for connections to S3. Since 0.51.x these connections are using the HTTPS protocol. Please make sure you update your firewall rules to allow outgoing connections on port 443.

http, https, and jar (Java URL protocols)

In addition to the schemes above, CrateDB supports all protocols supported by the URL implementation of its JVM (typically http, https, ftp, and jar). Please refer to the documentation of the JVM vendor for an accurate list of supported protocols.

These schemes do not support wildcard expansion.


table_ident:The name (optionally schema-qualified) of an existing table where the data should be put.
uri:An expression which evaluates to a URI as defined in RFC2396. The supported schemes are listed above. The last part of the path may also contain * wildcards to match multiple files.



For partitioned tables this clause can be used to import data into the specified partition. This clause takes one or more partition columns and for each column a value.

[ PARTITION ( partition_column = value [ , ... ] ) ]
partition_column:The name of the column by which the table is partitioned. All partition columns that were part of the PARTITIONED BY of the CREATE TABLE statement must be specified.
value:The column’s value.


Partitioned tables do not store the value for the partition column in each row, hence every row will be imported into the specified partition regardless of the value provided for the partition columns.


The optional WITH clause can specify options for the COPY FROM statement.

[ WITH ( option = value [, ...] ) ]



CrateDB will process the lines it reads from the path in bulks. This option specifies the size of one batch. The provided value must be greater than 0, the default value is 10000.


This option should be set to true if the URI’s location is accessible by more than one CrateDB node to prevent them from importing the same file.

The default value depends on the scheme of each URI.

If an array of URIs is passed to COPY FROM this option will overwrite the default for all URIs.


A filter expression to select the nodes to run the read operation.

It’s an object in the form of:

    name = '<node_name_regex>',
    id = '<node_id_regex>'

Only one of the keys is required.

The name regular expression is applied on the name of all execution nodes, whereas the id regex is applied on the node id.

If both keys are set, both regular expressions have to match for a node to be included.

If the shared option if false, a strict node filter might exclude nodes with access to the data leading to a partial import.

To verify which nodes match the filter, run the statement with EXPLAIN.


The number of nodes that will read the resources specified in the URI. Defaults to the number of nodes available in the cluster. If the option is set to a number greater than the number of available nodes it will still use each node only once to do the import. However, the value must be an integer greater than 0.

If shared is set to false this option has to be used with caution. It might exclude the wrong nodes, causing COPY FROM to read no files or only a subset of the files.


The default value is null, set to gzip to read gzipped files.


Default: false

COPY FROM by default won’t overwrite rows if a document with the same primary key already exists. Set to true to overwrite duplicate rows.


This option specifies the format of the input file. Available formats are csv or json. If a format is not specified and the format cannot be guessed from the file extension, the file will be processed as JSON.


By using the optional RETURN SUMMARY clause, a per-node result set will be returned containing information about possible failures and successfully inserted records.



Column Name Description Return Type
node Information about the node that has processed the URI resource. OBJECT
node['id'] The id of the node. STRING
node['name'] The name of the node. STRING
uri The URI the node has processed. STRING
error_count The total number of records which failed. A NULL value indicates a general URI reading error, the error will be listed inside the errors column. LONG
success_count The total number of records which were inserted. A NULL value indicates a general URI reading error, the error will be listed inside the errors column. LONG
errors Contains detailed information about all errors. OBJECT
errors[ERROR_MSG] Contains information about a type of an error. OBJECT
errors[ERROR_MSG]['count'] The number records failed with this error. LONG
errors[ERROR_MSG]['line_numbers'] The line numbers of the source URI where the error occurred. ARRAY