December 02, 2021

EdgeDB Release Candidate 3

EdgeDB’s third release candidate is now available!

Though our previous RCs contained some minor new features, this is a “pure RC”. Outside of bug fixes and a modified environment variable no significant changes have been or will be made to EdgeDB core before the 1.0 release, in the absence of any show-stopping bug discoveries.

To stay apprised of future releases, follow us on Twitter @edgedatabase or on GitHub.

As always, this release is named after a nearby star. This time it’s 61 Cygni — a binary star system about 11.4 lightyears from Earth which brags the greatest proper motion of any star system visible to the naked eye.

The biggest change in RC3 isn’t a change to EdgeDB itself, but how it’s packaged for local development usage. EdgeDB is now distributed as a “portable build” that runs on any non-legacy Linux or macOS system, can be installed anywhere on your file system, and doesn’t require sudo.

This change only affects local EdgeDB instances created with the CLI. For production deployments, we still build and distribute native packages for Debian/Ubuntu/CentOS, as well as a Docker image and other system-specific options.

This represents a departure from our previous approach of using native distribution packages or Docker images; as a result, the process of upgrading local instances to RC3 is slightly more involved than usual.

As always, the first step is upgrading to the latest version of our CLI. If an older version is already installed, run edgedb cli upgrade to upgrade. Otherwise follow the instructions in the Quickstart to install it and spin up your first instance.

To see a list of all local instances running on an older (non-portable) build of EdgeDB, run edgedb instance list --deprecated-install-methods. This list will include all previously-created instances running RC2 or earlier.

The upgrade flow differs slightly for project-linked and standalone instances.

Upgrade project-linked instances with the following commands. Instead of a single edgedb {project|instance} upgrade command (as with previous releases), we are recommending “dump and restore” workflow that’s more explicit and less error prone. Future releases.

$ cd /path/to/project
$ edgedb dump --all --format=dir ./dump_dir
$ edgedb project unlink --destroy-server-instance
$ edgedb project upgrade --to-latest
$ edgedb project init --no-migrations
$ edgedb restore --all --admin ./dump_dir
$ edgedb instance reset-password <instance_name>

This process dumps the contents of the database, unlinks the project, destroys its associated instance, updates the edgedb.toml to reflect the latest version, initializes a new project/instance running RC3, restores from dump, and resets the instance password.

If you need to keep the same password, pass the --password flag to edgedb instance reset-password and enter the previous password at the prompt.

The --all flag instructs the CLI to dump the contents of all databases, not just the default database (called edgedb). The project should be re-initialized with the --no-migrations flag to prevent the CLI from auto-executing the migrations found in dbschema/migrations; edgedb restore can only be executed against a fresh, schema-less instance.

Note that no explicit edgedb server install command is required; the CLI will install RC3 on-demand during the edgedb project init flow.

For standalone (non-project-linked) instances, follow the following steps. The <name> is the name of the instance; to see a list of all local instances run edgedb instance list --deprecated-install-methods.

$ edgedb dump --all --format=dir -I <name> ./dump_dir
$ edgedb instance destroy <name>
$ edgedb instance create <name>
$ edgedb restore --all --admin -I <name> ./dump_dir
$ edgedb instance reset-password <name>

This process dumps the schema/contents of the instance, destroys it, creates a fresh instance running RC3, restores the instance from the dump, and resets the password to a new, generated value. If you need to keep the same password, pass the --password flag to edgedb instance reset-password and enter the previous password at the prompt.

An explicit edgedb server install command isn’t required here. Instead, the CLI will install the latest version of EdgeDB on-demand during the edgedb instance create command.

Once all instances have been upgraded to RC3’s portable builds, you can uninstall the now-deprecated native packages.

$ edgedb server uninstall --all --deprecated-install-methods

This command will skip any installation that is still in use by an existing instance. You’ll need to destroy or upgrade those instances before uninstallation can occur.

EdgeDB now ships as an executable build that can be installed anywhere on the file system.

These portable builds of EdgeDB don’t rely on OS-specific package management systems like RPM or Debian packages. This frees EdgeDB from slotting constraints imposed by such systems, which typically only allow a single minor version to be installed at any given time. As we approach a v1.0 release, this becomes untenable; it should be possible to run several instances running various 1.x versions simultaneously.

While this is a major change under the hood, the specifics of how EdgeDB is packaged should rarely be visible or relevant for non-advanced workflows.

Since the new portable builds can be installed and executed anywhere on the file system, not just in OS-specified package directories like /usr/bin, installation no longer requires sudo access on any system.

To construct portable builds for Linux, EdgeDB is compiled in a container running a stock CentOS 6 image (first released in 2011) containing glibc v2.17. The resulting build is audited to guarantee no recent or non-standard dependencies have been linked. Because glibc follows a strict backwards-compatible symbol versioning scheme, the resulting build will run in any environment containing glibc v2.17 or later.

Similarly, macOS packages have been built against Apple’s implementation of C (a variant of BSD libc). This implementation also has strong backwards compatibility guarantees; using the mmacosx-version-min build flag, we can guarantee compatibility with OSX Yosemite and later.

For the moment, all builds are x86-based; a native ARM build is in the works. These can be run on M1 Macs with Rosetta emulation with minimal performance overhead.

There’s no native build for Windows at the moment, though we plan to distrubute one in the future. Instead, we recommend running local instances using Docker and the official EdgeDB image.

Previously, running edgedb instance create in Windows used Docker behind the scenes to run the new instance; this “magical” behavior is no longer supported, as it was difficult to debug and configure. Instead, we suggest using your preferred Docker workflow (docker run, Docker Compose, etc) to spin up instances manually, then pass the appropriate connection information into your application via environment variables.

A fourth RC is likely, followed by a v1.0 release in January 2022—right around the corner! Follow us on Twitter @edgedatabase or GitHub to be notified when it drops.

To learn more about EdgeDB, check out the following resources:

  • If you’re just starting out, go through 10-minute Quickstart guide.

  • To dig into the EdgeQL query language, try the web-based interactive tutorial — no need to install anything.

  • For an immersive, comprehensive walkthrough of EdgeDB concepts, check out our illustrated e-book Easy EdgeDB. It’s designed to walk a total beginner through EdgeDB, from the basics all the way through advanced concepts.

For a full breakdown of the bug fixes and stability improvements in RC3, check out the full Changelog.