Choosing a database

This page gives an overview of the supported SQL databases as well as instructions on install:

  • SQLite3 (default)

  • PostgreSQL

  • MySQL / MariaDB

Since Evennia uses Django, most of our notes are based off of what we know from the community and their documentation. While the information below may be useful, you can always find the most up-to-date and “correct” information at Django’s Notes about supported Databases page.

SQLite3 (default)

SQLite3 is a light weight single-file database. It is our default database and Evennia will set this up for you automatically if you give no other options.

SQLite stores the database in a single file (mygame/server/evennia.db3). This means it’s very easy to reset this database - just delete (or move) that evennia.db3 file and run evennia migrate again! No server process is needed and the administrative overhead and resource consumption is tiny. It is also very fast since it’s run in-memory. For the vast majority of Evennia installs it will probably be all that’s ever needed.

SQLite will generally be much faster than MySQL/PostgreSQL but its performance comes with two drawbacks:

  • SQLite ignores length constraints by design; it is possible to store very large strings and numbers in fields that technically should not accept them. This is not something you will notice; your game will read and write them and function normally, but this can create some data migration problems requiring careful thought if you do need to change databases later.

  • SQLite can scale well to storage of millions of objects, but if you end up with a thundering herd of users trying to access your MUD and web site at the same time, or you find yourself writing long- running functions to update large numbers of objects on a live game, either will yield errors and interference. SQLite does not work reliably with multiple concurrent threads or processes accessing its records. This has to do with file-locking clashes of the database file. So for a production server making heavy use of process- or thread pools, a proper database is a more appropriate choice.

Install of SQlite3

This is installed and configured as part of Evennia. The database file is created as mygame/server/evennia.db3 when you run

evennia migrate

without changing any database options. An optional requirement is the sqlite3 client program - this is required if you want to inspect the database data manually. A shortcut for using it with the evennia database is evennia dbshell. Linux users should look for the sqlite3 package for their distro while Mac/Windows should get the sqlite-tools package from this page.

To inspect the default Evennia database (once it’s been created), go to your game dir and do

    sqlite3 server/evennia.db3
    # or
    evennia dbshell

This will bring you into the sqlite command line. Use .help for instructions and .quit to exit. See here for a cheat-sheet of commands.

Resetting SQLite3

If you want to reset your SQLite3 database, see here.


PostgreSQL is an open-source database engine, recommended by Django. While not as fast as SQLite for normal usage, it will scale better than SQLite, especially if your game has an very large database and/or extensive web presence through a separate server process.

Install and initial setup of PostgreSQL

First, install the posgresql server. Version 9.6 is tested with Evennia. Packages are readily available for all distributions. You need to also get the psql client (this is called postgresql- client on debian-derived systems). Windows/Mac users can find what they need on the postgresql download page. You should be setting up a password for your database-superuser (always called postgres) when you install.

For interaction with Evennia you need to also install psycopg2 to your Evennia install (pip install psycopg2-binary in your virtualenv). This acts as the python bridge to the database server.

Next, start the postgres client:

    psql -U postgres --password


With the --password argument, Postgres should prompt you for a password. If it won’t, replace that with -p yourpassword instead. Do not use the -p argument unless you have to since the resulting command, and your password, will be logged in the shell history.

This will open a console to the postgres service using the psql client.

On the psql command line:

CREATE USER evennia WITH PASSWORD 'somepassword';

-- Postgres-specific optimizations
ALTER ROLE evennia SET client_encoding TO 'utf8';
ALTER ROLE evennia SET default_transaction_isolation TO 'read committed';
ALTER ROLE evennia SET timezone TO 'UTC';

-- For Postgres 10+
ALTER DATABASE evennia owner to evennia;

-- Other useful commands:
--  \l       (list all databases and permissions)
--  \q       (exit)

Here is a cheat-sheet for psql commands.

We create a database user ‘evennia’ and a new database named evennia (you can call them whatever you want though). We then grant the ‘evennia’ user full privileges to the new database so it can read/write etc to it. If you in the future wanted to completely wipe the database, an easy way to do is to log in as the postgres superuser again, then do DROP DATABASE evennia;, then CREATE and GRANT steps above again to recreate the database and grant privileges.

Evennia PostgreSQL configuration

Edit `mygame/server/conf/ and add the following section:

# PostgreSQL Database Configuration
        'default': {
            'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.postgresql_psycopg2',
            'NAME': 'evennia',
            'USER': 'evennia',
            'PASSWORD': 'somepassword',
            'HOST': 'localhost',
            'PORT': ''    # use default

If you used some other name for the database and user, enter those instead. Run

evennia migrate

to populate your database. Should you ever want to inspect the database directly you can from now on also use

evennia dbshell

as a shortcut to get into the postgres command line for the right database and user.

With the database setup you should now be able to start start Evennia normally with your new database.

Resetting PostgreSQL

If you want to reset your PostgreSQL datbase, see here

Advanced PostgreSQL Usage (Remote Server)


The example below is for a server within a private network that is not open to the Internet. Be sure to understand the details before making any changes to an Internet-accessible server.

The above discussion is for hosting a local server. In certain configurations it may make sense host the database on a server remote to the one Evennia is running on. One example case is where code development may be done on multiple machines by multiple users. In this configuration, a local data base (such as SQLite3) is not feasible since all the machines and developers do not have access to the file.

Choose a remote machine to host the database and PostgreSQl server. Follow the instructions above on that server to set up the database. Depending on distribution, PostgreSQL will only accept connections on the local machine (localhost). In order to enable remote access, two files need to be changed.

First, determine which cluster is running your database. Use pg_lscluster:

$ pg_lsclusters
Ver Cluster Port Status Owner    Data directory              Log file
12  main    5432 online postgres /var/lib/postgresql/12/main /var/log/postgresql/postgresql-12-main.log

Next, edit the database’s postgresql.conf. This is found on Ubuntu systems in /etc/postgresql/<ver>/<cluster>, where <ver> and <cluster> are what are reported in the pg_lscluster output. So, for the above example, the file is /etc/postgresql/12/main/postgresql.conf.

In this file, look for the line with listen_addresses. For example:

listen_address = 'localhost'    # What IP address(es) to listen on;
                                # comma-separated list of addresses;
                                # defaults to 'localhost'; use '*' for all


Misconfiguring the wrong cluster may cause problems with existing clusters.

Also, note the line with port = and keep the port number in mind.

Set listen_addresses to '*'. This permits postgresql to accept connections on any interface.


Setting listen_addresses to '*' opens a port on all interfaces. If your server has access to the Internet, ensure your firewall is configured appropriately to limit access to this port as necessary. (You may also list explicit addresses and subnets to listen. See the postgresql documentation for more details.)

Finally, modify the pg_hba.conf (in the same directory as postgresql.conf). Look for a line with:

# IPv4 local connections:
host    all             all               md5

Add a line with:

host    all             all                  md5


This permits incoming connections from all IPs. See the PosgreSQL documentation on how to limit this.

Now, restart your cluster:

$ pg_ctlcluster 12 main restart

Finally, update the database settings in your Evennia (as described above modifying SERVER and PORT to match your server.

Now your Evennia installation should be able to connect and talk with a remote server.

MySQL / MariaDB

MySQL is a commonly used proprietary database system, on par with PostgreSQL. There is an open-source alternative called MariaDB that mimics all functionality and command syntax of the former. So this section covers both.

Installing and initial setup of MySQL/MariaDB

First, install and setup MariaDB or MySQL for your specific server. Linux users should look for the mysql-server or mariadb-server packages for their respective distributions. Windows/Mac users will find what they need from the MySQL downloads or MariaDB downloads pages. You also need the respective database clients (mysql, mariadb-client), so you can setup the database itself. When you install the server you should usually be asked to set up the database root user and password.

Finally, you will also need a Python interface to allow Evennia to talk to the database. Django recommends the mysqlclient one. Install this into the evennia virtualenv with pip install mysqlclient.

Start the database client (this is named the same for both mysql and mariadb):

mysql -u root -p

You should get to enter your database root password (set this up when you installed the database server).

Inside the database client interface:

CREATE USER 'evennia'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'somepassword';
ALTER DATABASE `evennia` CHARACTER SET utf8; -- note that it's `evennia` with back-ticks, not
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON evennia.* TO 'evennia'@'localhost';
-- use 'exit' to quit client

Here is a mysql command cheat sheet.

Above we created a new local user and database (we called both ‘evennia’ here, you can name them what you prefer). We set the character set to utf8 to avoid an issue with prefix character length that can pop up on some installs otherwise. Next we grant the ‘evennia’ user all privileges on the evennia database and make sure the privileges are applied. Exiting the client brings us back to the normal terminal/console.

If you are not using MySQL for anything else you might consider granting the ‘evennia’ user full privileges with GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'evennia'@'localhost';. If you do, it means you can use evennia dbshell later to connect to mysql, drop your database and re-create it as a way of easy reset. Without this extra privilege you will be able to drop the database but not re create it without first switching to the database-root user.

Add MySQL/MariaDB configuration to Evennia

To tell Evennia to use your new database you need to edit mygame/server/conf/ (or if you don’t want your db info passed around on git repositories).

The Django documentation suggests using an external db.cnf or other external conf- formatted file. Evennia users have however found that this leads to problems (see e.g. issue #1184). To avoid trouble we recommend you simply put the configuration in your settings as below.

    # MySQL Database Configuration
       'default': {
           'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.mysql',
           'NAME': 'evennia',
           'USER': 'evennia',
           'PASSWORD': 'somepassword',
           'HOST': 'localhost',  # or an IP Address that your DB is hosted on
           'PORT': '', # use default port

The mysql backend is used by MariaDB as well.

Change this to fit your database setup. Next, run:

evennia migrate

to populate your database. Should you ever want to inspect the database directly you can from now on also use

evennia dbshell

as a shortcut to get into the postgres command line for the right database and user.

With the database setup you should now be able to start start Evennia normally with your new database.

Resetting MySQL/MariaDB

If you want to reset your MySQL/MariaDB datbase, see here.

Other databases

No testing has been performed with Oracle, but it is also supported through Django. There are community maintained drivers for MS SQL and possibly a few others. If you try other databases out, consider contributing to this page with instructions.