18. RDFox Executable

The RDFox executable is a command-line tool that can be used to initialize and launch local RDFox servers, manage background RDFox services, and connect to remote RDFox servers for shell access. These capabilities are provided by a number of different modes of operation, each of which is documented in the following sub-sections. In each case the purpose, syntax, and functionality of the mode in question are explained and examples of its use are provided.

In what follows, the placeholder <serverParameter> is used to denote one the server parameters described in Section 4.3, <endpointParameter> is used to denote one of the endpoint parameters described in Section 19.2, <role> and <password> are used to denote a role name and corresponding password, <root> is used to denote the root directory for the RDFox shell, and <command> is used to denote one of the RDFox shell commands described in Section 15.2. All modes that accept -role and -password options, also allow the role and password to be specified via the RDFOX_ROLE and RDFOX_PASSWORD environment variables instead. When both the command line option and the corresponding environment variable are specified, the command line option takes precedence.

Several modes set a default value for the server-directory server parameter if it is not specified explicitly. This is $HOME/.RDFox on Linux and macOS and $LOCALAPPDATA\RDFox on Windows.

18.1. sandbox

sandbox mode is provided to allow users to quickly start in-memory RDFox servers for command line and, optionally, REST interaction, with defaults suitable for testing and development. The syntax for this mode is:

RDFox [-<serverParameter> <value> ...] [-<endpointParameter> <value> ...] [-role <role>] [-password <password>] sandbox [<root> [<command> ...]]

This instantiates an in-memory RDFox server with an interactive shell and the following server parameters, which are aimed at making it convenient for use in development and testing:

  • The server-directory parameter is left unset to guarantee that RDFox servers launched in this mode cannot affect any persisted settings or content.

  • Filesystem sandboxing is disabled by setting the sandbox-directory parameter to the empty string. This ensures that the server can access any files on the host system (subject to the OS’s file permissions).

  • The allowed-schemes-on-load parameter is set to include all supported URL schemes so that the server can load resources with any of these schemes.

In addition the role and password are both defaulted to guest. This allows full control of the system via the REST API without authentication, if the endpoint is later started with the shell command endpoint start. To allow flexibility, the role and password can be set explicitly along with any server parameters other than those mentioned above, and all endpoint parameters. The syntax also accepts a list of RDFox shell commands to be executed before the command prompt is returned for interaction. These are specified after the sandbox mode specifier and a root directory for the shell.

Example: Launching in Sandbox Mode

The easiest way to launch RDFox in sandbox mode is to run:

RDFox sandbox

It is often convenient to write an RDFox shell script to save typing. Assuming it’s saved with name start.rdfox, the above command can be extended to run this script as follows:

RDFox sandbox . start

The shell can be closed by issuing the quit command.

18.2. init

init mode initializes a persistent RDFox server. The syntax for this mode is:

RDFox [-<serverParameter> <value> ...] [-<endpointParameter> <value> ...] [-temp-role |[-role <role>] [-password <password>]] init [<root> [<command> ...]]

If the server-directory parameter is not amongst the <serverParameter>``s specified in the command, the default value for the OS user account is used (see above). If the ``persistence parameter is not specified, or it is specified with value off the process will return an error.

A role and password are required by this mode in order to create the first server role. If either are absent from both the command arguments and environment variables, and the -temp-role option is not specified, RDFox will prompt for the missing values. If the -temp-role option is specified, a temporary role will be created with a random name and password and installed as the first server role. The temporary role will be removed before the command completes. This option is provided for cases when the complete access control configuration will be established via the shell commands given at the end of the command line, for example when initializing a server with content and settings transcribed from another server.

At this point, all of the specified server and endpoint parameters are recorded in server and endpoint parameters files in the server directory. Next, the server’s data store catalog persistence is initialized and after that the server’s access control configuration is initialized using the specified role and password. This will involve an optimization step for the password hashing library, which may take up to a minute. Finally, if the command line includes any shell commands these are executed and the process returns.

The server can now be launched in daemon or shell modes.

Example: Initializing a Persistent Server on Linux

The following Bash-compatible script can be used to initialize a persistent server with no data stores on Linux:

export RDFOX_PASSWORD="******"
RDFox -server-directory /var/lib/RDFox -persistence file -role admin init

18.3. daemon

daemon mode launches an in-memory or persistent RDFox server for REST interaction only, with defaults suitable for production. The syntax for this mode is:

RDFox [-<serverParameter> <value> ...] [-<endpointParameter> <value> ...] [-role <role>] [-password <password>] daemon [<root> [<command> ...]]

If the server-directory parameter is not amongst the <serverParameter>``s specified in the command, the default value for the OS user account is used (see above). To launch a persistent server in this mode, the server directory must first have been initialized using ``init mode (see the preceding section). To launch an in-memory server, the persistence server parameter must be left unspecified or set to off (in either the command line arguments or server parameters file).

A role and password are required by this mode only if the server is in-memory only (not persistent). If either the role of the password is absent from the command arguments and environment variables, RDFox will exit with an error.

At this point, the server is started and any persisted data stores loaded. If the command line includes any shell commands (in-memory servers only), an RDFox shell is created to run them and then immediately closed. Finally the endpoint is started. The process will run until it receives SIGINT or SIGTERM which will cause the endpoint to shutdown, disconnecting all clients gracefully. Note that, on Unix Systems, SIGINT can be sent to a process attached to a terminal by pressing Ctrl-C.

Example: Launching a Daemon Process

The following Bash-compatible command line can be used to start a daemon mode process for REST access to the server initialized in the init mode example:

RDFox -server-directory /var/lib/RDFox daemon

18.4. shell

shell mode launches an in-memory or persistent RDFox server for command line and, optionally, REST interaction, with defaults suitable for production. The syntax for this mode is:

RDFox [-<serverParameter> <value> ...] [-<endpointParameter> <value> ...] [-role <role>] [-password <password>] shell [<root> [<command> ...]]

If the server-directory parameter is not amongst the <serverParameter>``s specified in the command, the default value for the OS user account is used (see above). To launch a persistent server in this mode, the server directory must first have been initialized using ``init mode (see the preceding section). To launch an in-memory server, the persistence server parameter must be left unspecified or set to off (in either the command line arguments or server parameters file).

A role and password are required by this mode in order to create the first server role for an in-memory server, and to login to the shell for both in-memory and persistent servers. If either the role or the password is absent from the command arguments and environment variables RDFox will prompt for the missing values to be given interactively.

At this point, the server is started and any persisted data stores loaded. An RDFox shell is then created and the user is logged in with the supplied credentials. If the command line includes any shell commands, these are executed by the shell before the command prompt is returned for user interaction. The shell can be closed by issuing the quit command.

Example: Launching a Local Shell

The following command line can be used to launch a local shell connected to the server initialized in the init mode example:

RDFox -server-directory /var/lib/RDFox shell

18.5. remote

remote mode launches a client for the remote shell API to provide command line interation with an RDFox server. The server’s endpoint must be running and reachable from the host running the remote mode process. The syntax for this mode is:

RDFox [-<remoteShellParameter> <value> ...] [-role <role>] [-password <password>] remote <server-url> [<command> ...]

The resulting process will call the remote shell API of the server at <server-url> to instantiate a remote shell instance, which will be used to run any commands supplied on the command line, and then prompt for further commands to run.

The remote shell client can be configured with zero or more parameters, each of which is specified as a key-value pair of the form -<remoteShellParameter> <value>. The following table describes all available remote shell parameters.

Option

Value

Description

channel-timeout

A duration of 1 s or more specified as described in Section 4.3.2.

Determines the length of time the remote shell client will wait for I/O. The default value is unlimited so that commands that don’t produce output for long periods do not timeout.

connect-timeout

A duration of 1 s or more specified as described in Section 4.3.2.

Determines the length of time the remote shell client will wait for a connection to the server. The default value is 4 s.

credentials

a string

Specifies the client certificate and private key, and the intermediate certificates as a verbatim string in PEM format. The string must contain the client’s private key, the client’s certificate, and zero or more intermediate certificates. See also the documentation for the endpoint parameter with the same name.

credentials-file

a string

Specifies the name of the file whose content contains the credentials. The file content must have the same format as the credentials parameter.

credentials-passphrase

a string

Provides the passphrase that can be used to decrypt the credentials in case they are encrypted. This parameter is optional.

min-secure-protocol

ssl3, tls1, tls11, tls12, or tls13

Determines the minimum protocol version that the client should use.

trusted-root-certificate

a string

See documentation for the endpoint parameter with the same name.

trusted-root-certificate-file

a string

See documentation for the endpoint parameter with the same name.

verify-server-certificates

true or false

Determines whether the remote shell client will attempt to verify the server’s certificate. The default value is true.

A role name and password are required at startup. RDFox will first look for the arguments -role <role> and -password <password>. If one or both of these options is missing, RDFox will next inspect the RDFOX_ROLE and RDFOX_PASSWORD environment variables respectively. If after this one or both variables remain unset, RDFox will prompt for the missing information.

When invoked from the remote shell, commands will operate in exactly the same way as if they were invoked from the local shell (shell and sandbox modes) save for the exceptions documented in Section 16.19.1.1. Interruptible operations may be interrupted with Ctrl-C just as in local shells.

File paths embedded within commands are always interpreted with respect to the server’s file system. The remote shell client does not provide any way of using the client’s file system (unless the client is running on the same host as the server).

Uniquely, as remote mode does not create an RDFox server instance, no license key is required to use the RDFox executable in this mode.

Example: Launching a Remote Shell

To connect to a server reachable at http://example.com:12110, run:

RDFox remote http://example.com:12110

18.6. service

Manages RDFox as a background service. On UNIX platforms The syntax for this mode is:

RDFox service install [user | system] [-<serverParameter> <value> ...] [-<endpointParameter> <value> ...] [daemon [<root> [<command> ...]]]
RDFox service uninstall [user | system]

On Windows, the syntax is:

RDFox service install [system] [-<serverParameter> <value> ...] [-<endpointParameter> <value> ...] [daemon [<root> [<command> ...]]]
RDFox service {uninstall | start | stop | reload} [system]

The install sub-command installs RDFox as a background service either for the current user or for the system. On Windows, only system services are supported. On macOS and Linux, the service is installed for the current user if system is not specified explicitly. Installing the service for the system requires root or administrative privileges. On all platforms, arguments after the optional user / system specification will be included in the command to launch instances of the service. These must form a valid prefix for a daemon mode command (see Section 18.3).

The uninstall sub-command uninstalls the service, again requiring root or administrator privileges in the case of system services.

On Windows, the start, stop, and reload sub-commands can be used to start, stop, and reload the service respectively. On macOS and Linux, instructions for managing the service are printed to the console when the service is installed.

Example: Installing and Uninstalling a System-Wide RDFox Service

To install RDFox as a system service using the server initialized in the init mode example, run:

RDFox service install system -server-directory /var/lib/RDFox

Read the instructions printed to the console for how to start, stop, and reload the service. To uninstall the service, run:

RDFox service uninstall system