Chapter 2. Getting Started

This chapter takes you through the first steps in using eXist. It handles subjects like downloading and installing, starting and stopping, running the examples, and demonstrates some of eXist’s capabilities on a “Hello World” level. In other words, like the chapter title says, it will get you started.

If you have used eXist before, you may like to skip over this chapter.

Downloading and Installing eXist

This section takes you through the steps necessary for getting eXist up and running on a standalone development system. That is to say, we keep things simple and don’t spend time on more advanced subjects such as database security, tuning, performance, embedded mode operation, and the like. Those subjects and more are covered in the chapters to come.


Be aware that installing eXist for production purposes (e.g., as the engine behind a public website) requires much more thought and planning. Security, especially, requires attention in those kinds of more public situations. Also, if you plan to use eXist with some really huge datasets, you probably need a different setup than that described here. For information on installing eXist in a server environment, see “Installing eXist as a Service”.


eXist can be installed on almost all versions of Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. The deciding factor is whether or not your OS (operating system) supports at least Java version 1.6 (1.7 is recommended). If it does, then eXist should run.

In order to run the ...

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