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ReQL command: tableCreate

Command syntax

db.tableCreate(tableName[, options]) → object
r.tableCreate(tableName[, options]) → object


Create a table. A RethinkDB table is a collection of JSON documents.

If successful, the command returns an object with two fields:

  • tables_created: always 1.
  • config_changes: a list containing one two-field object, old_val and new_val:
    • old_val: always null.
    • new_val: the table’s new config value.

If a table with the same name already exists, the command throws ReqlOpFailedError.

Note: Only alphanumeric characters and underscores are valid for the table name.

Invoking tableCreate without specifying a database using db creates a table in the database specified in connect, or test if no database was specified.

When creating a table you can specify the following options:

  • primaryKey: the name of the primary key. The default primary key is id.
  • durability: if set to soft, writes will be acknowledged by the server immediately and flushed to disk in the background. The default is hard: acknowledgment of writes happens after data has been written to disk.
  • shards: the number of shards, an integer from 1-64. Defaults to 1.
  • replicas: either an integer or a mapping object. Defaults to 1.
    • If replicas is an integer, it specifies the number of replicas per shard. Specifying more replicas than there are servers will return an error.
    • If replicas is an object, it specifies key-value pairs of server tags and the number of replicas to assign to those servers: {tag1:2,tag2:4,tag3:2,...}.
  • primaryReplicaTag: the primary server specified by its server tag. Required if replicas is an object; the tag must be in the object. This must not be specified if replicas is an integer.

The data type of a primary key is usually a string (like a UUID) or a number, but it can also be a time, binary object, boolean or an array. Data types can be mixed in the primary key field, but all values must be unique. Using an array as a primary key causes the primary key to behave like a compound index; read the documentation on compound secondary indexes for more information, as it applies to primary keys as well. (Note that the primary index still only covers a single field, while compound secondary indexes can cover multiple fields in a single index.) Primary keys cannot be objects.

Tables will be available for writing when the command returns.

Example: Create a table named ‘dc_universe’ with the default settings.

> r.db('heroes').tableCreate('dc_universe').run(conn, callback);
// Result passed to callback
    "config_changes": [
            "new_val": {
                "db": "test",
                "durability":  "hard",
                "id": "20ea60d4-3b76-4817-8828-98a236df0297",
                "name": "dc_universe",
                "primary_key": "id",
                "shards": [
                        "primary_replica": "rethinkdb_srv1",
                        "replicas": [
                "write_acks": "majority"
            "old_val": null
    "tables_created": 1

Example: Create a table named ‘dc_universe’ using the field ‘name’ as primary key.

r.db('test').tableCreate('dc_universe', {primaryKey: 'name'}).run(conn, callback);

Example: Create a table set up for two shards and three replicas per shard. This requires three available servers.

r.db('test').tableCreate('dc_universe', {shards: 2, replicas: 3}).run(conn, callback);

Read Sharding and replication for a complete discussion of the subject, including advanced topics.

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