12 Best Free and Open Source Linux Document-Oriented Databases

A database is a collection of records or data that is stored in a computer system. Database tools and applications are designed to help you store and manage data in a controlled and structured manner. A database is a vital system for any organisation that stores mission critical information. The continual failure of a company’s database system will inevitably lead to the demise of the organisation; companies cannot function without a fully working database system.

There are a number of different types of database. The most popular choice in storing data such as personal information, financial records, and medical records is the relational database management system. This type of system makes use of common ‘keys’ to tie related information together with data being manipulated with the SQL data definition and query language. SQL has many strengths for querying data. However, there are some disadvantages inherent in SQL. For example, SQL does not scale horizontally particularly well.

There are other types of databases available in situations where relational databases are not well suited. Document-oriented databases are particular strong in situations where horizontal scalability is required. As your database grows, additional servers or resources from the cloud can be added thereby avoiding the need to use expensive supercomputers.

Document-based databases do not store data in tables with uniform sized fields for each record. Instead, each record is stored as a document without the need to define in advance the schema of the data. This means that any number of fields of any length can be added to a document. JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) objects are frequently used in document-oriented databases. This type of database operates on something similar to distributed hash tables.

There is a good selection of Linux document-oriented databases that are available under an open source license. This article selects our personal pick of databases which can offer better performance in your application as well as quicker development time. Here’s our verdict. All the software is free and open source. We allow Couchbase to be included as while its time-limited license is not open source, it converts back to an open source license after 4 years.

Here’s our verdict captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-style ratings chart.

Ratings chart for the best free and open source document-oriented databases

Click the links in the table below to learn more about each database.

Document-Oriented Databases
CouchbaseDistributed key-value database management system
CouchDBScalable, fault-tolerant, and schema-free written in Erlang
eXist-dbDatabase management system entirely built on XML technology
RethinkDBScalable database built for realtime applications
BaseXXML database engine
ArangoDBNative multi-model database
OrientDBDocument Database with support of ACID Transactions, SQL and Native Queries
AerospikeKey-Value Store and high performance real-time NoSQL (flex-schema) database
RavenDBFully-transactional NoSQL ACID database
JackrabbitOpen-source content repository for Java
TerminusDBKnowledge graph and document store
CrateDBDistributed SQL database management

This article has been revamped in line with our recent announcement.

Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments