What is Qri?

Qri (pronounced "query") is a distributed dataset version control and sharing system. Our software helps to alleviate many of the pain points of working with datasets.

  • Qri CLI - Our command line interface allows you to quickly create, manage, and share versioned datasets from your terminal.
  • Qri Desktop - Our desktop app for MacOS and Windows, which makes creating, managing, and sharing versioned datasets a breeze.
  • Qri Cloud - Our cloud-based data publishing platform. When you're done crafting and organizing datasets locally, you can push them to Qri Cloud for archival, sharing, and discovery.

The Qri Dataset Format

What's a dataset? Qri's definition of "dataset" contains more than just data.

Qri datasets combine tabular data with all of the things that are missing from normal CSVs. These include metadata, user identity, column types, validation rules, update scripts, and more. We refer to these parts as components.

All of these components live together under a single structure. More importantly, they are all versioned together.

See Dataset Components for more info on the building blocks of a Qri dataset.


In Qri, datasets are most commonly referred to by a combination of username and dataset name separated by a slash, e.g. b5/comics. This dataset reference is unique across the Qri Network, similar to the username and repository name used to describe a github repository.

See Naming Datasets for more info on versioning in Qri.

Your Collection of Datasets

Qri uses a local datastore built on top of IPFS. Your collection consists of all of the Qri datasets you have locally. These can be your datasets or those you have cloned from other Qri users.

See Your Collection of Datasets for more info on interacting with your collection.


Qri datasets are versioned. When you make a change to a dataset, whether it be reformatting values in a column or adding a description to the metadata, you must commit the changes and establish a new version of the dataset.

The version has a timestamp, your identity, and a message for future you (or other users you share the dataset with).

See Versioning Datasets for more info on versioning in Qri.

See Versioning Datasets for more info on versioning in Qri.


Qri datasets are easily portable over Qri's peer-to-peer network. This means that datasets and their version histories can be shared with other Qri users on a local network or published to Qri's cloud platform to share with the world.

Likewise, once you have Qri running on your computer, you can pull down other Qri users' datasets to view and modify locally.

See Publishing Datasets for more info on publishing your datasets in Qri.

Conceptual Model

We combine networking, versioning, and our data format into a network of datasets The qri data format combines raw data with critical supporting data, the version control system tracks changes and identity, and the network allows for decentralized sharing and transfer of datasets. Together, they represent a new way to work with datasets that enables better trust, availability, and accountability.

Get Started with Qri

You can start bringing your datasets into Qri right now! Download Qri Desktop for free, import a CSV, and make your first dataset version.