Getting started with RDFox

Felicity Mulford
Oxford Semantic Technologies
7 min readMay 13, 2020


This article will show you how to very quickly set up RDFox locally, import triples, rules and run queries. You can request an RDFox license here and download the latest release here. Once you’ve received your license key, place it is a directory with your RDFox download.

Please note, this article has been updated since the release of RDFox Version 4.0.0.

The article consists of the following:

  1. Creating a data store
  2. Importing data
  3. Running queries
  4. Inserting data using SPARQL
  5. Adding rules
  6. Deleting Facts
  7. Stopping and Re-starting RDFox
  8. Getting started with the web console
  9. Visualising data in the web console

If you would like a visual aid, you can watch our Getting Started Webinar. The webinar was created for Version 3.0.0, but remains applicable to Version 4.0.0.

1. Creating a datastore

Open the directory with RDFox and your license key, in the IDE of your choice. Open a new terminal and then launch RDFox by typing one of the following:

./RDFox sandbox (Linux or Mac)

RDFox.exe sandbox (windows)

This should result in a command prompt, where you can run any of the commands described in Section 10.2.2 of the documentation.

Data stores hold all facts and rules in RDFox. At present, there is no data store in the directory, so we must create one before we can load any triples. To create a data store we use the dstore command as follows:

dstore create family par-complex-nn

N.B. This example uses a family dataset, hence the data store name ‘family’.

The above command initializes our family data store as a parallel store with a complex indexing strategy. Other types of data store do exist, and the documentation…



Felicity Mulford
Oxford Semantic Technologies

Employee at Oxford Semantic Technologies and Ox Mountain. OST have developed RDFox, a high performance knowledge graph and semantic reasoning engine.