Docs Menu
Docs Home
/ /
Atlas Device SDKs
/ /

Configure & Open a Realm - .NET SDK

On this page

  • Realm Files
  • Auxiliary Realm Files
  • Open a Realm Without Sync
  • Local Realms
  • In-Memory Realms
  • Scoping the Realm
  • Class Subsets

A realm is a set of related objects that conform to a pre-defined schema. Realms may contain more than one type of data as long as a schema exists for each type.

Every realm stores data in a separate realm file that contains a binary encoding of each object in the realm. You can automatically synchronize a realm across multiple devices and set up reactive event handlers that call a function any time an object in a realm is created, modified, or deleted.

Realm stores a binary encoded version of every object and type in a realm in a single .realm file. The file is located at the path that you define in the RealmConfiguration object when you open the realm, or in the default path if you do not specify a path.

The default realm file is named default.realm and is located where the OS stores app-specific data.


Implement Compacting in Your Production Application

Every production application should implement ShouldCompactOnLaunch to periodically reduce the realm file size. For more information about compacting a realm, see: Reduce Realm File Size - .NET SDK.

Realm creates additional files for each realm:

  • realm files, suffixed with "realm", e.g. default.realm: contain object data.

  • lock files, suffixed with "lock", e.g. default.realm.lock: keep track of which versions of data in a realm are actively in use. This prevents realm from reclaiming storage space that is still used by a client application.

  • note files, suffixed with "note", e.g. default.realm.note: enable inter-thread and inter-process notifications.

  • management files, suffixed with "management", e.g. internal state management.

Deleting these files has important implications. For more information about deleting .realm or auxiliary files, see: Delete a Realm.

The following sections describe how to open a realm file for local (non-sync) use. If you are interested in using Sync with your realm, see Configure & Open a Synced Realm - .NET SDK.

When opening a local (non-synced) realm, pass a RealmConfiguration object to either GetInstanceAsync() or GetInstance(). The following example creates a RealmConfiguration object with a local file path, sets the IsReadOnly property to true, and then opens a local realm with that configuration information:

var config = new RealmConfiguration(pathToDb + "my.realm")
IsReadOnly = true,
Realm localRealm;
localRealm = Realm.GetInstance(config);
catch (RealmFileAccessErrorException ex)
Console.WriteLine($@"Error creating or opening the
realm file. {ex.Message}");

With an InMemoryConfiguration object, you can create a realm that runs entirely in memory (that is, without the data written to disk.) The following example shows how to do this:

var config = new InMemoryConfiguration("some-identifier");
var realm = Realm.GetInstance(config);

In-memory realms might still use disk space if memory is running low, but all files created by an in-memory realm will be deleted when the realm is closed. When creating an in-memory realm, the identifier must be unique to all realms, including both in-memory and persisted realms.


When an in-memory realm is disposed or garbage-collected, the data is lost. To keep an in-memory realm "alive" throughout your app's execution, be sure to hold a reference to realm.

The realm instance implements IDisposable to ensure native resources are freed up. You should dispose of a realm object immediately after use, especially on background threads. The simplest way to do this is by declaring the realm object with a using statement, or wrapping the code that interacts with a realm in a using (...) statement:

config = new PartitionSyncConfiguration("myPart", user);
using (var realm = Realm.GetInstance(config))
var allItems = realm.All<Item>();

If you require a realm object to be shared outside of a single method, be sure to manage its state by calling the Dispose() method:



As a general rule, you should dispose of the realm only on background threads, because disposing of a realm invalidates all objects associated with that instance. If you are data binding the realm objects on the main thread, for example, you should not call Dispose().

By default, all RealmObject classes are stored in a realm. In some scenarios, you may want to limit the classes that get stored, which you can do with the Schema property of the RealmConfiguration object. The following code demonstrates how you specify two classes you want stored in the realm:

var config = new RealmConfiguration()
Schema = new Type[]
← Realm Files