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Configure & Open a Realm - Flutter SDK

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  • Open a Realm
  • Open a Local-Only Realm
  • Open a Synced Realm
  • Open an In-Memory Realm
  • Configure a Realm
  • Open a Read-Only Realm
  • Set Custom FIFO Special Files
  • Add Initial Data to Realm
  • Customize Default Configuration
  • Manage Schema Changes
  • Encrypt a Realm
  • Compact a Realm
  • Close a Realm
  • Copy Data into a New Realm

Use the Configuration class to control the specifics of the realm you would like to open, including the schema.

To create a realm that only persists data locally, create a configuration with Configuration.local(). You must provide a list of schemas as an argument.

Pass the Configuration to the Realm constructor.

final config = Configuration.local([Car.schema]);
final realm = Realm(config);

You can now use that realm instance to work with objects in the database.

To open a realm that synchronizes data with Atlas using Device Sync, refer to Open a Synced Realm.

To create a realm that runs in memory without being persisted, create your Configuration with Configuration.inMemory(). You must provide a list of schemas as an argument. In-memory realms cannot also be read-only.

Pass the Configuration to the Realm constructor.

final config = Configuration.inMemory([Car.schema]);
final realm = Realm(config);

You can add optional properties to the realm's Configuration.

You can open an existing realm in read-only mode. To open a read-only realm, add readOnly: true to your Configuration object.

You can only open existing realms in read-only mode. If you try to write to a read-only realm, it throws an error.

final config = Configuration.local([Car.schema], isReadOnly: true);
final realm = Realm(config);

Set a value for Realm's FIFO special files location. Opening a realm creates a number of lightweight FIFO special files that coordinate access to the realm across threads and processes. If the realm file is in a location that doesn't allow for the creation of FIFO special files (such as FAT32 filesystems), then the realm cannot be opened. In this case, Realm needs a different location to store these files. Add fifoFilesFallbackPath: <Your Custom FIFO File Path> to your Configuration object.

This property is ignored if the directory for the realm file allows FIFO special files.

final config = Configuration.local([Car.schema],
fifoFilesFallbackPath: "./fifo_folder");
final realm = Realm(config);

Use initialDataCallback() to invoke a callback function the first time that you open a realm. The function only executes the first time that the realm on the device. The realm instance passed to the callback function already has a write transaction open, so you do not need to wrap write operations in a Realm.write() transaction block. initialDataCallback can be useful for adding initial data to your application the first time that it is opened on a device.

void dataCb(Realm realm) {
realm.add(Car(ObjectId(), 'Honda'));
final config =
Configuration.local([Car.schema], initialDataCallback: dataCb);
final realm = Realm(config);
Car honda = realm.all<Car>()[0];

You can customize the default path where Realm stores database files and the default name given to database files.

Use the static Configuration.defaultRealmName and Configuration.defaultRealmPath to set default configuration for all realms opened within an application.

Configuration.defaultRealmName = "myRealmName.realm";
final customDefaultRealmPath = path.join(
(await Directory.systemTemp.createTemp()).path,
Configuration.defaultRealmPath = customDefaultRealmPath;
// Configurations used in the application will use these values
final config = Configuration.local([Car.schema]);
// The path is your system's temp directory
// with the file named 'myRealmName.realm'

You can also check where realm stores the files by default using the static getter Configuration.defaultStoragePath. The value for this property varies depending on the platform you are using the SDK on and whether you are using the Dart or Flutter versions of Realm. Check the value of Configuration.defaultStoragePath in your application to see where realm files are stored in your environment.

final storagePath = Configuration.defaultStoragePath;
// See value in your application

For more information about managing schema changes when configuring a realm, refer to the Update a Realm Object Schema documentation.

You can encrypt your local realm to ensure data security. For more information, see Encrypt a Realm.

You can reduce the local realm file size to improve performance and manage file size in a resource-constrained environment. For more information, refer to Compact a Realm.

To copy data from an existing realm to a new realm with different configuration options, pass the new configuration to Realm.writeCopy().

In the new realm's configuration, you must specify the path. You cannot write to a path that already contains a file.

Using Realm.writeCopy(), you can convert between the following Configuration types:

  • LocalConfiguration to LocalConfiguration

  • FlexibleSyncConfiguration to FlexibleSyncConfiguration

  • InMemoryConfiguration to InMemoryConfiguration

  • LocalConfiguration to read-only LocalConfiguration and vice versa

  • InMemoryConfiguration to LocalConfiguration and vice versa

  • FlexibleSyncConfiguration to LocalConfiguration

  • FlexibleSyncConfiguration to InMemoryConfiguration

You cannot convert from a LocalConfiguration or a InMemoryConfiguration to a FlexibleSyncConfiguration.

Some additional considerations to keep in mind while using Realm.writeCopy():

  1. The destination file cannot already exist.

  2. Copying a realm is not allowed within a write transaction or during migration.

  3. When using Device Sync, you must sync all local changes with the server before the copy is written. This ensures that the file can be used as a starting point for a newly-installed application. The Realm.writeCopy() throws if there are pending uploads.

The following example copies the data from a realm with a InMemoryConfiguration to a new realm with a LocalConfiguration.

// Create in-memory realm and add data to it.
// Note that even though the realm is in-memory, it still has a file path.
// This is because in-memory realms still use memory-mapped files
// for their operations; they just don't persist data across launches.
final inMemoryRealm =
Realm(Configuration.inMemory([Person.schema], path: 'inMemory.realm'));
inMemoryRealm.write(() {
inMemoryRealm.addAll([Person("Tanya"), Person("Greg"), Person("Portia")]);
// Copy contents of `inMemoryRealm` to a new realm with `localConfig`.
// `localConfig` uses the default file path for local realms.
final localConfig = Configuration.local([Person.schema]);
// Close the realm you just copied when you're done working with it.
// Open the local realm that the data from `inMemoryRealm`
// was just copied to with `localConfig`.
final localRealm = Realm(localConfig);
// Person object for "Tanya" is in `localRealm` because
// the data was copied over with `inMemoryRealm.writeCopy()`.
final tanya = localRealm.find<Person>("Tanya");

You can also include a new encryption key in the copied realm's configuration or remove the encryption key from the new configuration.

The following example copies data from an unencrypted realm with a LocalConfiguration to an encrypted realm with a LocalConfiguration.

// Create unencrypted realm and add data to it.
final unencryptedRealm = Realm(Configuration.local([Person.schema]));
unencryptedRealm.write(() => unencryptedRealm.addAll([
// Create encryption key and encrypted realm.
final key = List<int>.generate(64, (i) => Random().nextInt(256));
final encryptedConfig = Configuration.local([Person.schema],
path: 'encrypted.realm', encryptionKey: key);
// Copy the data from `unencryptedRealm` to a new realm with
// the `encryptedConfig`. The data is encrypted as part of the copying.
// Close the realm you just copied when you're done working with it.
// Open the new encrypted realm with `encryptedConfig`.
final encryptedRealm = Realm(encryptedConfig);
// Person object for "Harper" is in `localRealm` because
// the data was copied over with `unencryptedRealm.writeCopy()`.
final harper = encryptedRealm.find<Person>('Harper');
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