Installing OpenRDF Sesame on a Mac Mini

And now for the third in a row of triple-store installations. This time it’s Sesame, an open source datastore for RDF and relational data. Thankfully, due to the minimal requirements and the pretty good documentation, the installation was quick and much less painful than expected.

Hardware: Apple Mac Mini (running Mac OS X Lion 10.7), out of the box

I followed mostly the instructions given  on They explain stuff quite well, so it was actually rather enjoyable to read. You can also find a diagram of the Sesame components, which is helpful. Study and memorise!

sesame architecture

1) Set up environment: Logging

  • Download SLF4J (1.6.6. at time of writing) to get the correct bridge file (slf4j-log4j12-1.6.6.jar) to work with log4j:
  • set Java class path to use the log4j bridge jar file: Add the following to the ~/.profile:
  • CLASSPATH=/Users/fishdelish/fishbench/slf4j-1.6.6/slf4j-log4j12-1.6.6.jar
2) Set up Tomcat server

(Sesame doc mentions 5.5 or 6.0, so I went with 6.0 instead of 7.0 just to be on the safe side)

3) Sesame server / workbench installation

>> Workbench is accessible on

Sesame should be up and running now!

The default data directory on Mac OS X is /Users/fishdelish/Library/Application Support/Aduna/OpenRDF Sesame

4a) Create a repository and import RDF data using Sesame console

Create a new store: either in-memory or native. I chose native due to the relatively small RAM on our machines: “The native store uses on-disk indexes to speed up querying.”

In the console, type:

  • create native. (then fill in id and description)
  • open testfish.
  • load /Users/fishdelish/fishbench/testfish.n3.

To exit the console: use exit. or quit.

4a) Create a repository and import RDF data using the Java API

Or do the same using the SesameJava API. Good explanation of the Java API in section 8.2 on – I’m just giving you the rough outlines of the code, without error handling etc.

Create repository:

File dataDir = new File("/path/to/datadir/");
Repository myRepository = new SailRepository(new NativeStore(dataDir));

Import data:

File file = new File("/path/to/example.rdf");
String baseURI = "";
RepositoryConnection con = myRepository.getConnection();
con.add(file, baseURI, RDFFormat.RDFXML);

5) SPARQL query time!

Connect to repository using the Java API:

String sesameServer = "";
String repositoryID = "example-db";
Repository myRepository = new HTTPRepository(sesameServer, repositoryID);

Then simply query the Repository() object, as described in the documentation.

That’s it. As with all instructions, I can’t guarantee that it will work correctly, I have yet to stress test my setup as well.