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remote, remoteSecure

Table function remote allows to access remote servers on-the-fly, i.e. without creating a Distributed table. Table function remoteSecure is same as remote but over a secure connection.

Both functions can be used in SELECT and INSERT queries.


remote(addresses_expr, [db, table, user [, password], sharding_key])
remote(addresses_expr, [db.table, user [, password], sharding_key])
remote(named_collection[, option=value [,..]])
remoteSecure(addresses_expr, [db, table, user [, password], sharding_key])
remoteSecure(addresses_expr, [db.table, user [, password], sharding_key])
remoteSecure(named_collection[, option=value [,..]])


  • addresses_expr — A remote server address or an expression that generates multiple addresses of remote servers. Format: host or host:port.

    The host can be specified as a server name, or as a IPv4 or IPv6 address. An IPv6 address must be specified in square brackets.

    The port is the TCP port on the remote server. If the port is omitted, it uses tcp_port from the server config file for table function remote (by default, 9000) and tcp_port_secure for table function remoteSecure (by default, 9440).

    For IPv6 addresses, a port is required.

    If only parameter addresses_expr is specified, db and table will use by default.

    Type: String.

  • db — Database name. Type: String.

  • table — Table name. Type: String.

  • user — User name. If not specified, default is used. Type: String.

  • password — User password. If not specified, an empty password is used. Type: String.

  • sharding_key — Sharding key to support distributing data across nodes. For example: insert into remote(',', db, table, 'default', rand()). Type: UInt32.

Arguments also can be passed using named collections.

Returned value

A table located on a remote server.


As table functions remote and remoteSecure re-establish the connection for each request, it is recommended to use a Distributed table instead. Also, if hostnames are set, the names are resolved, and errors are not counted when working with various replicas. When processing a large number of queries, always create the Distributed table ahead of time, and do not use the remote table function.

The remote table function can be useful in the following cases:

  • One-time data migration from one system to another
  • Accessing a specific server for data comparison, debugging, and testing, i.e. ad-hoc connections.
  • Queries between various ClickHouse clusters for research purposes.
  • Infrequent distributed requests that are made manually.
  • Distributed requests where the set of servers is re-defined each time.



Multiple addresses can be comma-separated. In this case, ClickHouse will use distributed processing and send the query to all specified addresses (like shards with different data). Example:



Selecting data from a remote server:

SELECT * FROM remote('', db.remote_engine_table) LIMIT 3;

Or using named collections:

host = '',
database = 'db';
SELECT * FROM remote(creds, table='remote_engine_table') LIMIT 3;

Inserting data into a table on a remote server:

CREATE TABLE remote_table (name String, value UInt32) ENGINE=Memory;
INSERT INTO FUNCTION remote('', currentDatabase(), 'remote_table') VALUES ('test', 42);
SELECT * FROM remote_table;

Migration of tables from one system to another:

This example uses one table from a sample dataset. The database is imdb, and the table is actors.

On the source ClickHouse system (the system that currently hosts the data)

  • Verify the source database and table name (imdb.actors)

    show databases
    show tables in imdb
  • Get the CREATE TABLE statement from the source:

    select create_table_query
    from system.tables
    where database = 'imdb' and table = 'actors'


    CREATE TABLE imdb.actors (`id` UInt32,
    `first_name` String,
    `last_name` String,
    `gender` FixedString(1))
    ENGINE = MergeTree
    ORDER BY (id, first_name, last_name, gender);

On the destination ClickHouse system:

  • Create the destination database:

  • Using the CREATE TABLE statement from the source, create the destination:

    CREATE TABLE imdb.actors (`id` UInt32,
    `first_name` String,
    `last_name` String,
    `gender` FixedString(1))
    ENGINE = MergeTree
    ORDER BY (id, first_name, last_name, gender);

Back on the source deployment:

Insert into the new database and table created on the remote system. You will need the host, port, username, password, destination database, and destination table.

remoteSecure('', 'imdb.actors', 'USER', 'PASSWORD')
SELECT * from imdb.actors


Patterns in curly brackets { } are used to generate a set of shards and to specify replicas. If there are multiple pairs of curly brackets, then the direct product of the corresponding sets is generated.

The following pattern types are supported.

  • {a,b,c} - Represents any of alternative strings a, b or c. The pattern is replaced with a in the first shard address and replaced with b in the second shard address and so on. For instance, example0{1,2}-1 generates addresses example01-1 and example02-1.
  • {N..M} - A range of numbers. This pattern generates shard addresses with incrementing indices from N to (and including) M. For instance, example0{1..2}-1 generates example01-1 and example02-1.
  • {0n..0m} - A range of numbers with leading zeroes. This pattern preserves leading zeroes in indices. For instance, example{01..03}-1 generates example01-1, example02-1 and example03-1.
  • {a|b} - Any number of variants separated by a |. The pattern specifies replicas. For instance, example01-{1|2} generates replicas example01-1 and example01-2.

The query will be sent to the first healthy replica. However, for remote the replicas are iterated in the order currently set in the load_balancing setting. The number of generated addresses is limited by table_function_remote_max_addresses setting.