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Create a file geodatabase

Creating a file geodatabase involves creating a special file folder on disk using ArcGIS. Create a file geodatabase using one of the following methods:

From an ArcGIS Pro project

Follow these steps to create a file geodatabase in ArcGIS Pro:

  1. Open an ArcGIS Pro project.
  2. Right-click Databases in the Catalog pane and click New File Geodatabase.
  3. Type a name for the file geodatabase and click Save.

    A file geodatabase is created in the location you specified.

Run the Create File Geodatabase tool

The Create File Geodatabase geoprocessing tool allows you to create a file geodatabase that corresponds to an older release of ArcGIS. This allows you to share data with people who have older releases of ArcGIS, which may not be able to open newer releases of the geodatabase.

Note that file geodatabase schemas have not changed since ArcGIS 10.

  1. Open the Create File Geodatabase tool in ArcGIS Pro.

    You can use search to find the tool or open it directly from the Workspace toolset of the Data Management toolbox.

  2. Specify the folder location where you want the file geodatabase created.
  3. Type a name for the geodatabase.
  4. Choose which ArcGIS version you want the file geodatabase to be.

    The functionality available in the geodatabase will be limited to the release you choose.

  5. Click Run.

    A file geodatabase is created in the location you specified.

Run a Python script

If you want to create a file geodatabase from a machine where ArcGIS Server or ArcGIS Engine with the Geodatabase Update extension is installed, you can run a Python script that calls the CreateFileGDB_management function. You would do this if you are creating a file geodatabase from your ArcGIS client on a Linux machine or if you want to have a reusable, stand-alone script that you can alter slightly and use to create all your file geodatabases from Python.

Because Python scripts are running in Wine on your Linux box, directory paths should use the Microsoft Windows path separator (\). In the examples provided, Z: is the root directory.

The following steps provide some examples of how you would use Python to create a file geodatabase:

  1. Open a Python command prompt.
  2. Either run a stand-alone script or type commands directly into the interactive interpreter.

    In the first example, the script contains the following information:

    # Import system modules
    import os
    import sys
    import arcpy
    # Set workspace
    env.workspace = "Z:\home\user\mydata"
    # Set local variables
    out_folder_path = "Z:\home\user\mydata"
    out_name = "myfgdb.gdb"
    # Execute CreateFileGDB
    arcpy.CreateFileGDB_management(out_folder_path, out_name)

    After you alter the script to run at your site, you can call it from a command prompt or Python window.

    In this example, the Python is typed at the command prompt to create a file geodatabase (myfgdb.gdb) in the directory gdbs in the user's home directory on a Linux machine:

    import arcpy
    arcpy.CreateFileGDB_management("Z:\home\user\gdbs", "myfgdb.gdb")

    This example creates a version 10.5 file geodatabase (myoldfgdb.gdb) in the user's oldgdbs directory on a Microsoft Windows machine:

    import arcpy
    arcpy.CreateFileGDB_management("Z:\home\user\oldgdbs", "myoldfgdb.gdb", "10.5")