We use SQLite to store BLOB data to do with polygons and R-tree's for mapping traffic data. We're running 70-90GB (not looked recently) and the size has never been an issue for us (which is why we've not looked).

However binary images might start to get towards the field size limit which is defined as 10^9 (from http://www.sqlite.org/limits.html). Now 1GB might be considered large at the moment, but as image files, especially RAW images, creep up due to sensor size, this may be too small in a few years time. I know that some people are playing with multi gigabyte images from very, very hi-res cameras and stitching stuff together, which would get close to this. However this is a compile time option so you could move it from 1GB to 10GB and unless you are into serious astronomy that *might* be enough for a while.

I'd be surprised if the images you have are going to seriously stress SQLite to be honest. Now if you are looking for a Lightroom replacement, that would be an interesting project and I'd love to hear more :)

SQLite advertises itself as a file system replacement (for some uses). This could well be one of the use cases.

The thing I would consider is how to backup your multi-terabyte image database. Might take some time....

All the best,


On 8 May 2018, at 14:08, Mike Clark wrote:

 Hi List!

I'm developing a project that deals with image files and am considering storing all the images in the SQLite database itself, rather than (or in addition to) the file system. Since the prospective users will probably be
dealing with hundreds of gigabytes in their use of the project, I am
wondering if this is an effective or efficient use of SQLite -- or safe,
because of the risk of data corruption.

I know the documentation says that SQLite can handle up to 140 TB (do we know of anyone who is doing this?), so hundreds of gigs is clearly doable.

Is it advisable, however?

​(Sent this about 2 wks ago, but it never posted to the list and no
moderator response either).​

Mike Clark
Twitter: @Cyberherbalist
Blog: Cyberherbalist's Blog <http://www.cyberherbalist.co>
"Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that
makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having."
*- C. S. Lewis*
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