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Setup Lightdash to connect to your dbt cloud project

In this tutorial, you'll setup Lightdash and connect it to your dbt project on dbt cloud. dbt cloud provides a development environment that makes it really easy to your develop your dbt project code, with Lightdash you can also visualise your dbt models while developing you code.


  • A dbt cloud account. If you don't have one, sign up for a free here
  • A heroku account. We'll use heroku to deploy your own self-hosted lightdash instance. Signup for free here
  • Your dbt cloud account should have at least one environment (data warehouse) configured
  • Your dbt cloud account environment should be using dbt version 0.20.0 or higher

1. One-click deploy to Heroku#

Click to deploy the latest version of Lightdash to heroku. This provides a secure, production-ready deployment connected to your dbt cloud account:


Note if you don't have an account, you'll be prompted to signup. It's free to deploy Lightdash!

2. Fill in your dbt cloud credentials#

After you hit deploy, you'll be asked to provide some credentials to connect to your dbt cloud project:


2a. Get your account_id and project_id from your dbt cloud project#

Login to dbt cloud and follow these instructions to get your account and project id:

  1. Make sure you have the correct project selected in the drop down settings
  2. Get your account_id from the URL after /accounts/
  3. Get your project_id from the URL after /projects/


Add the account_id and project_id in the heroku setup form.

2b. Get your environment_id#

Use the sidebar to see all your environments. To connect to your dbt IDE you must select your development credentials with type type: development. This should be the environment you usually use when developing in the dbt cloud IDE.



Once you've located your environment follow these steps to get your environment id:

  1. Get your environment_id from the URL after /environments/
  2. Check that your environment is using dbt 0.20.0 or above (you can change this in environment settings)


Add the environment_id to your heroku setup form.

2c. Get your api_key#

You can get your personal api key by visiting your API Access - Your profile.


It's a secret! Remember to keep your api key safe as it enables access to your dbt cloud account.

Add the api_key to your lightdash.yml heroku setup form.

3. Launch your dbt cloud development environment#

Open your development environment in dbt cloud.


4. Launch Lightdash#

Heroku will show that it's setting up and deploying Lightdash. When it's complete you should see an option to view your Lightdash app.


5. Setup your admin account#

As the first user for Lightdash, you'll be prompted to create an admin account to secure your instance: