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Setup Lightdash with the demo dbt project

In this tutorial, you'll setup Lightdash and connect it to a demo dbt project containing some fake data. This is the fastest way to play with Lightdash on your local machine. The final result will look exactly like


1. Install and run docker desktop#


You must have docker desktop >3.0.0 installed, please check any existing installation

You can install docker desktop for your system here. Once you've installed Docker, you must also run the docker application.

Check docker is running by this in your terminal:

# Check docker is running
docker info
# If the output shows:
# > Server:
# > ERROR...
# then docker isn't running

2. Clone the Lightdash repository#

Clone the Lightdash code to your local machine. This will create a new directory called ./lightdash (the Lightdash directory).

# Clone the Lightdash repo
git clone --recurse-submodules
# A new directory called "lightdash" should appear

3. Start the demo project and dependencies#

When you run the code block below, 3 services will be started:

  • A test data warehouse (postgres)
  • A demo dbt project containing fake data
  • A fully functional Lightdash instance for exploring the data

This command might take a while to run depending on your internet speed, while it downloads Lightdash and it's dependencies.

# Change directories into the demo directory
cd ./lightdash/examples/full-jaffle-shop-demo
# Run docker compose
docker compose up
# If you see
# > Cannot connect to the Docker daemon at unix:///var/run/docker.sock. Is the docker daemon running
# then docker isn't running
# If you see
# > Compose is not a valid docker command
# You have an older version of docker, please upgrade to docker >3.0.0
# If you see
# > error pulling image configuration: unexpected EOF
# This error is usually related to a weak network.
# You can restart docker or configured the docker daemon to reduce the tcp packets:
# $ dockerd --max-concurrent-downloads <int>

4. Launch the Lightdash app#

When you see the following in your terminal, open up the app at http://localhost:8080.

lightdash_1 | ------------------------------------------
lightdash_1 | Launch Lightdash at http://localhost:8080
lightdash_1 | ------------------------------------------

If you see the following error message:

Error response from daemon: Ports are not available: listen tcp bind: address already in use"

Then change LIGHTDASH_PORT and reopen the app at http://localhost:xxxx where xxxx is the port you choose.

Next steps#

Learn how to start exploring data with Lightdash:

  • Run a query
  • Create a chart
  • Export query results

Get familiar with customising dimensions and metrics by editing the demo files:

Or connect up your own dbt project: