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Quick Start

This guide shows how to install and run Vespa on a single machine using Docker - it deploys an application, feeds some data and issues queries. See Getting Started for troubleshooting, next steps and other guides.


  • Docker Desktop for Mac/Windows, or Docker on Linux
  • Operating system: Linux, macOS or Windows 10 Pro (Docker requirement)
  • Architecture: x86_64
  • Minimum 6GB memory dedicated to Docker (the default is 2GB on macOS)

This guide is tested with Docker for Mac, Community Edition-18.06.1-ce-mac73 (26764) and vespaengine/vespa Docker image built 2018-10-01.

Running Vespa in Docker

  1. Validate the environment:

    $ docker info | grep "Total Memory"

    Make sure you see at minimum 6GB.

  2. Install the Vespa CLI:

    Using Homebrew:

    $ brew install vespa-cli

    You can also download Vespa CLI for Windows, Linux and macOS.

  3. Set local target:

    $ vespa config set target local
  4. Start a Vespa Docker container:

    $ docker run --detach --name vespa --hostname vespa-container \
      --publish 8080:8080 --publish 19071:19071 \

    The port 8080 is published to make the search and feed interfaces accessible outside of the docker container, 19071 is the config server endpoint. Only one docker container named vespa can run at a time so change the name if needed. See the Dockerfile and the startup script for more insights.

  5. Verify it is ready to use:

    $ vespa status deploy --wait 300
  6. Initialize myapp/ to a copy of a sample application package:

    $ vespa clone album-recommendation myapp && cd myapp
  7. Deploy it:

    $ vespa deploy --wait 300
  8. Feed documents:

    $ vespa document ext/A-Head-Full-of-Dreams.json && \
      vespa document ext/Love-Is-Here-To-Stay.json && \
      vespa document ext/Hardwired...To-Self-Destruct.json

    This uses the /document/v1/ API - use vespa-feed-client to feed large amounts of data, fast.

  9. Issue queries:

    $ vespa query "select * from music where album contains 'head'"
    $ vespa query "select * from music where true" \
      "ranking=rank_albums" \
    This uses the Query API. You can also view query results in a browser at localhost:8080/querybuilder/.
  10. Run tests:

    $ vespa test tests/system-test
    This runs some basic HTTP tests against the application, to verify feed and query functionality. Note that this replaces existing documents.

Next steps

Check out getting started for more tutorials and use cases which Vespa is great for. Hint: the News tutorial set is a great way to explore more Vespa features, and a natural next step.