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Getting started

This quick start guide will get you up and running in just a few minutes. Let's build a simple todo app with a fresh install of Keystone!


Before we start, check that your computer meets the following requirements:

  • Node.js >= 10.x: Node.js is a server platform which runs JavaScript.

And ONE of the following databases:

  • MongoDB >= 4.x: MongoDB is a powerful NoSQL document storage database.
  • PostgreSQL >= 9.x: PostgreSQL is an open source relational database that uses the SQL language.

Finally, make sure your database is configured and running.

All set? Great, let's get started!


To create a new Keystone application, run the following commands in your terminal:

npm init keystone-app my-app
# or
yarn create keystone-app my-app

You'll be prompted with a few questions:

  1. What is your project name? Pick any name for your project. You can change it later if you like.
  2. Select a starter project. Select the Todo application if you wish to follow this guide.
  3. Select an adapter. Choose Mongoose if you're running a MongoDB database and Knex if you're running a PostgreSQL one.

Wait until all the project dependencies are installed, then run:

cd my-app   # This changes directory
npm run dev # This starts the development server

If you run into database related errors at this stage, follow the Database Setup and Adapters instructions.


You are now running your very own Keystone application! Here's what you get out of the box:


Your simple todo application is up and running:

Admin UI

Your application also has an Admin UI, which lets you directly manipulate the data in your database:


Both your application and the Admin UI are powered by a GraphQL API. Keystone provides a web interface for this API at this URL:

Next steps

This todo app is a good introduction to Keystone, but chances are you'll want to build something a bit more complex and secure than that!

The guides section is a great next step. It will walk you through concepts like creating lists, setting up content relationships, managing access control and much more.

On this page

  • Requirements
  • Installation
  • Summary
  • Application
  • Admin UI
  • GraphQL API
  • Next steps
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