Kitematic tutorial: Create a local RethinkDB database for development

Legacy desktop solution. Kitematic is a legacy solution, bundled with Docker Toolbox. We recommend updating to Docker for Mac or Docker for Windows if your system meets the requirements for one of those applications.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

In this tutorial, you will:

  • Create a RethinkDB Container for Development
  • (Advanced) Clone a small Node.js application and write data into RethinkDB.

Setting up RethinkDB in Kitematic

First, if you haven’t yet done so, download and start Kitematic. Once open, the app should look like this:

Rethink create button

Click on the Create button of the rethinkdb image listing in the recommended list as shown above. This will download & run a RethinkDB container within a few minutes. Once it’s done, you’ll have a local RethinkDB database up and running.

Rethink container

Let’s start using it to develop a node.js app. For now, let’s figure out which IP address and port RethinkDB is listening on. To find out, click the Settings tab and then the Ports section:

Rethink create button

You can see there that for RethinkDB port 28015, the container is listening on host localhost and port 32783 (in this example - ports may be different for you). This means you can now reach RethinkDB via a client driver at Again, this IP address may be different for you.

(Advanced) Saving Data into RethinkDB with a local Node.js App

Now, you’ll create the RethinkDB example chat application running on your local macOS system to test drive your new containerized database.

First, if you don’t have it yet, download and install Node.js.

Note: this example needs Xcode installed. We’ll replace it with something with fewer dependencies soon.

In your terminal, type:

 $ export RDB_HOST= # replace with IP from above step
 $ export RDB_PORT=32783 # replace with Port from above step
 $ git clone
 $ cd rethinkdb-example-nodejs-chat
 $ npm install
 $ npm start

Now, point your browser to http://localhost:8000. Congratulations, you’ve successfully used a RethinkDB container in Kitematic to build a real-time chat app. Happy coding!

Rethink app preview

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