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rpk Container Guide

rpk container is a simple and quick way to stand up a local multi node cluster for testing. rpk container leverages Docker. If you haven’t done so already, please follow the installation instructions for Docker (Linux users) or Docker Desktop for Mac (MacOS users).

It’s important to note, however, that you won’t need to interact with Docker directly or have experience with it.

To get started, run rpk container start -n 3. This will start a 3-node cluster. You should see something like this (the addresses may vary):

rpk container start will take a minute the first time you run it, as it will download the latest stable version of Redpanda.

Downloading latest version of Redpanda
Starting cluster
  NODE ID  ADDRESS
  0        172.24.1.2:58754
  2        172.24.1.4:58756
  1        172.24.1.3:58757

Cluster started! You may use rpk to interact with it. E.g:

rpk cluster info

It says we can check our cluster with rpk cluster info

  Redpanda Cluster Info

  0 (127.0.0.1:58754)      (No partitions)
  1 (127.0.0.1:58757)      (No partitions)
  2 (127.0.0.1:58756)      (No partitions)

You can now connect your Kafka compatible applications directly to Redpanda by using the ports listed above. In this example the ports to use would be 58754, 58757, 58756.

Additionally, all of the rpk topic subcommands will detect the local cluster and use its addresses, so you don’t have to configure anything or keep track of IPs and ports.

For example, you can run rpk topic create and it will work!

$ rpk topic create -p 6 -r 3 new-topic
Created topic 'new-topic'. Partitions: 6, replicas: 3, cleanup policy: 'delete'

You can also stop the cluster using:

rpk container stop

You are all set! You can now use Redpanda to test your favorite Kafka compatible application or use the rpk topic commands to further interface with the local cluster!