rpk container is a simple and quick way to stand up a local multi node cluster
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
It's important to note, however, that you won't need to interact with Docker directly or have experience with it.
To run Redpanda in a 3-node cluster, run:
rpk container start -n 3
The first time you run
rpk container start, it downloads an image matching the rpk version (you can check it by running
You now have a 3-node cluster running Redpanda!
The command output shows the addresses of the cluster nodes:
$ rpk container start -n 3
Waiting for the cluster to be ready...
NODE ID ADDRESS
You can run
rpk commands to interact with the cluster, for example:
rpk cluster info --brokers 127.0.0.1:49462,127.0.0.1:49468,127.0.0.1:49467
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
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 --brokers <broker1_address>,<broker2_address>...
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!