Install Kinto

To get the most out of the tutorials, it helps to have a Kinto server running. You can use the Mozilla demo server, or set up your own instance.

Mozilla demo server

A Kinto instance is running at

It should be enough to get started, but the records are flushed every day at 7:00 AM UTC.

Deploying on cloud providers

You want to get started with a working online Kinto server right now? You’ve got a few different options:

Provider What you get / Plan Link / Install button
Heroku Free plan for up to 10.000 rows on PostgreSQL. Deploy on Heroku
Scalingo 1 month free trial with 512MB RAM, 512MB storage and a PostgreSQL database. Deploy on Scalingo
Alwaysdata Open an account and deploy Kinto on it. 10 MB of free storage. Deploy on Alwaysdata

Using Docker

If you have Docker, Kinto can be started locally with a single command:

sudo docker run -p 8888:8888 kinto/kinto-server

The server should now be running on http://localhost:8888

Environment variables

It is possible to specify most Kinto settings through environment variables. For example, using an environment file:

# kinto.env
# KINTO_STORAGE_URL = postgres://user:pass@localhost/kintodb

And running the container with:

docker run --env-file ./kinto.env -p 8888:8888 kinto/kinto-server

The server should now be running on http://localhost:8888

Custom configuration file

Sometimes it is more convenient to specify the settings via an INI file.

Suppose you have a settings file locally in config/dev.ini. With Docker, you can mount local folders into the container. Therefore you can mount the config folder into the container on /etc/kinto, and specify that /etc/kinto/dev.ini is your config file:

sudo docker run -v `pwd`/config:/etc/kinto \
                -e KINTO_INI=/etc/kinto/dev.ini \
                -p 8888:8888 \

Using Docker Compose

A sample configuration for Docker Compose is provided in the Kinto repository. It pulls the Kinto container and runs it with a PostgreSQL container.

sudo docker-compose up

Now you can:

  • Stop the containers with docker-compose stop.
  • Start the containers with docker-compose up -d (-d is for background/daemon).
  • Connect to PostgreSQL service with docker-compose exec --user postgres db psql.
  • Install a plugin into kinto with docker-compose exec web pip3 install kinto-pusher.
  • Inspect the kinto config file with docker-compose exec web cat /etc/kinto/kinto.ini.

If you want to change the settings, you need to mount a custom settings file into the Kinto container. Hopefully Docker Compose lets you do that the exact same way Docker does (assuming you have created the config file ./config/kinto.ini):

  image: postgres
    POSTGRES_USER: postgres
  image: kinto/kinto-server
   - db
   - "8888:8888"
    - ./config:/etc/kinto

Note that with the above example,``config/kinto.ini`` must define the following options (where postgres:postgres is the user/password you defined in docker-compose.yml):

kinto.cache_backend = kinto.core.cache.postgresql
kinto.cache_url = postgres://postgres:postgres@db/postgres
kinto.storage_backend =
kinto.storage_url = postgres://postgres:postgres@db/postgres
kinto.permission_backend = kinto.core.permission.postgresql
kinto.permission_url = postgres://postgres:postgres@db/postgres

Using the Python package

System requirements

Depending on the platform and chosen configuration, some libraries or extra services are required.

The following commands will install necessary tools for cryptography and Python packaging like Virtualenv.


On Debian / Ubuntu based systems:

apt-get install libffi-dev libssl-dev python3-dev python-virtualenv

On RHEL-derivatives:

dnf install libffi-devel openssl-devel python3-devel python-virtualenv


Assuming brew is installed:

brew install libffi openssl pkg-config python

pip install virtualenv

Quick start

By default, for convenience, Kinto persists the records, permissions and internal cache in a volatile memory backend. On every restart, the server will lose its data, and multiple processes are not handled properly.

But it should be enough to get started!

Create a Python isolated environment (optional):

virtualenv -p python3 env/
source env/bin/activate

Then install the package using the default configuration:

pip install --upgrade pip
pip install kinto
kinto init
kinto migrate
kinto start

The server should now be running on http://localhost:8888

From sources

If you plan on contributing, this is the way to go!

This will install every necessary packages to run the tests, build the documentation etc.

Make sure you have the system requirements listed in the Python package section.

git clone
cd kinto/
make serve

During the installation, you will be asked which backend you would like to use:

$ Select the backend you would like to use: (1 - postgresql, 2 - redis, default - memory)

If you don’t know, just push “enter” to choose the default Memory backend. You can always change your backend selection later on.

The server should now be running with the default configuration on http://localhost:8888

In order to specify a particular settings file:

make serve SERVER_CONFIG=config/dev.ini

With make, it is also possible to specify arguments from environment variables:

export SERVER_CONFIG=config/dev.ini

make serve -e

See our dedicated section about contributing!

Kinto Admin

In order to run a local Kinto Admin UI from a cloned repo, the npm command must be available in order to build it with

make build-kinto-admin