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All the ways to run a Temporal Cluster

There are many ways to run a Temporal Cluster on your own. However, the right way for you depends entirely on your use case and where you plan to run it. This article aims to maintain a comprehensive list of all the ways we know of.

Temporal CLI

Temporal CLI is a tool for interacting with Temporal from the command line and a distribution of Temporal server and web UI that runs as a single process with zero runtime dependencies. It supports persistence to disk and in-memory mode through SQLite.

Install the Temporal CLI

Choose one of the following install methods to install the Temporal CLI.

  • Install the Temporal CLI with Homebrew.

    brew install temporal
  • Install the Temporal CLI with cURL.

    curl -sSf | sh
  • Install the Temporal CLI from CDN.

    1. Select the platform and architecture needed.
    2. Extract the downloaded archive.
    3. Add the temporal binary to your PATH.

Start the Temporal Development Server

Start the Temporal Development Server by using the server start-dev command.

temporal server start-dev

This command automatically starts the Web UI, creates the default Namespace, and uses an in-memory database.

The Temporal Server should be available on localhost:7233 and the Temporal Web UI should be accessible at http://localhost:8233.

The server's startup configuration can be customized using command line options. For a full list of options, run:

temporal server start-dev --help

Docker & Docker Compose

You can easily run a Temporal Cluster in Docker containers using Docker Compose.

If you have Docker and Docker Compose installed, all you need to do is clone the temporalio/docker-compose repo and run the docker compose up command from its root.

The temporalio/docker-compose repo comes loaded with a variety of configuration templates that enable you to try all three databases that the Temporal Platform supports (PostgreSQL, MySQL, Cassandra). It also enables you to try Advanced Visibility using Search Attributes, emit metrics, and even play with the Archival feature. The Docker images in this repo are produced using the Temporal Server script. This script defaults to creating images that run all the Temporal Server services in a single process. You can use this script as a starting point for producing your own images.

Running your Cluster in Docker is convenient and enables you to play with features. However, on your local machine, it usually does not offer the same performance as Temporalite in terms of Workflow Executions per second. Granted, you would notice this limitation only if you run hundreds of Workflows concurrently.

The following commands start and run a Temporal Cluster in Docker using the default configuration (docker-compose.yml):

git clone
cd docker-compose
docker compose up

Local Temporal Clients and Workers can connect to the Cluster running in Docker at (default connection for most SDKs) and the Temporal Web UI at

To try other configurations (different dependencies and databases), or to try a custom Docker image, follow the temporalio/docker-compose README.

Import the Server package

The Temporal Server is a standalone Go application that can be imported into another project.

The main reason you might want to do this is to pass in custom plugins or any other customizations through the Server Options. Then you can build and run a binary that contains your customizations.

Doing this requires Go v1.18+.

Temporal Server as a binary

You can run the Temporal Server as a single Go binary, or you can run each service within the Server separately. For example, if you are using Kubernetes, you could have one service per pod, so they can be scaled independently in future.

In Docker, you could run each service in its own container, using the SERVICES flag to specify the service:

docker run
# persistence/schema setup flags omitted
-e SERVICES=history \ -- Spin up one or more: history, matching, worker, frontend
-e LOG_LEVEL=debug,info \ -- Logging level
-e DYNAMIC_CONFIG_FILE_PATH=config/foo.yaml -- Dynamic config file to be watched

For more details, see the Docker source file.

Each Temporal Server release also ships a Server with Auto Setup Docker image that includes an script we recommend using for initial schema setup of each supported database. You should familiarize yourself with what auto-setup does, because you will likely replace every part of the script to customize it for your own infrastructure and tooling choices.


You can run a Temporal Cluster, run Worker processes, and develop Temporal Applications in your browser using Gitpod.

One-click deployments are available for the temporalio/samples-go repo and the temporalio/samples-typescript repo. This approach runs a Cluster using a Temporal Server Docker image, starts a Worker Process, and starts one of the application's sample Workflows.

A one-click deployment can take up to a full minute to get fully up and running. When it is running, you can customize the application samples. This approach does not offer features such as Advanced Visibility or Archival.

This approach is often used for ephemeral purposes, such as learning and demos.

Helm charts

Temporal Helm charts enables you to get a Cluster running on Kubernetes by deploying the Temporal Server services to individual pods and connecting them to your existing database and Elasticsearch instances.

The template in the temporalio/helm-charts repo is your starting point, but you can and adjust it to fit your infrastructure needs.

Keep in mind that the configuration can become very complex if you try to scale services or run many Workflows concurrently.


Our temporalio/docker-compose experience has been translated to Render's Blueprint format for an alternative cloud connection. temporal-render-simple translates our Docker Compose to Render by using the Auto-Setup Docker image.

The benefit to this approach is a one-click deployment.

This approach is often used for ephemeral purposes, such as learning and demos.