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Quickstart Guide

If you're looking for the fastest way to get up-and-running with Directus, this guide will walk you through getting things installed, configured, and modeled.

1. Installation

Make sure you have the latest LTS version or newer of Node.js installed, and have a running database ready to connect to.

Run the following command in your terminal and follow the prompts.

npm init directus-project example-project

Choose SQLite from the list. Use up/down arrow keys to select the SQL type.

? Choose your database client SQLite

After that a file path for data.db, your database, will be suggested. Hit the enter key to stick with the default path.

? Database File Path: <file-path>/example-project/data.db

Next you'll set your username/email and password.

Create your first admin user:
? Email:
? Password: ********

After that, you're all set!

Your project has been created at <file-path>/example-project.

The configuration can be found in <file-path>/example-project/.env

Once the installation is complete, you can start Directus by navigating to your project folder (in this case example-project) and running:

npx directus start

After that, you will see this message:

✨ Server started at http://localhost:8055

Other Options

When you link other types of SQL to Directus, you may have additional prompts:

  • Database Host – IP address for your database.
  • Port – Port number your database is running on.
  • Database Name – Name of your existing database.
  • Database User – Name of existing user in database.
  • Database Password – Password to enter database.
  • Enable SSL – Select Y for yes or N for no.
  • Root – Provide the root name.

Simply configure these according to your project's needs.

Directus seeds your database

Directus installs a few dozen tables into the database it is linked to. However, this will not alter the pre-existing data tables.

2. Login to App

With the server running, you're now able to login to your new Directus project and start using it.

Our start command stated that the server started at port 8055, which means we can navigate to http://localhost:8055 to open Directus in the browser.

Login using the admin credentials you configured during the installation in Step 1.

3. Create a Collection

Once logged in, you're greeted with the option to create your first Collection:

Directus Empty State

Follow the prompts and create a Collection. For the sake of this demo, we'll be calling ours articles, but feel free to make it your own!

More Info on Collections

To learn more, see our documentation Collections.

4. Create a Field

With the Collection created, it's time to start adding some Fields. Click the "Create Field" button, and select "Input":

We'll be calling our Field title. While Directus offers a range of powerful field customization options, we'll be sticking to the defaults for now. These defaults use the "String" datatype.

More Info on Fields

To learn more, see our documentation on Fields.

5. Create an Item

Now that we have a Collection with a Field configured, it's time to start adding some content. Navigate to the Content Module (top left), and click add in the top-right to get started. This will take you to the Create/Edit Item page:

Directus Create Item

Once you're happy with your creation, click check in the top-right to save your Item to the database.

More Info on Items

To learn more, see our documentation on Items.

6. Set Role/Public Permissions

By default, all content entered into Directus is considered private. This means that no data will be returned by the API, unless requested by an authenticated user that has the correct permissions. In order to have the API return our items, we'll have to setup some permissions. Navigate to Settings Module chevron_right Roles & Permissions.

Directus ships with a special "Public" role that controls what data is returned to non-authenticated users. Select the Public Role, find your Collection, and click the icon under the visibility icon (read/view permission) to allow the Public Role to read the Items in your Collection.

Directus Permissions

More Info on Roles & Permissions

Roles & Permissions are extremely powerful and can get pretty in-depth. To learn all about the nuances in setting these up, see Roles & Permissions.

7. Connect to the API

Now that your project has some content in it, it's time to start using this content externally. Data can be accessed in a number of ways, including the REST API, GraphQL, the CLI, or even straight from the database. In this case, we'll use the /items/ REST API endpoint to retrieve the item we just created.

Use your browser or an API tool like Postman or Paw to open http://localhost:8055/items/articles.

And there it is! The Article Item you just created is being served in beautiful JSON, ready to be used anywhere and everywhere!

	"data": [
			"id": 1,
			"title": "Hello World!"