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Todo Manager (Node) Example App

Estimated Time: 10 minutes
Dependencies: None

Although you normally need your own cluster to use Kelda, this guide uses a precreated Hosted Kelda cluster so that you can dive right in to the example app.

In this guide we will deploy the Node Todo Manager application and observe Kelda syncing an update to our code.


  1. Install the Kelda CLI

    Run the following command to download and install Kelda.

    curl -fsSL '' | sh
  2. Download the Kelda examples repository

    This repository contains the source code and Kelda config for the Todo Manager.

    git clone
  3. Configure Kelda to work on the Todo Manager project

    The following command creates a file that's required for the kelda commands to work.

    Most users can just use the defaults by hitting [Enter] for each prompt.

    In the root directory of the examples repository, run:

    ./node-todo/ --use-demo-cluster

    If the command succeeded, you should see something like:

    Wrote config to /Users/kevin/.kelda.yaml
    Kelda maintains a public cluster for demos. If you've already setup a Kelda cluster, just omit the --use-demo-cluster flag.

Developing with Kelda

Each service that you want to develop must have a kelda.yaml that describes what files to sync, and what Kelda should do after each sync.

  1. Start development on the Todo service

    Run the following command from the examples repo. It will boot the Todo Manager service and its dependencies, start the code syncing, and start the tunnel to the app's frontend.

    kelda dev ./node-todo/web-server

    Wait for all of the services to become Ready. The first boot may take several minutes while all the services boot.


  2. View the Todo frontend

    Open http://localhost:8080 in your browser and add some new items to your todo list.

    Before todo code change

  3. Modify the service code

    Open ./node-todo/web-server/app/routes.js in your preferred text editor, uncomment the code on line 12, and save the file. Kelda will sync the change into your development environment and restart the Node server.

  4. View the change in your browser

    Reload http://localhost:8080, you will now see each todo prepended with "Kelda:"

    After todo code change


  1. Exit Kelda

    Exit Kelda by entering Ctrl + c into the terminal window where the Kelda CLI is running.

  2. Delete your development namespace

    Run kelda delete to delete your development namespace so that it stops consuming resources in the remote cluster.

Deep Dive into the Kelda Configuration

Let's take a closer look at this project's Kelda configuration files to better understand what Kelda is doing under the hood.

Workspace Configuration

First, take a look at the workspace.yaml file. Every Kelda project requires this Workspace config file. It, along with the Kubernetes YAML files in the same directory, defines the services that will be deployed into Kubernetes.

The Todo app has two services: web-server and mongodb.

Service Purpose
web-server This service deploys a Docker container which runs a Node web server on port 8080. One of the YAML files for the service contains an init container, which waits until the database service is live before deploying the web server.
mongodb This service deploys the MongoDB container that stores the todo items.

In the Kelda CLI window you will see each of these services and their status. web-server becomes Synced when the initial sync finishes and mongodb becomes Ready when the database is ready to accept connections.

The tunnels section of the workspace.yaml file sets up the HTTP tunnel to the cluster. It tunnels port 8080 on localhost to port 8080 in the web-server service. This lets you easily and privately access the app on the cluster.

Please see our guide on writing the Workspace configuration for more information.

Sync Configuration

Another required Kelda file is kelda.yaml. This is the sync configuration for the project. It starts the Node server, performs an initial sync based on the defined rules, then resyncs files as they are changed.

Line(s) Field Purpose
2 version The Kelda config format version.
5 name The name of the service that Kelda is syncing to. It must match a service in the output of kelda dev --no-sync.
8 command The commands that are run after each sync. For the Todo app, the command starts the Node server.
12 initCommand The commands that are run after a sync on any rule with triggerInit set to true.
14-28 sync The local and remote paths of files to sync. The first section syncs package-lock.json and has initCommand set to true. As this file defines dependencies, if it is changed Kelda runs the initCommand which installs those dependencies using npm.

Please see our guide on writing the Sync configuration for more information.