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Getting started with Napkin

Napkin is a command-line application that executes data pipelines of all sizes, backed by a feature-rich Haskell library offering programmatic freedom. It’s lightweight, offers a quick start for new projects, and yet scales to massive data pipelines with powerful meta-programming possibilities.

This page is an overview of the Napkin documentation and related resources.


Napkin can be installed on Linux and macOS systems in a number of ways:

  • Pre-build binary for Linux and macOS operating systems. This is the fastest and easiest way of getting Napkin. Just download and unpack – and you are good to go.
  • Homebrew on macOS.
  • Docker image with Napkin and various useful utilities. Installation with this method is easy too – pull the image and extract a wrapper script out of it.
  • Cachix distribution for NixOS. If you use NixOS, you are probably familiar with Cachix tool. Getting Napkin with Cachix is a one-line command.
  • VSCode devcontainer actually uses the same docker image under the hood as Docker installation method but enables code completion and other useful IDE features out-of-the-box. This is the preferred way of installing Napkin.

Windows users can use Napkin with Docker and Devcontainer.

Setup your IDE

Visual Studio Code is the recommended IDE to develop data processing pipelines with Napkin. Please follow our friendly guide to set up for the best experience.

Create a first data pipeline

Our Fundamentals tutorial will guide you through creating the first data pipeline. We will start our pipeline with a few simple SQL queries, then add demonstrate how Napkin can be used not only to orchestrate pipeline execution but also to automatically test output data.

Further reading