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Step 1: run docker compose to start the opal server and client

Download and run a working configuration of OPAL server and OPAL client on your machine:

curl -L \
> docker-compose.yml && docker-compose up

You can alternatively clone the OPAL repository and run the example compose file from your local clone:

git clone

cd opal

docker-compose -f docker/docker-compose-example.yml up

The docker-compose.yml we just downloaded - view the file here - is running 3 containers:

  1. A Broadcast Channel Container
  2. An OPAL Server Container
  3. An OPAL Client Container

We provide a detailed review of exactly what is running and why later in this tutorial. You can jump there by clicking this link to gain a deeper understanding, and then come back here, or you can continue with the hands-on tutorial.

OPAL (and also OPA) are now running on your machine. You should be aware of the following ports that are exposed on localhost:

  • OPAL Server - PORT :7002 - the OPAL client (and potentially the CLI) can connect to this port.
  • OPAL Client - PORT :7766 - the OPAL client has its own API, but it's irrelevant to this tutorial.
  • OPA - PORT :8181 - the port of the OPA Agent that is running running in server mode.

OPA is being run by OPAL client in its container as a managed process.