Tutorial: How To Install the Neo4j Desktop

Neo4j provides a free version of the Neo4j database you can run on your laptop.  This is the enterprise edition version of Neo4j so it supports all the database constraints as opposed to the community edition which does not.  The Neo4j desktop also provides the Neo4j Browser which is a query editing and execution application.

Although you can use NodeEra without being connected to a Neo4j database, it is primarily intended to function while connected so the first step to using NodeEra is to install Neo4j, create a graph database, and load some data.  This document describes how to do just that using the Neo4j Desktop database.


Step 1. Go To the Neo4j website - www.neo4j.com

Figure 1: Download Neo4j


Step 2. Click on the “Download Neo4j” button in the upper right hand corner (see above).


Step 3. Click the “DOWNLOAD” button (see above).


Step 4. Fill in the registration form.  Then click on the “Download Desktop” button.  Yes, that’s the third time you clicked download.  By now you really want this.


Download and run the Installer.  This will install Neo4j on your laptop.  Neo4j should start automatically after it installs.  If it doesn’t, you should have a desktop icon you can use to start it.  It takes awhile to start so be patient.

Step 5. After the Neo4j Desktop starts you will see something like above.  Click on the Add Graph button. This will change into two buttons (see below).

Step 6. Click on the “Create a Local Graph” button.  This will create a new graph database that you can play with.  You can create as many different graph databases as you want, but you can only be connected to one of them at a time in the Neo4j Desktop.

Step 7. Enter a password for your graph database.  Don’t forget the password as you will need it when you create a connection in NodeEra.  The userid is Neo4j which is the default administrative user (you don’t enter this).

Step 8. The new graph database is now created but it needs to be started.  Click the “Start” button.  The Neo4j database server will connect to the database you just created and make it available for use.  At this point the database has no data in it.


Step 9. Your database is now Active.  Click on the Manage button to get more options.

Figure 9: Ports

Step 10. Note the IP address (localhost) and the port numbers at the bottom of the screenshot.  You will need this information when you create a connection in NodeEra.  These are the standard ports that Neo4j uses and work fine for our localhost server.  Production servers will almost always have a different IP address or host name and different ports.

Step 11. Click the “Open Browser” at the top of the screenshot.  This will launch the Neo4j Browser which is the query tool that comes with Neo4j.


Step 12.  Enter the following at the top of the screen in the Neo4j Browser  :play movie-graph (see above).  The click the play button at the right.  This will execute a script called “movie-graph”.

Step 13.  The movie-graph script will display this intro screen.  Click the Next button (see above).

Step 14.  The movie-graph script displays a large Cypher statement on the screen.  This is a set of CREATE statements that will load nodes and relationships into the graph database.  Click on the code in the window and it will be automatically placed in the query line ready to be executed.



Step 15.  The Cypher CREATE statements should appear in the query window at the top of the screen.  Click the Play button to run the CREATE statements.

Step 16.  The Cypher statements will load the sample movie-actor data and then run a query that displays a portion of the data.  Now we have a running Neo4j database with sample data.


See the tutorial on “How To Create A Connection” in NodeEra so you can start using NodeEra against your newly created movie database.


Here’s a link if you want to learn more about the Cypher language.



Here are some of the sample queries from the Neo4j website that work with the movie graph database. You can copy these into the Cypher editor in NodeEra and run them.


Find the Person Named “Tom Hanks”…​

MATCH (tom:Person)

WHERE tom.name = "Tom Hanks"


Find the Movie Titled “Cloud Atlas”…​

MATCH (cloudAtlas:Movie {title: "Cloud Atlas"})

RETURN cloudAtlas

Find 10 People…​

MATCH (people:Person)

RETURN people.name LIMIT 10

Find Movies Released in the 1990s…​

MATCH (nineties:Movie)

WHERE nineties.released > 1990 AND nineties.released < 2000

RETURN nineties.title


List All Tom Hanks Movies…​

MATCH (tom:Person {name: "Tom Hanks"})-[:ACTED_IN]->(tomHanksMovies)

RETURN tom,tomHanksMovies

Who Directed “Cloud Atlas”?

MATCH (cloudAtlas:Movie {title: "Cloud Atlas"})<-[:DIRECTED]-(directors)

RETURN directors.name

Tom Hanks’ Co-Actors…​

MATCH (tom:Person {name:"Tom Hanks"})-[:ACTED_IN]->(m)<-[:ACTED_IN]-(coActors)

RETURN tom, m, coActors

How People are Related to “Cloud Atlas”…​

MATCH (people:Person)-[relatedTo]-(:Movie {title: "Cloud Atlas"})

RETURN people.name, Type(relatedTo), relatedTo


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