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The very quick quickstart#

This quickstart gives you a very quick taste of n8n. Its aim is to allow you to try out the UI, and introduce you to two key features: workflow templates and expressions. It doesn't include detailed explanations or explore concepts.

You will:

  • Install the desktop app
  • Load a workflow from the workflow templates library
  • Add a node and configure it using expressions.
  • Run your first workflow

Step one: Install and run n8n#

n8n is available as a Cloud service, desktop app, npm module, and Docker image. For this quickstart, n8n recommends using the Desktop app.

Linux users

This guide uses the n8n desktop app, which is available for Windows and Mac. If you're on Linux, sign up for a free Cloud trial, or use npm or Docker.

  1. Download for Windows or Download for macOS.
  2. Once the download finishes, extract the files.
  3. Run the installer. It has no configuration steps.
  4. Once installation is complete, n8n Desktop opens automatically in the Workflow templates view. There may be a small lag between installation completing and the app opening.

Step two: Open a workflow template#

n8n provides a quickstart template using training nodes. This allows you to work with fake data, and avoids setting up credentials.

  1. On the Workflow templates view, search for Very quick quickstart.
  2. Select the Very quick quickstart template to preview it.
  3. Select Use this workflow to open the template in your own editor.

This is a basic workflow. It:

  1. Gets example data from the Customer Datastore node.
  2. Uses the Set node to extract just the data you want, and assign that data to variables. In this example, you use the customer name, ID, and description.

Double click a node to explore its settings and how it processes data.

Step three: Run the workflow#

Select Execute workflow to run the workflow to check it's working, and load in data for the next steps.

Step four: Add a node#

Add a third node to message each customer and tell them their description. The Customer Messenger node allows you to send a message to fake recipients.

  1. Select the Add node Add node icon connector on the Set node.
  2. Search for Customer Messenger. n8n shows a list of nodes that match the search.
  3. Select Customer Messenger (n8n training) to add the node to the canvas. n8n opens the node automatically.
  4. You're going to use expressions to map in the Customer ID and create the Message:
    1. Next to Customer ID, select Parameter options Parameter options icon > Add Expression. n8n opens the expressions editor for this field.
    2. Select Current Node > Input Data > JSON > customer_ID. n8n adds the expression to the Expression editor, and displays a sample output.
    3. Close the expressions editor.
    4. Next to Message, select Parameter options Parameter options icon > Add Expression. n8n opens the expressions editor for this field.
    5. Copy this expression into the editor:
      1
      Hi {{$json.customer_name}},  Your description is {{$json.customer_description}}
      
  5. Close the expressions editor, then close the Customer Messenger node by clicking outside the node or selecting Back to canvas.
  6. Select Execute workflow. n8n runs the workflow.

The complete workflow should look like this:

Screenshot of completed quickstart workflow

Next steps#