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exo yolo

During development, especially at the beginning, you want a low ceremony experience while developing your model. The yolo mode is a shortcut to get you started quickly. As long as you have either Postgres or Docker installed, in this mode, Exograph will create a temporary database with the proper schema, create a JWT secret, and start the server. As you change the model, it will automatically apply the migrations and restart the server.

In this mode, Exograph will delete any database created in the yolo mode when you stop the server. Once you have a reasonably stable model, you should switch to the dev mode to have more control over the database and retain data between restarts.


You invoke the yolo mode using the yolo command in your Exograph project's directory.

exo yolo

By default, it will start the server on port 9876. You can change this by passing the --port (or the shorter -p) option.

exo yolo --port 8888

It will then print the information necessary to connect to the server.

Launching PostgreSQL locally...
Watching the src directory for changes...
Starting with a temporary database (will be wiped out when the server exits)...
Postgres URL: postgres://exo@%2Fvar%2Ffolders%2F8g%2Fttrcklpj7879w6fbk26dgrbh0000gn%2FT%2F.tmpcYt5yp/yolo
Generated JWT secret: c1d22ndtjjxlxni
Applying migrations...
Started server on localhost:9876 in 6.14 ms
- Playground hosted at:
- Endpoint hosted at:

Authentication Options

By default, the yolo mode will use symmetric authentication with an auto-generated secret. However, you may use your secret or an external OpenID provider for authentication.

Overriding Auto-generated Secret

You may specify the EXO_JWT_SECRET environment variable to override an auto-generated one. This helps during debugging to keep the secret stable across multiple invocations of exo yolo.

EXO_JWT_SECRET=secret exo yolo

The output will indicate that your secret is in effect.

JWT secret: Using the EXO_JWT_SECRET env value

You may use the JWT secret to create a JWT token for testing authentication. The easiest way to do so is through Exograph's playground. For more details, please see symmetric authentication in playground.

OpenID Connect

To use OpenID Connect for authentication, specify the OpenID Connect server's URL using the EXO_OIDC_URL environment variable.

EXO_OIDC_URL=https://<your-authentication-provider-url> exo yolo

The output will indicate that you are using OpenID Connect.

OIDC URL: Using the EXO_OIDC_URL env value

For more details, please see OpenID Connect.