macOS installation

Before you install Neo4j on macOS, check System Requirements to see if your setup is suitable.

Unix console application

  1. If it is not already installed, get OpenJDK 17 or ZuluJDK 17. From version 5.14 onwards, Neo4j also supports JDK 21.

  2. Download the latest release from Neo4j Deployment Center.

    Select the appropriate tar.gz distribution for your platform.

  3. Make sure to download Neo4j from Neo4j Deployment Center and always check that the SHA hash of the downloaded file is correct:

    1. To find the correct SHA hash, go to Neo4j Deployment Center and click on SHA-256 which will be located below your downloaded file.

    2. Using the appropriate commands for your platform, display the SHA-256 hash for the file that you downloaded.

    3. Ensure that the two are identical.

  4. Extract the contents of the archive, using tar -xf <filename>. For example, tar -xf neo4j-community-5.20.0-unix.tar.gz.

  5. Place the extracted files in a permanent home on your server and set the environment variable NEO4J_HOME to point to the extracted directory, for example, export NEO4J_HOME=/path/to/_<NEO4J_HOME> to make it easier to refer to it later.

  6. From Neo4j 5.4 onwards, you are required to accept either the commercial or the evaluation license agreement before running the Neo4j Enterprise Edition. If you are using Community Edition, you can skip this step.

    • Use one of the following options to accept the commercial license agreement. See the Neo4j licensing page for details on the available agreements.

      • Set the environment variable NEO4J_ACCEPT_LICENSE_AGREEMENT=yes.

      • Run $NEO4J_HOME/bin/neo4j-admin server license --accept-commercial

    • Use one of the following options to accept the Neo4j Evaluation Agreement for Neo4j Software:

      • Set the environment variable NEO4J_ACCEPT_LICENSE_AGREEMENT=eval.

      • Run $NEO4J_HOME/bin/neo4j-admin server license --accept-evaluation.

  7. (Optional) Decouple the data and configuration directories from the binary files by setting the environment variable NEO4J_CONF and to point to the desired locations. Storing your data and configuration on a separate disk or partition can simplify the upgrade process later.

  8. Start Neo4j:

    • To run Neo4j as a console application, use: $NEO4J_HOME/bin/neo4j console.

    • To run Neo4j in a background process, use: $NEO4J_HOME/bin/neo4j start.

  9. Open http://localhost:7474 in your web browser.

  10. Connect using the username neo4j with the default password neo4j. You will then be prompted to change the password.

  11. Stop the server by typing Ctrl-C in the console.

When Neo4j runs in console mode, logs are printed to the terminal.

macOS service

Use the standard macOS system tools to create a service based on the neo4j command.

macOS file descriptor limits

The limit of open file descriptors may have to be increased if a database has many indexes or if there are many connections to the database. The currently configured open file descriptor limitation on your macOS system can be inspected with the launchctl limit maxfiles command. The method for changing the limit may differ depending on the version of macOS. Consult the documentation for your operating system in order to find out the appropriate command.

If you raise the limit above 10240, then you must also add the following setting to your neo4j.conf file:


Without this setting, the file descriptor limit for the JVM will not be increased beyond 10240. Note, however, that this only applies to macOS. On all other operating systems, you should always leave the MaxFDLimit JVM setting enabled.

Uninstall Neo4j

Here are the steps to uninstall Neo4j on macOS:

  1. (Optional) Create a backup to avoid losing your data.

  2. Stop all Neo4j running services:

    sudo systemctl stop neo4j
    sudo systemctl disable neo4j
  3. Delete NEO4J_HOME and the file /lib/systemd/system/neo4j.service:

    rm /lib/systemd/system/neo4j.service
    rm -rf NEO4J_HOME