Accessing a Neo4j Graph Database Server from RStudio and Jupyter R Notebooks Using Docker Containers

April 12, 2016
By

(This article was first published on Rstats – OUseful.Info, the blog…, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

In Getting Started With the Neo4j Graph Database – Linking Neo4j and Jupyter SciPy Docker Containers Using Docker Compose I posted a recipe demonstrating how to link a Jupyter notebook container with a neo4j container to provide a quick way to get up an running with neo4j from a Python environment.

It struck me that it should be just as easy to launch an R environment, so here’s a docker-compose.yml file that will do just that:

neo4j:
  image: kbastani/docker-neo4j:latest
  ports:
    - "7474:7474"
    - "1337:1337"
  volumes:
    - /opt/data

rstudio:
  image: rocker/rstudio
  ports:
    - "8787:8787"
  links:
    - neo4j:neo4j
  volumes:
    - ./rstudio:/home/rstudio

jupyterIR:
  image: jupyter/r-notebook
  ports:
    - "8889:8888"
  links:
    - neo4j:neo4j
  volumes:
    - ./notebooks:/home/jovyan/work

If you’re using Kitematic (available via the Docker Toolbox), launch the docker command line interface (Docker CLI), cd into the directory containing the docker-compose.yml file, and run the docker-compose up -d command. This will download the necessary images and fire up the linked containers: one running neo4j, one running RStudio, and one running a Jupyter notebook with an R kernel.

You should then be able to find the URLs/links for RStudio and the notebooks in Kitematic:

Screenshot_12_04_2016_08_59

Once again, Nicole White has some quickstart examples for using R with neo4j, this time using the Rneo4j R package. One thing I noticed with the Jupyter R kernel was that I needed to specify the CRAN mirror when installing the package: install.packages('RNeo4j', repos="http://cran.rstudio.com/")

To connect to the neo4j database, use the domain mapping specified in the Docker Compose file: graph = startGraph("http://neo4j:7474/db/data/")

Here’s an example in RStudio running from the container:

RStudio-neo4j

And the Jupyter notebook:

neo4j_R

Notebooks and RStudio project files are shared into subdirectories of the current directory (from which the docker compose command was run) on host.

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