Official Repository

Last pushed: 21 days ago
Short Description
Open-source Microservice & API Management layer built on top of NGINX.
Full Description

Supported tags and respective Dockerfile links

For more information about this image and its history, please see the relevant manifest file (library/kong). This image is updated via pull requests to the docker-library/official-images GitHub repo.

For detailed information about the virtual/transfer sizes and individual layers of each of the above supported tags, please see the repos/kong/ file in the docker-library/repo-info GitHub repo.

What is Kong?

Kong was built to secure, manage and extend Microservices & APIs. If you're building for web, mobile or IoT (Internet of Things) you will likely end up needing to implement common functionality on top of your actual software. Kong can help by acting as a gateway for any HTTP resource while providing logging, authentication and other functionality through plugins.

Powered by NGINX and Cassandra with a focus on high performance and reliability, Kong runs in production at Mashape where it has handled billions of API requests for over ten thousand APIs.

Kong's documentation can be found at

How to use this image

First, Kong requires a running Cassandra 2.2.x or PostgreSQL 9.4/9.5 cluster before it starts. You can either use the official Cassandra/PostgreSQL containers, or use your own.

1. Link Kong to either a Cassandra or PostgreSQL container

It's up to you to decide which datastore between Cassandra or PostgreSQL you want to use, since Kong supports both.


Start a Cassandra container by executing:

$ docker run -d --name kong-database \
                -p 9042:9042 \


Start a PostgreSQL container by executing:

docker run -d --name kong-database \
                -p 5432:5432 \
                -e "POSTGRES_USER=kong" \
                -e "POSTGRES_DB=kong" \

Start Kong

Once the database is running, we can start a Kong container and link it to the database container, and configuring the KONG_DATABASE environment variable with either cassandra or postgres depending on which database you decided to use:

$ docker run -d --name kong \
    --link kong-database:kong-database \
    -e "KONG_DATABASE=cassandra" \
    -e "KONG_CASSANDRA_CONTACT_POINTS=kong-database" \
    -e "KONG_PG_HOST=kong-database" \
    -p 8000:8000 \
    -p 8443:8443 \
    -p 8001:8001 \
    -p 7946:7946 \
    -p 7946:7946/udp \

If everything went well, and if you created your container with the default ports, Kong should be listening on your host's 8000 ([proxy][]), 8443 (proxy SSL) and 8001 (admin api) ports. Port 7946 (cluster) is being used only by other Kong nodes.

You can now read the docs at to learn more about Kong.

2. Use Kong with a custom configuration (and a custom Cassandra/PostgreSQL cluster)

You can override any property of the Kong configuration file with environment variables. Just prepend any Kong configuration property with the KONG_ prefix, for example:

$ docker run -d --name kong \
    -e "KONG_LOG_LEVEL=info" \
    -e "KONG_CUSTOM_PLUGINS=helloworld" \
    -e "KONG_PG_HOST=" \
    -p 8000:8000 \
    -p 8443:8443 \
    -p 8001:8001 \
    -p 7946:7946 \
    -p 7946:7946/udp \

Reload Kong in a running container

If you change your custom configuration, you can reload Kong (without downtime) by issuing:

$ docker exec -it kong kong reload

This will run the kong reload command in your container.


View license information for the software contained in this image.

Supported Docker versions

This image is officially supported on Docker version 1.13.1.

Support for older versions (down to 1.6) is provided on a best-effort basis.

Please see the Docker installation documentation for details on how to upgrade your Docker daemon.

User Feedback


If you have any problems with or questions about this image, please contact us through a GitHub issue. If the issue is related to a CVE, please check for a cve-tracker issue on the official-images repository first.

You can also reach many of the official image maintainers via the #docker-library IRC channel on Freenode.


You are invited to contribute new features, fixes, or updates, large or small; we are always thrilled to receive pull requests, and do our best to process them as fast as we can.

Before you start to code, we recommend discussing your plans through a GitHub issue, especially for more ambitious contributions. This gives other contributors a chance to point you in the right direction, give you feedback on your design, and help you find out if someone else is working on the same thing.


Documentation for this image is stored in the kong/ directory of the docker-library/docs GitHub repo. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the repository's file before attempting a pull request.

Docker Pull Command

Comments (5)
5 months ago

Yes you are right - I will update the doc with the new ENV variable.

6 months ago


Following the previous comment, the argument "KONG_PG_HOST=kong-database" just applies if you're running PostgreSQL as database.

If you want to run Kong with Cassandra you must add the argument "KONG_CASSANDRA_CONTACT_POINTS=kong-database"


6 months ago


First at all, my knowledge around docker is limited, so maybe my conclusion doesn't make sense.

The step by step to run Kong didn't work for me. I tried with both databases, Cassandra and PostgreSQL. The kong container always exits with code (0) when you run the step to link with the database container.

The docker-compose approach works fine, no problem at all.

I compared the Dockerfile with the Docker-compose.yml and I found the environment variable "KONG_PG_HOST=kong-database" presents in the Docker-compose.yml wasn't in the Dockerfile.

I run the syntax adding -e "KONG_PG_HOST=kong-database" and it worked fine.

I think you should add the attribute -e "KONG_PG_HOST=kong-database" to the syntax for the option 1, or otherwise add to the Dockerfile the line ENV KONG_PG_HOST kong-database


6 months ago

@pablofmorales I can run the Docker fine - have you tried the official Compose distribution at ?

6 months ago

I'm trying to use this image, but it's not working. I tried first using Kubernetes, but seems like the image has some problems.

Also using the image with the docker client is still broken as you can see in this example

⇒  docker-compose up
Starting kong
Attaching to kong
kong exited with code 0
⇒  cat docker-compose.yml
  image: kong:latest
  container_name: kong
    - DATABASE=cassandra
    - "8000:8000"
    - "8443:8443"
    - "8001:8001"
    - "7946:7946"
    - "7946:7946/udp"
    - seccomp:unconfined
    - kong-database:kong-database
⇒  docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND                  CREATED             STATUS              PORTS                                                       NAMES
5be8b6f428d0        cassandra:2.2       "/docker-entrypoint.s"   2 minutes ago       Up 2 minutes        7000-7001/tcp, 7199/tcp, 9160/tcp,>9042/tcp   kong-database