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How to use this image

start a postgres instance

docker run --name some-postgres -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=mysecretpassword -d postgres
This image includes EXPOSE 5432 (the postgres port), so standard container linking will make it automatically available to the linked containers. The default postgres user and database are created in the entrypoint with initdb.

The postgres database is a default database meant for use by users, utilities and third party applications.
connect to it from an application

docker run --name some-app --link some-postgres:postgres -d application-that-uses-postgres
… or via psql

docker run -it --link some-postgres:postgres --rm postgres sh -c 'exec psql -h "$POSTGRES_PORT_5432_TCP_ADDR" -p "$POSTGRES_PORT_5432_TCP_PORT" -U postgres'
Environment Variables

The PostgreSQL image uses several environment variables which are easy to miss. While none of the variables are required, they may significantly aid you in using the image.


This environment variable is recommend for you to use the PostgreSQL image. This environment variable sets the superuser password for PostgreSQL. The default superuser is defined by the POSTGRES_USER environment variable. In the above example, it is being set to “mysecretpassword”.


This optional environment variable is used in conjunction with POSTGRES_PASSWORD to set a user and its password. This variable will create the specified user with superuser power and a database with the same name. If it is not specified, then the default user of postgres will be used.

How to extend this image

If you would like to do additional initialization in an image derived from this one, add a .sh script under /docker-entrypoint-initdb.d (creating the directory if necessary). After the entrypoint calls initdb to create the default postgres user and database, it will source any .sh script found in that directory to do further initialization before starting the service. If you need to execute SQL commands as part of your initialization, the use of Postgres'' single user mode is highly recommended.


If there is no database when postgres starts in a container, then postgres will create the default database for you. While this is the expected behavior of postgres, this means that it will not accept incoming connections during that time. This may cause issues when using automation tools, such as fig, that start several containers simultaneously.

Supported Docker versions

This image is officially supported on Docker version 1.5.0.

Support for older versions (down to 1.0) is provided on a best-effort basis.

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