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Last pushed: 2 years ago
Short Description
PostgreSQL v9.3.5 container image with contribs & postgis which can be linked to other containers.
Full Description

Docker PostgreSQL

Dockerfile to build a PostgreSQL v9.3.5 container image with contribs and postgis which can be linked to other containers.

Table of Contents


The current release (v9.3.5) contains scripts to install PostgreSQL v9.3.5, and uses the Brightcommerce Ubuntu 14.04 base image. Our version numbers will reflect the version of PostgreSQL being installed.


Pull the latest version of the image from the Docker Index. This is the recommended method of installation as it is easier to update the image in the future. These builds are performed by the Docker Trusted Build service.

docker pull brightcommerce/postgresql:latest

or specify a tagged version:

docker pull brightcommerce/postgresql:9.3.5

Alternately you can build the image yourself:

git clone
cd docker-postgresql
docker build -t="$USER/postgresql" .

How To Use

Run the PostgreSQL image:

docker run --name postgresql -d brightcommerce/postgresql:latest

By default remote logins are permitted to the PostgreSQL server and a random password is assigned for the postgres user. The password set for the postgres user can be retrieved from the container logs.

docker logs postgresql

In the output you will notice the following lines with the password:

| PostgreSQL User: postgres, Password: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx              |
|                                                                  |
| To remove the PostgreSQL login credentials from the logs, please |
| make a note of password and then delete the file pwfile          |
| from the data store.                                             |

Assuming you have psql installed on the host, you can test if the PostgreSQL server is working properly by connecting to the server:

psql -U postgres -h $(docker inspect --format {{.NetworkSettings.IPAddress}} postgresql)

If you don't have psql installed on the host you will need to shell into the container and perform the psql tests there. Since we are running CoreOS at DigitalOcean, we have a readonly filesystem. This means we can't install tools the traditional way.

See Shell Access for instructions on how to install nsenter and docker-enter on a host. Once this is installed you can use docker-enter to shell into the container and play with psql.

docker inspect --format {{.NetworkSettings.IPAddress}} postgresql
sudo docker-enter postgresql
root@965a5c5d2e55:~# psql -U postgres -h
Password for user postgres: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
psql (9.3.5)
Type "help" for help.

postgres=# \list
                             List of databases
   Name    |  Owner   | Encoding | Collate | Ctype |   Access privileges
 postgres  | postgres | UTF8     | C       | C     |
 template0 | postgres | UTF8     | C       | C     | =c/postgres          +
           |          |          |         |       | postgres=CTc/postgres
 template1 | postgres | UTF8     | C       | C     | =c/postgres          +
           |          |          |         |       | postgres=CTc/postgres
(3 rows)

postgres=# \q
root@965a5c5d2e55:~# logout



This installation exposes port 5432.

Data Store

For data persistence a volume should be mounted at /var/lib/postgresql.

SELinux users are also required to change the security context of the mount point so that it plays nicely with SELinux.

mkdir -p /opt/postgresql/data
sudo chcon -Rt svirt_sandbox_file_t /opt/postgresql/data

The updated run command looks like this:

docker run --name postgresql -d -v /opt/postgresql/data:/var/lib/postgresql brightcommerce/postgresql:latest

This will make sure that the data stored in the database is not lost when the image is stopped and restarted.

Securing The Server

By default a randomly generated password is assigned for the postgres user. The password is stored in a file named pwpass in the data store and is printed in the logs.

If you don't want this password to be displayed in the logs, then please note down the password listed in /opt/postgresql/data/pwpass and then delete the file.

cat /opt/postgresql/data/pwfile
rm /opt/postgresql/data/pwfile

Alternately, you can change the password of the postgres user:

psql -U postgres -h $(docker inspect --format {{.NetworkSettings.IPAddress}} postgresql) password postgres

Shell Access

For debugging and maintenance purposes you may want access the container shell. Since the container does not allow interactive login over the SSH protocol, you can use the nsenter linux tool (part of the util-linux package) to access the container shell.

Some linux distros (e.g. ubuntu) use older versions of the util-linux which do not include the nsenter tool. To get around this @jpetazzo has created a nice docker image that allows you to install the nsenter utility and a helper script named docker-enter on these distros.

To install the nsenter tool on your host execute the following command:

docker run --rm -v /usr/local/bin:/target jpetazzo/nsenter

If you are running CoreOS on the host and have difficulties using the above command because of the readonly filesystem, execute the following instructions in the core users' home directory:

mkdir -p tools/bin
docker run --rm jpetazzo/nsenter cat /nsenter > tools/bin/nsenter
curl -L > tools/bin/docker-enter
chmod +x tools/bin/*

Then add the toolset binaries to the system path:

mv .bashrc .bashrc-original
sudo curl -L > ~/.bashrc
sudo ln -s /root/.bashrc /root/.bash_profile
source ~/.bashrc

Now you can access the container shell using the docker-enter command:

sudo docker-enter postgresql

For more information refer

Another tool named nsinit can also be used for the same purpose. Please refer for more information.


To upgrade to newer releases, simply follow this 3 step upgrade procedure.

  • Step 1: Stop the currently running image:
docker stop postgresql
  • Step 2: Update the docker image:
docker pull brightcommerce/postgresql:latest
  • Step 3: Start the image:
docker run --name postgresql -d [OPTIONS] brightcommerce/postgresql:latest


This repository was based on the work of docker-postgresql by Sameer Naik. Updated to install PostgreSQL v9.3.5 with contribs and postgis.

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