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PostgreSQL-based distributed RDBMS
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Citus is a PostgreSQL-based distributed RDBMS. For more information, see the Citus Data website.


This image provides a single running Citus instance (atop PostgreSQL 9.6), using standard configuration values. It is based on the official PostgreSQL image, so be sure to consult that image’s documentation for advanced configuration options (including non-default settings for e.g. PGDATA or POSTGRES_USER).

Just like the standard PostgreSQL image, this image exposes port 5432. In other words, all containers on the same Docker network should be able to connect on this port, and exposing it externally will permit connections from external clients (psql, adapters, applications).


Since Citus is intended for use within a cluster, there are many ways to deploy it. This repository provides configuration to permit two kinds of deployment: local (standalone) or local (with workers).

Standalone Use

If you just want to run a single Citus instance, it’s pretty easy to get started:

docker run --name citus_standalone -p 5432:5432 citusdata/citus

You should now be able to connect to on port 5432 using e.g. psql to run a few commands (see the Citus documentation for more information).

As with the PostgreSQL image, the default PGDATA directory will be mounted as a volume, so it will persist between restarts of the container. But while the above will get you a running Citus instance, it won’t have any workers to exercise distributed query planning. For that, you may wish to try the included docker-compose.yml configuration.

Nightly Image

In addition to the latest (release) tag and the major-, minor-, and patch-specific tags, the Dockerfile in the nightly directory builds a tagged image with the latest Citus nightly (from the Citus master branch).

Docker Compose

The included docker-compose.yml file provides an easy way to get started with a Citus cluster, complete with multiple workers. Just copy it to your current directory and run:

docker-compose -p citus up

# Creating network "citus_default" with the default driver
# Creating citus_worker_1
# Creating citus_master
# Creating citus_config
# Attaching to citus_worker_1, citus_master, citus_config
# worker_1    | The files belonging to this database system will be owned by user "postgres".
# worker_1    | This user must also own the server process.
# ...

That’s it! As with the standalone mode, you’ll want to find your docker-machine ip if you’re using that technology, otherwise, just connect locally to 5432. By default, you’ll only have one worker:

SELECT master_get_active_worker_nodes();

--  master_get_active_worker_nodes
-- --------------------------------
--  (citus_worker_1,5432)
-- (1 row)

But you can add more workers at will using docker-compose scale in another tab. For instance, to bring your worker count to five…

docker-compose -p citus scale worker=5

# Creating and starting 2 ... done
# Creating and starting 3 ... done
# Creating and starting 4 ... done
# Creating and starting 5 ... done
SELECT master_get_active_worker_nodes();

--  master_get_active_worker_nodes
-- --------------------------------
--  (citus_worker_5,5432)
--  (citus_worker_1,5432)
--  (citus_worker_3,5432)
--  (citus_worker_2,5432)
--  (citus_worker_4,5432)
-- (5 rows)

If you inspect the configuration file, you’ll find that there is a container that is neither a master nor worker node: citus_config. It simply listens for new containers tagged with the worker role, then adds them to the config file in a volume shared with the master node. If new nodes have appeared, it calls master_initialize_node_metadata against the master to repopulate the node table. See Citus’ workerlist-gen repo for more details.

You can stop your cluster with docker-compose -p citus down.


The following license information (and associated LICENSE file) apply only to the files within this repository. Please consult Citus’s own repository for information regarding its licensing.

Copyright © 2016–2017 Citus Data, Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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