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Kong in Docker
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Kong in Docker

This is the official Docker image for Kong.

Supported tags and respective Dockerfile links

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 or PostgreSQL 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 DATABASE environment variable with either cassandra or postgres depending on which database you decided to use:

$ docker run -d --name kong \
    -e "DATABASE=cassandra" \
    --link kong-database:kong-database \
    -p 8000:8000 \
    -p 8443:8443 \
    -p 8001:8001 \
    -p 7946:7946 \
    -p 7946:7946/udp \
    --security-opt seccomp:unconfined \

Note: If Docker complains that --security-opt is an invalid option, just remove it and re-execute the command (it was introduced in Docker 1.3).

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)

This container stores the Kong configuration file in a Data Volume. You can store this file on your host (name it kong.yml and place it in a directory) and mount it as a volume by doing so:

$ docker run -d \
    -v /path/to/your/kong/configuration/directory/:/etc/kong/ \
    -p 8000:8000 \
    -p 8443:8443 \
    -p 8001:8001 \
    -p 7946:7946 \
    -p 7946:7946/udp \
    --security-opt seccomp:unconfined \
    --name kong \

When attached this way you can edit your configuration file from your host machine and restart your container. You can also make the container point to a different Cassandra/PostgreSQL instance, so no need to link it to a Cassandra/PostgreSQL container.

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.

User Feedback


If you have any problems with or questions about this image, please contact us through a GitHub issue.


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.

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