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This is a dockerized production Carto(DB) installation, based on the official Carto Installation Documentation, using the latest dependencies including ogr2ogr2.1.

You should be able to map most of the steps in the Dockerfile with those on the install documentation. The steps below were written with a Digital Ocean droplet (docker pre-installed) in mind.


Production vs Development

This Dockerfile assumes you want to run Carto with SSL, which requires a few configuration steps beyond just building the docker container. The biggest difference from other Dockerfiles is setting the production environment variables, and then adding ssl certificates to the nginx configuration.

This build also makes use of Docker volumes, so that the the data can persist. This should allow for an easier upgrade path when new versions of the core components are release.

How to Build

Get yourself a Droplet

We have had success installing Carto in a Docker container on a Digital Ocean droplet with 8GB of Ram, 80GB Storage and 4 cores, which runs $80/month. You can choose an Ubuntu 16.04 image with Docker preinstalled and save yourself some time. SSH into that bad boy and get ready to Docker.

Edit the sample app_config.yml

You will need a FQDN with an A record pointing to your server's IP address. You need to edit config/app_config.sample.yml, and replace every instance of '' with your domain name and save the file as app_config.yml. The dockerfile will insert this into the new container during the build process.

Build the Container

Go make a sandwich and watch some youtube videos, this will take a while... (About an hour as of the time I wrote this)

git clone
docker build -t="cartodb" docker-cartodb/

Run the Container

This command runs the container with the three main services mapped to the host machine. 3000 for the frontend, 8080 for the Windshaft Map Tiler (Maps API), and 8181 for the SQL API. Use docker run -d -p 3000:3000 -p 8080:8080 -p 8181:8181 cartodb the first time you run it.

If you are replacing an existing container built with this image, add the --volumes from flag like docker run --volumes-from {id of old container} -d -p 3001:3000 -p 8081:8080 -p 8182:8181 cartodb

You can't connect from the outside world until you setup nginx to forward specific URLs to the three ports

Configure Nginx

Install nginx apt-get install nginx and then copy config/cartodb.nginx.proxy.conf from this repo to /etc/nginx/conf.d/.

Use certbot-auto to quickly install SSL certificates for your domain. Take note of where it tells you it stored the new SSL certificates

Edit the file to include your production domain name and the paths to the SSL certificates.

Restart nginx service nginx restart


The Dockerfile will create a user named admin with a default password of pass1234. You should change this when you first login.

To make more users, run the create_user script from inside the running container. docker exec -it {containerid} /bin/bash The script is in /cartodb/script/create_user edit it to set the new username and password, then run it sh create_user

Add more map layers to a User's Account

User accounts will only be allowed to add 4 layers to a map in the editor by default, you can change this by using the rails console. First get to the command line in your container: docker exec -it {containerid} /bin/bash

cd cartodb
bundle exec rails c
u = User.find(username:'username')
u.max_layers = 15

Revert to old Editor

We are using this carto server strictly as a tile/data service, so the builder is not needed, but is enabled by default. To disable it, you must run SQL update users set builder_enabled = false where username = 'myusername'; To run this sql, run a command prompt in the running container docker exec -it {containerid} /bin/bash Once you are in, switch to postgres user su postgres and use psql to connect psql -d carto_db_production

Enable Private Maps

UPDATE users SET private_maps_enabled = 't';

To enable GZIP

This can also be done in nginx, you just need to enable gzip and add the mime types that carto uses.

To use carto-served vector tiles

This is unrelated to carto in Docker, but It's exciting so I thought I would share it. See this gist


First and foremost, thank you to the Carto team for such a great product that is also open source! This Dockerfile was inspired by and largely based on Stefan Verhoeven's image. I could not get it working and descided to start over using the official installation docs. All of the configs are borrowed directly from his.

Pull requests and issues welcomed!

If this doesn't work for you, please open an issue and let's figure out why.


Dockerization for CartoDB






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