Docker tooling for NetBox.
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Latest commit 63062a2 Oct 16, 2018


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This repository houses the components needed to build NetBox as a Docker container. Images built using this code are released to Docker Hub every night.

Questions? Before opening an issue on Github, please join the Network To Code and ask for help in our #netbox-docker channel.


To get NetBox up and running:

$ git clone -b master
$ cd netbox-docker
$ docker-compose pull
$ docker-compose up -d

The application will be available after a few minutes. Use docker-compose port nginx 8080 to find out where to connect to.

$ echo "http://$(docker-compose port nginx 8080)/"

# Open netbox in your default browser on macOS:
$ open "http://$(docker-compose port nginx 8080)/"

# Open netbox in your default browser on (most) linuxes:
$ xdg-open "http://$(docker-compose port nginx 8080)/" &>/dev/null &

Alternatively, use something like Reception to connect to docker-compose projects.

Default credentials:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: admin
  • API Token: 0123456789abcdef0123456789abcdef01234567


This project relies only on Docker and docker-compose meeting this requirements:

  • The Docker version must be at least 1.13.0.
  • The docker-compose version must be at least 1.10.0.

To ensure this, compare the output of docker --version and docker-compose --version with the requirements above.


You can configure the app using environment variables. These are defined in netbox.env. Read Environment Variables in Compose to understand about the various possibilities to overwrite these variables. (The easiest solution being simply adjusting that file.)

To find all possible variables, have a look at the and files. Generally, the environment variables are called the same as their respective NetBox configuration variables. Variables which are arrays are usually composed by putting all the values into the same environment variables with the values separated by a whitespace (""). For example defining ALLOWED_HOSTS=localhost ::1 would allows access to NetBox through http://localhost:8080, http://[::1]:8080 and


The default settings are optimized for (local) development environments. You should therefore adjust the configuration for production setups, at least the following variables:

  • ALLOWED_HOSTS: Add all URLs that lead to your NetBox instance, space separated. E.g. 2a02:123::42 localhost ::1 (It's good advice to always allow localhost connections for easy debugging, i.e. localhost ::1
  • DB_*: Use your own persistent database. Don't use the default passwords!
  • EMAIL_*: Use your own mailserver.
  • MAX_PAGE_SIZE: Use the recommended default of 1000.
  • SUPERUSER_*: Only define those variables during the initial setup, and drop them once the DB is set up. Don't use the default passwords!
  • REDIS_*: Use your own persistent redis. Don't use the default passwords!

Running on Docker Swarm / Kubernetes / OpenShift

You may run this image in a cluster such as Docker Swarm, Kubernetes or OpenShift, but this is advanced level.

In this case, we encourage you to statically configure NetBox by starting from NetBox's example config file, and mounting it into your container in the directory /etc/netbox/config/ using the mechanism provided by your container platform (i.e. Docker Swarm configs, Kubernetes ConfigMap, OpenShift ConfigMaps).

But if you rather continue to configure your application through environment variables, you may continue to use the built-in configuration file. We discourage storing secrets in environment variables, as environment variable are passed on to all sub-processes and may leak easily into other systems, e.g. error collecting tools that often collect all environment variables whenever an error occurs.

Therefore we strongly advise to make use of the secrets mechanism provided by your container platform (i.e. Docker Swarm secrets, Kubernetes secrets, OpenShift secrets). The configuration file and the entrypoint script try to load the following secrets from the respective files. If a secret is defined by an environment variable and in the respective file at the same time, then the value from the environment variable is used.

  • SUPERUSER_PASSWORD: /run/secrets/superuser_password
  • SUPERUSER_API_TOKEN: /run/secrets/superuser_api_token
  • DB_PASSWORD: /run/secrets/db_password
  • SECRET_KEY: /run/secrets/secret_key
  • EMAIL_PASSWORD: /run/secrets/email_password
  • NAPALM_PASSWORD: /run/secrets/napalm_password
  • REDIS_PASSWORD: /run/secrets/redis_password

Please also consider the advice about running NetBox in production above!

NAPALM Configuration

Since v2.1.0 NAPALM has been tightly integrated into NetBox. NAPALM allows NetBox to fetch live data from devices and return it to a requester via its REST API. To learn more about what NAPALM is and how it works, please see the documentation from the libary itself or the documentation from NetBox on how it is integrated.

To enable this functionality, simply complete the following lines in netbox.env (or appropriate secrets mechanism) :

  • NAPALM_USERNAME: A common username that can be utilized for connecting to network devices in your environment.
  • NAPALM_PASSWORD: The password to use in combintation with the username to connect to network devices.
  • NAPALM_TIMEOUT: A value to use for when an attempt to connect to a device will timeout if no response has been recieved.

However, if you don't need this functionality, leave these blank.

Custom Initialization Code (e.g. Automatically Setting Up Custom Fields)

When using docker-compose, all the python scripts present in /opt/netbox/startup_scripts will automatically be executed after the application boots in the context of ./

That mechanism can be used for many things, e.g. to create NetBox custom fields:

# docker/startup_scripts/
from django.contrib.contenttypes.models import ContentType
from extras.models import CF_TYPE_TEXT, CustomField

from dcim.models import Device
from dcim.models import DeviceType

device      = ContentType.objects.get_for_model(Device)
device_type = ContentType.objects.get_for_model(DeviceType)

my_custom_field, created = CustomField.objects.get_or_create(
    description='My own custom field'

if created:


Initializers are built-in startup scripts for defining NetBox custom fields, groups and users. All you need to do is to mount you own initializers folder (see docker-compose.yml). Look at the initializers folder to learn how the files must look like.

Here's an example for defining a custom field:

# initializers/custom_fields.yml
  type: text
  label: Custom Text
  description: Enter text in a text field.
  required: false
  filter_logic: loose
  weight: 0
  - dcim.models.Device
  - dcim.models.Rack
  - ipam.models.IPAddress
  - ipam.models.Prefix
  - tenancy.models.Tenant
  - virtualization.models.VirtualMachine
Available Groups for User/Group initializers

To get an up-to-date list about all the available permissions, run the following command.

# Make sure the 'netbox' container is already running! If unsure, run `docker-compose up -d`
echo "from django.contrib.auth.models import Permission\nfor p in Permission.objects.all():\n  print(p.codename);" | docker-compose exec -T netbox ./ shell

Custom Docker Image

You can also build your own NetBox Docker image containing your own startup scripts, custom fields, users and groups like this:

FROM ninech/netbox:$VERSION

COPY startup_scripts/ /opt/netbox/startup_scripts/
COPY initializers/ /opt/netbox/initializers/

Netbox Version

The docker-compose.yml file is prepared to run a specific version of NetBox. To use this feature, set the environment-variable VERSION before launching docker-compose, as shown below. VERSION may be set to the name of any tag of the ninech/netbox Docker image on Docker Hub.

$ export VERSION=v2.2.6
$ docker-compose pull netbox
$ docker-compose up -d

You can also build a specific version of the NetBox image. This time, VERSION indicates any valid Git Reference declared on the 'digitalocean/netbox' Github repository. Most commonly you will specify a tag or branch name.

$ export VERSION=develop
$ docker-compose build --no-cache netbox
$ docker-compose up -d

Hint: If you're building a specific version by tag name, the --no-cache argument is not strictly necessary. This can increase the build speed if you're just adjusting the config, for example.

LDAP enabled variant

The images tagged with "-ldap" contain anything necessary to authenticate against an LDAP or Active Directory server. The default configuration is prepared for use with an Active Directory server. Custom values can be injected using environment variables, similar to the main configuration mechanisms.


This section is a collection of some common issues and how to resolve them. If your issue is not here, look through the existing issues and eventually create a new issue.

Docker Compose basics

  • You can see all running containers belonging to this project using docker-compose ps.
  • You can see the logs by running docker-compose logs -f. Running docker-compose logs -f netbox will just show the logs for netbox.
  • You can stop everything using docker-compose stop.
  • You can clean up everything using docker-compose down -v --remove-orphans. This will also remove any related data.
  • You can enter the shell of the running NetBox container using docker-compose exec netbox /bin/bash. Now you have access to ./, e.g. to reset a password.
  • To access the database run docker-compose exec postgres sh -c 'psql -U $POSTGRES_USER $POSTGRES_DB'
  • To create a database backup run docker-compose exec postgres sh -c 'pg_dump -cU $POSTGRES_USER $POSTGRES_DB' | gzip > db_dump.sql.gz
  • To restore that database backup run gunzip -c db_dump.sql.gz | docker exec -i $(docker-compose ps -q postgres) sh -c 'psql -U $POSTGRES_USER $POSTGRES_DB'.

Nginx doesn't start

As a first step, stop your docker-compose setup. Then locate the netbox-nginx-config volume and remove it:

# Stop your local netbox-docker installation
$ docker-compose down

# Find the volume
$ docker volume ls | grep netbox-nginx-config
local               netbox-docker_netbox-nginx-config

# Remove the volume
$ docker volume rm netbox-docker_netbox-nginx-config

Now start everything up again.

If this didn't help, try to see if there's anything in the logs indicating why nginx doesn't start:

$ docker-compose logs -f nginx

Getting a "Bad Request (400)"

When connecting to the NetBox instance, I get a "Bad Request (400)" error.

This usually happens when the ALLOWED_HOSTS variable is not set correctly.

How to upgrade

How do I update to a newer version of netbox?

It should be sufficient to pull the latest image from Docker Hub, stopping the container and starting it up again:

docker-compose pull netbox
docker-compose stop netbox netbox-worker
docker-compose rm -f netbox netbox-worker
docker-compose up -d netbox netbox-worker

Webhooks don't work

First make sure that the webhooks feature is enabled in your Netbox configuration and that a redis host is defined. Check netbox.env if the following variables are defined:


Then make sure that the redis container and at least one netbox-worker are running.

# check the container status
$ docker-compose ps

Name                           Command               State                Ports             
netbox-docker_netbox-worker_1   /opt/netbox/docker-entrypo ...   Up                                     
netbox-docker_netbox_1          /opt/netbox/docker-entrypo ...   Up                                     
netbox-docker_nginx_1           nginx -c /etc/netbox-nginx ...   Up      80/tcp,>8080/tcp
netbox-docker_postgres_1 postgres    Up      5432/tcp
netbox-docker_redis_1  redis ...   Up      6379/tcp

# connect to redis and send PING command:
$ docker-compose run --rm -T redis sh -c 'redis-cli -h redis -a $REDIS_PASSWORD ping'
Warning: Using a password with '-a' option on the command line interface may not be safe.

If redis and the netbox-worker are not available, make sure you have updated your docker-compose.yml file!

Everything's up and running? Then check the log of netbox-worker and/or redis:

docker-compose logs -f netbox-worker
docker-compose logs -f redis

Still no clue? You can connect to the redis container and have it report any command that is currently executed on the server:

docker-compose run --rm -T redis sh -c 'redis-cli -h redis -a $REDIS_PASSWORD monitor'

# Hit CTRL-C a few times to leave

If you don't see anything happening after you triggered a webhook, double-check the configuration of the netbox and the netbox-worker containers and also check the configuration of your webhook in the admin interface of Netbox.

Breaking Changes

From time to time it might become necessary to re-engineer the structure of this setup. Things like the docker-compose.yml file or your Kubernetes or OpenShift configurations have to be adjusted as a consequence. Since April 2018 each image built from this repo contains a NETBOX_DOCKER_PROJECT_VERSION label. You can check the label of your local image by running docker inspect ninech/netbox:v2.3.1 --format "{{json .ContainerConfig.Labels}}". Compare the version with the list below to check whether a breaking change was introduced with that version.

The following is a list of breaking changes of the netbox-docker project:

  • 0.5.0: Alpine was updated to 3.8, *.env moved to /env folder
  • 0.4.0: In order to use Netbox webhooks you need to add Redis and a netbox-worker to your docker-compose.yml.
  • 0.3.0: Field filterable: <boolean was replaced with field filter_logic: loose/exact/disabled. It will default to CF_FILTER_LOOSE=loose when not defined.
  • 0.2.0: Re-organized paths: /etc/netbox -> /etc/netbox/config and /etc/reports -> /etc/netbox/reports. Fixes #54.
  • 0.1.0: Introduction of the NETBOX_DOCKER_PROJECT_VERSION. (Not a breaking change per se.)

Rebuilding & Publishing images

./ is used to rebuild the Docker image:

$ ./ --help
Usage: ./ <branch> [--push]
  branch  The branch or tag to build. Required.
  --push  Pushes built Docker image to docker hub.

You can use the following ENV variables to customize the build:
  BRANCH   The branch to build.
           Also used for tagging the image.
  DOCKER_REPO The Docker registry (i.e.
           Also used for tagging the image.
           Default: ninech
  SRC_REPO Which fork of netbox to use (i.e.<SRC_REPO>/netbox).
           Default: digitalocean
  URL      Where to fetch the package from.
           Must be a tar.gz file of the source code.

Publishing Docker Images

New Docker Images are built and published every 24h by using travis:

Build Status


To run the tests coming with NetBox, use the docker-compose.yml file as such:

$ docker-compose run netbox ./ test


This repository is currently maintained and funded by nine, your cloud navigator.

logo of the company 'nine'