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Basically, wait-for-it but for databases.

Often (especially within Dockerised configurations) there is the problem of "I need the database to be up before step X will work". Now, if all you need is "up" then generally wait-for-it and the database port is enough. If on the other hand you've got migration scripts or other such things you need to run on your database, up isn't enough.

wait-for-db lets you wait for a particular database to be both up (in the sense of "will let you connect without errors") and optionally "returns at least one row to a particular query". It will also attempt to fail immediately for permanent failures (e.g. syntax errors)


  1. Download static binary from into your Docker image
  2. ./wait-for-db <options>


  • -m/--mode: postgres or odbc
  • -c/--connection-string: Mode-appropriate connection string. So postgresql://<username>:<password>@<host>:<port> or Driver=<path to driver>;<various ODBC options> depending on your driver
  • -s/--sql-query: SQL query to run once connected. It should return at least one row, or will be regarded as failing. Default: no query, just be regarded as succeeding the moment it connects.
  • -p/--pause: Pause between attempts for non-permanent failures. Default is 3 seconds
  • -t/--timeout: Time to wait before failing entirely. Default is wait forever.

Database support

  • Anything you've got an ODBC driver for (which should be most SQL databases)
  • Postgres


To test the Postgres/ODBC support do the following

  1. Generate a server.key and server.crt (so we can test TLS links)
openssl req -new -text -passout pass:abcd -subj /CN=localhost -out server.req
openssl rsa -in privkey.pem -passin pass:abcd -out server.key
openssl req -x509 -in server.req -text -key server.key -out server.crt
  1. Set postgres (alpine) user as owner of the server.key and permissions to 600
sudo chown 0:70 server.key
sudo chmod 640 server.key
  1. Start a postgres docker container, mapping the .key and .crt into the image.
docker run -p 5432 \
  -v "$PWD/server.crt:/var/lib/postgresql/server.crt:ro" \
  -v "$PWD/server.key:/var/lib/postgresql/server.key:ro" \
  postgres:11-alpine \
  -c ssl=on \
  -c ssl_cert_file=/var/lib/postgresql/server.crt \
  -c ssl_key_file=/var/lib/postgresql/server.key
  1. Find the port exported by the docker container and export it as POSTGRES_PORT e.g. export POSTGRES_PORT=32768

On macOS:

  1. brew install psqlodbc sqliteodbc
  2. POSTGRES_SERVER=localhost POSTGRES_USERNAME=postgres POSTGRES_PASSWORD= RUST_BACKTRACE=1 POSTGRES_DRIVER=`brew --prefix psqlodbc`/lib/ SQLITE_DRIVER=`brew --prefix sqliteodbc`/lib/libsqlite3odbc-0.9996.dylib cargo test -- --nocapture

On Debian

  1. sudo apt-get install odbc-postgresql libsqliteodbc
  2. POSTGRES_SERVER=localhost POSTGRES_USERNAME=postgres POSTGRES_PASSWORD= RUST_BACKTRACE=1 POSTGRES_DRIVER=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/odbc/ SQLITE_DRIVER=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/odbc/ cargo test -- --nocapture