Docker image for GIS-enabled PostgreSQL
Latest commit b07d396 Oct 28, 2015 @vpicavet Document new features.

A PG GIS setup for Docker


This Docker image is a container with all latest PostgreSQL extensions needed to do serious GIS work. It is based on Ubuntu 14.04 and features :

  • PostgreSQL 9.5 (from PGDG packages)
  • PostGIS 2.2 (compiled from release sources) with SFCGAL support (git master) and GEOS 3.5
  • PgRouting (git master)
  • PostgreSQL PointCloud extension (git master)
  • OGR Foreign data wrapper (Git master)
  • PDAL (git master)

It creates a pggis database with a pggis superuser (password pggis), with postgis, pgrouting and pointcloud extensions activated. It is therefore ready to eat data, and you can enjoy 2D vector and raster features, 3D support and functions, large point data volumes and analysis, topology support and all PostgreSQL native features.

This Docker is aimed at tests and development. Do not use it for production purposes. It lacks security and is not micro-service oriented as should a Docker stack be. Use at your own risk. You have been warned.

Just get me started !

Make sure you have docker installed. On Ubuntu 14.04, Docker is named, replace the docker by in the following if needed. It is advised to use the latest available Docker version from official packages. See :

If you just want to run a container with this image, you do not need this repository as the image is available on docker hub as a Trusted Build. Just run the container and it will download the image if you do not already have it locally :

sudo docker run --rm -P --name pggis_test oslandia/pggis /sbin/my_init

If PostgreSQL server does not start and you see a lot of dots on the screen, see Known Problems below.

Connect to the database

When you run the image to create a new container, a database is automatically created on startup, with all extensions activated. the database is named pggis and belongs to the pggis user, with pggis as a password.

Assuming you have the postgresql-client installed, you can use the host-mapped port to test as well. You need to use docker ps to find out what local host port the container is mapped to first:

$ sudo docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                   COMMAND                CREATED             STATUS              PORTS                     NAMES
75fec271dc5e        oslandia/pggis:latest   /usr/lib/postgresql/   51 seconds ago      Up 50 seconds>5432/tcp   pggis_test          
$ psql -h localhost -p 49154 -d pggis -U pggis --password

Automatically restore data

When the container runs, it first check its /data/restore path for sql files and backup files.

If there is any backup file present, it will create a new database (named as the file basename), activate all extensions, and restore the backup database.

If there is any SQL file present, it will similarly create a new database, activate extensions, and load the SQL file into the created database.

To enable this, you have to map the exposed /data volume to a host directory when running the image. You can do so using the -v option of docker run. This host directory should then have a restore subdirectory with the backups you want to restore.

Example follows, restoring two backups, one in custom format, another in SQL.

$ find /home/user/mydata/

$ docker run --rm -P --name pggis_test -v /home/user/mydata:/data oslandia/pggis /sbin/my_init

Now if you want to use this repository to build or modify the image, continue reading.

Build and/or run the container

Git clone this repository to get the Dockerfile, and cd to it.

You can build the image with :

sudo docker build -t oslandia/pggis .

Run the container with :

sudo docker run --rm -P --name pggis_test oslandia/pggis /sbin/my_init


Do not hesitate to fork, send pull requests or fill issues on GitHub to enhance this image.

Contact Oslandia at for any question or support.

Known problems

When using Docker with AUFS, you can hit bug #783, and PostgreSQL server cannot be started due to permission problems. You will see dots appearing on the screen forever. There are at least three alternatives to workaround this bug :

  • Wait until the AUFS fix is released and taken into account in Docker ( not released yet as of feb. 2015 )

  • Remove containers and images related to this project and rebuild the image from scratch :

# WARNING : These lines will stop and delete all your containers and images
# Be more fine-grained if you have running other containers you want to keep !
sudo docker stop $(sudo docker ps -a -q)
sudo docker rm $(sudo docker ps -a -q)
sudo docker rmi $(sudo docker images -q)
sudo docker build -t oslandia/pggis .
sudo docker run --rm -P --name pggis_test oslandia/pggis /sbin/my_init
  • Launch bash in the running container, and execute the following lines, PostgreSQL will start
sudo docker exec -ti pggis_test bash
mkdir /etc/ssl/private-copy; mv /etc/ssl/private/* /etc/ssl/private-copy/; rm -r /etc/ssl/private; mv /etc/ssl/private-copy /etc/ssl/private; chmod -R 0700 /etc/ssl/private; chown -R postgres /etc/ssl/private


More complete documentation on Oslandia's blog post :

Dockerfile reference :

PostgreSQL service example :