How to run a PostgreSQL database in a Docker container

Why you would want to do this

There are two main reasons for Dockerizing an application: for production use and for development use.

When Dockerizing an application for development, sometimes you might want to package up every single thing in the development environment. For example, in a Rails app, you might want to run each of PostgreSQL, Redis, and Ruby/Rails inside containers.

The drawbacks of Dockerizing everything

But then again you might not want to do that. To continue with the Rails app example, it can be very slow to e.g. run your tests inside a Docker container every single time you want to run a test.

You may instead wish to run PostgreSQL and Redis inside containers but leave Rails out of it, and instead connect Rails to these various containerized components.

This particular blog post covers the most basic building block of the above scenario: running PostgreSQL inside of a Docker container. I’m not going to cover actually connecting an application to the database in this post. This post is not meant to give you a useful result, but rather to help you gain an understanding of this building block.

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Lingaraj Senapati
Hey There! I am Lingaraj Senapati, the Co-founder of My skills are Freelance, Web Developer & Designer, Corporate Trainer, Digital Marketer & Youtuber.
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