* This is a work-in-progress post that I will finish. I’m putting it up to encourage me to finish it sooner 😛


  • Host – My laptop. The computer running the docker host
  • Docker Host – a vm running under the host that will in turn run all of the docker containers.
  • Docker Container – a container running under the Docker Host – each Postgres instance or Redis instance.
  • Postgres shell or a GUI application such as pgadmin(which I’ll be using)


  • Hypervisor set up – KVM / VmWare/ Virtual box configured
  • Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 iso
  • Up to date docker

I’m currently working on a project that would benefit from having multiple Postgres nodes running for various benefits such as replication, fail over and load balancing.
As part of the requirement of setting up this environment I will need to have at least two nodes running. One the master, the other the slave. I could use a few cheap VPS’s or even one VPS and install docker on it but I’m just using my laptop and a kvm host running Ubuntu. I have more performance at my disposal without having to spend extra on a beefy enough VPS.

I’ll proceed now with my set-up

Tools on my laptop host

– Note I use Arch.
– Note you could also install a PHP web interface on the docker guests but I’ll avoid that

sudo pacman -S pgadmin3

Setting up the Ubuntu docker host.

Install Ubuntu – Please see elsewhere for this
Install some pre-reqs and start them

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install ssh

sudo apt-get install htop

sudo service ssh start
sudo service ssh enable

curl -sSL https://get.docker.com/ubuntu/ | sudo sh

source /etc/bash_completion.d/docker

Setting up docker

sudo service docker start

sudo docker run -p 5432:5432 --name postgres-master --restart=always -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=postgres -d postgres
Unable to find image 'postgres' locally
Pulling repository postgres
60f3fc146ba7: Download complete 
511136ea3c5a: Download complete 
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de76b0ee8174: Download complete 
cd77e618ce58: Download complete 
979d210e7fe3: Download complete 
3548242ce0ea: Download complete 
23255fa2e8ba: Download complete 
91f994ce62d4: Download complete 
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029994d48265: Download complete 
e0bdffa8d3d1: Download complete 
066462b466c4: Download complete 
d0a98b6e54ab: Download complete 
96b828efe2e4: Download complete 
1405cf275560: Download complete 
50a67bb0d077: Download complete 
128bd3d820ee: Download complete 

sudo docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND                CREATED             STATUS              PORTS               NAMES
40595a3e7e25        postgres:latest     "/docker-entrypoint.   24 minutes ago      Up 24 minutes       5432/tcp            postgres-master 

sudo docker inspect postgres-master | grep IPAddress
“IPAddress”: “”

telnet 5432
Connected to
Escape character is ‘^]’.


From the above we can see that the docker container is running, Postgres is running and it has an ip of 172.17.02 and an exposed port of 5432 which I can telnet into just fine. I have also mapped 5432 on the host to 5432 in the guest so I will be able to access it on my host.

Now lets also start the slave

sudo docker run -p 5433:5432 --name postgres-slave --restart=always -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=postgres -d postgres

[email protected]:~$ sudo docker ps aux
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND                CREATED             STATUS              PORTS                    NAMES
0eb635fd9da6        postgres:latest     "/docker-entrypoint.   8 seconds ago       Up 7 seconds>5432/tcp   postgres-slave      
d405017c5768        postgres:latest     "/docker-entrypoint.   4 minutes ago       Up 4 minutes>5432/tcp   postgres-master  

WOW- Docker is insanely cool. It took 2 seconds to start a new instance of Linux with Postgres running ready to go. I can access one via 5433 and one via 5432 on the host.

Lets point pgadmin to these Postgres instances. Below is a screenshot showing this.


Setting up Master – Slave streaming replication

Great guides have already been written which are referenced in the References below. However I’ll note anything specific to my set-up here.

Make sure that the containers can access each other

Docker linked containers

First things first we need to jump into each container and set up a few things.

sudo docker inspect --format '{{ .NetworkSettings.IPAddress }}' postgres-master
 sudo docker inspect --format '{{ .NetworkSettings.IPAddress }}' postgres-slave

So lets jump onto postgres-master and do everything (update stuff while we are there and commit it on the host)

sudo docker exec -i -t postgres-master bash
apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
apt-get install vim

Now lets commit those updates

sudo docker commit postgres-master postgres/brad
b sudo docker images
REPOSITORY          TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED              VIRTUAL SIZE
postgres/brad       latest              1be78fffd1f4        5 seconds ago        263.5 MB

Now lets configure replication on the master

vim `find / -name postgresql.conf`
# Make sure values are set as per https://gist.github.com/greinacker/4968619#file-master_postgresql-conf
vim `find / -name pg_hba.conf`
# Make sure values are set as per https://gist.github.com/greinacker/4968619#file-master_pg_hba-conf but substitute the ip with that from inspect postgres-slave above e.g
# hostssl replication     replicator      172.17.05            md5

su postgres


Now lets start the slave again and link it to the master

sudo docker stop docker-slave
sudo docker rm docker-slave
#note it uses the new image with os updates and vim ready (postgres/brad)
sudo docker run -p 5433:5432 --name postgres-slave --restart=always --link postgres-master:postgres-master -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=postgres -d postgres/brad
sudo docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                  COMMAND                CREATED              STATUS              PORTS                    NAMES
6dedb3e39f80        postgres/brad:latest   "/docker-entrypoint.   About a minute ago   Up About a minute>5432/tcp   postgres-slave      
fcea08d998b9        postgres/brad:latest   "/docker-entrypoint.   3 minutes ago        Up 3 minutes>5432/tcp   postgres-master     

#now lets confirm its all working
sudo docker exec -i -t postgres-slave bash
cat /etc/hosts      6dedb3e39f80       localhost
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
#you can see that postgres-master alias is already added by docker lets see if we can ping it      postgres-master
[email protected]:/# ping postgres-master
PING postgres-master ( 48 data bytes
56 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=0.182 ms
56 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.168 ms


  • http://www.liquidweb.com/kb/how-to-install-docker-on-ubuntu-14-04-lts/
  • https://docs.docker.com/installation/ubuntulinux/
  • https://registry.hub.docker.com/_/postgres/
  • http://www.rassoc.com/gregr/weblog/2013/02/16/zero-to-postgresql-streaming-replication-in-10-mins/
  • https://www.google.com.au/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&es_th=1&ie=UTF-8#q=postgres%20master%20slave
  • https://docs.docker.com/articles/host_integration/
  • https://docs.docker.com/userguide/dockerlinks/
Postgres on Docker for a development environment
  • ali

    my question is how to change ip of docker container .I have two server and both have the same docker i ps.Now how can i change the ip?