Deploying with Docker

This guide assumes that you already have Postgres running and helps you set up the prestd using Docker and connect it to your Postgres database.

In case you’d like to run prestd with a fresh Postgres database, follow this guide to deploy the prestd along with a Postgres instance using Docker Compose.


Create an installation folder called prestd where you would like your prestd installation and data storage.

cd (open/join) into the installation folder.

Quick Start

We will use docker to run pREST and connect to an existing database. To simplify the example we leave the authentication module off

docker run -d -p 3000:3000 \
    -e PREST_PG_URL=postgres://username:password@hostname:port/dbname \
    -e PREST_DEBUG=true \

Edit the PREST_PG_URL env var value, so that you can connect to your Postgres instance.

Examples of PREST_PG_URL:

  • postgres://admin:password@localhost:5432/my-db

  • postgres://admin:@localhost:5432/my-db (if there is no password)

If your password contains special characters (e.g. #, %, $, @, etc.), you need to URL encode them in the PREST_PG_URL env var (e.g. %40 for @). You can check the logs to see if the database credentials are proper and if pREST is able to connect to the database. pREST needs access permissions to your Postgres database as described in permissions page.

Network config

If your Postgres instance is running on localhost, the following changes will be needed to the docker run command to allow the Docker container to access the host’s network.

Add the --net=host flag to access the host’s Postgres service.

This is what your command should look like:

docker run -d --net=host -p 3000:3000 \
    -e PREST_PG_URL=...

if you are using another operating system we recommend reading the docker network documentation, on macOS and Windows it is different.

With Docker Compose

Compose is a tool for defining and running multi-container Docker applications. With Compose, you use a YAML file to configure your application’s services. Then, with a single command, you create and start all the services from your configuration. To learn more about all the features of Compose, see the list of features.

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Download docker compose file

wget -O docker-compose.yml

Up (run) PostgreSQL and prestd

docker-compose up

Run data migration to create user structure for access (JWT)

docker-compose exec prest prestd migrate up auth

Create user and password for API access (via JWT)

  • user: prest

  • pass: prest

docker-compose exec postgres psql -d prest -U prest -c "INSERT INTO prest_users (name, username, password) VALUES ('pREST Full Name', 'prest', MD5('prest'))"

Check if the user was created successfully (by doing a select on the table)

docker-compose exec postgres psql -d prest -U prest -c "select * from prest_users"

First call on API

Example using curl:

curl -i -X GET -H "Content-Type: application/json"

Additionally you can:

# Generate JWT Token with user and password created
curl -i -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"username": "prest", "password": "prest"}'
# Access endpoint using JWT Token
curl -i -X GET -H "Accept: application/json" -H "Authorization: Bearer {TOKEN}"

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