Augur provides a separate Docker image for each layer of our application (database, backend, and frontend). This section details how to build and run these images locally for testing, and also describes how to set up our test environment using Docker.


This page is primarily targeted at developers. If you’re solely interested in collecting data, we recommend using our Docker Setup Script.

Building the images

All Dockerfiles and other Docker-related files are located in util/docker/<service_name>, where <service_name> is either backend, frontend, or database. To build these images locally, use the following command, being sure to replace <tag_name> and <service_name> as appropriate.

# in the root augur/ directory
$ docker build -t <tag_name> -f util/docker/<service name>/Dockerfile .


You can set <tag_name> to whatever you like, we recommend something like local_augur_backend so you don’t get it confused with the official images.

Running containers

To start a container, use the command below. <container_name> can be whatever you like, but <tag_name> should be the same as in the previous step or the tag of one of the official images.

$ docker run -p <host_port>:5432 --name <container_name> -t <tag_name>


If you are running the backend service, then <docker_port> needs to be 5000; for frontend and database the ports are 8080 and 5434. You can set the <host_port> to any available port on your machine for any of the services.


If you are running the backend service, you’ll also need to add --env-file docker_env.txt to your command to make the container aware of your configuration file. You’ll also need to add --add-host=database:<ip_of_database> to your command to make the container connect to your database. Make sure your database is configured to accept the container’s connections by making sure that listen_addresses = '*' wherever the postgresql.conf is located on your machine and change the pg_hba.conf to accept hosts with a line similar to host  all             all                  md5.


If you are using a local database, you need to set up an alias for your localhost. In a terminal, type sudo ifconfig lo:0 if you are using Linux or sudo ifconfig lo0 alias if you are using macOS. You will use this alias, to connect to the local database. Make sure your database is properly configured by using this command psql -d "postgresql://augur:<your_password>@" -c "select now()". This command should have the same output if you replace the IP with localhost.

Running the test database

One of the containers we provide is augurlabs/augur:test_data, a container preloaded with the Augur schema and our testing environment. This is primarily for developers to easily reproduce the tests locally, but could also be used by those who just want to browse some sample data. We recommend using the following command to start it up:

$ docker run -p <host_port>:5432 --name augur_test augurlabs/augur:test_data