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Install self-hosted TimescaleDB from a pre-built container

You can install a self-hosted TimescaleDB instance on any local system, from a pre-built container. This is the simplest method to install a self-hosted TimescaleDB instance, and it means you always have access to the latest version without worrying about local dependencies. You can access the Docker image directly from locally installed PostgreSQL client tools such as psql.

warning

If you have already installed PostgreSQL using a method other than the pre-built container provided here, you could encounter errors following these instructions. It is safest to remove any existing PostgreSQL installations before you begin. If you want to keep your current PostgreSQL installation, do not install TimescaleDB using this method. Install from source instead.

Installing self-hosted TimescaleDB from a Docker container

  1. Install Docker, if you don't already have it. For packages and instructions, see the Docker installation documentation.

  2. At the command prompt, run the TimescaleDB Docker image:

    docker pull timescale/timescaledb-ha:pg14-latest

important

The timescaledb-ha image offers the most complete TimescaleDB experience. It includes the TimescaleDB Toolkit, and support for PostGIS and Patroni. If you need the smallest possible image, use the timescale/timescaledb:latest-pg14 image instead.

warning

If your system uses Linux Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW) for security rules, Docker could override your UFW port binding settings. Docker binds the container on Unix-based systems by modifying the Linux IP tables. If you are relying on UFW rules for network security, consider adding DOCKER_OPTS="--iptables=false" to /etc/default/docker to prevent Docker from overwriting the IP tables. For more information about this vulnerability, see Docker's information about the UFW flaw.

When you have completed the installation, you need to configure your database so that you can use it. The easiest way to do this is to run the timescaledb-tune script, which is included with the timescaledb-tools package. For more information, see the configuration section.

More Docker options

The TimescaleDB HA Docker image includes Ubuntu as its operating system. The lighter-weight TimescaleDB (non-HA) image uses Alpine. The commands in this section use the TimescaleDB HA image, but the steps are the same for both.

You can use the Docker image in different ways, depending on your use case.

If you want to run the image directly from the container, you can use this command:

docker run -d --name timescaledb -p 5432:5432 -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=password timescale/timescaledb-ha:pg14-latest

The -p flag binds the container port to the host port. This means that anything that can access the host port can also access your TimescaleDB container, so it's important that you set a PostgreSQL password using the POSTGRES_PASSWORD environment variable. Without that variable, the Docker container disables password checks for all database users.

If you want to access the container from the host but avoid exposing it to the outside world, you can bind to 127.0.0.1 instead of the public interface, using this command:

docker run -d --name timescaledb -p 127.0.0.1:5432:5432 \
-e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=password timescale/timescaledb-ha:pg14-latest

If you don't want to install psql and other PostgreSQL client tools locally, or if you are using a Microsoft Windows host system, you can connect using the version of psql that is bundled within the container with this command:

docker exec -it timescaledb psql -U postgres

Existing containers can be stopped using docker stop and started again with docker start while retaining their volumes and data. When you create a new container using the docker run command, by default you also create a new data volume. When you remove a Docker container with docker rm the data volume persists on disk until you explicitly delete it. You can use the docker volume ls command to list existing docker volumes. If you want to store the data from your Docker container in a host directory, or you want to run the Docker image on top of an existing data directory, you can specify the directory to mount a data volume using the -v flag. For example:

docker run -d --name timescaledb -p 5432:5432 \
-v /your/data/dir:/var/lib/postgresql/data \
-e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=password timescale/timescaledb:pg14-latest

When you install TimescaleDB using a Docker container, the PostgreSQL settings are inherited from the container. In most cases, you do not need to adjust them. However, if you need to change a setting you can add -c setting=value to your Docker run command. For more information, see the Docker documentation.

The link provided in these instructions is for the latest version of TimescaleDB on PostgreSQL 14. To find other Docker tags you can use, see the Dockerhub repository.

Set up the TimescaleDB extension

When you have PostgreSQL and TimescaleDB installed, you can connect to it from your local system using the psql command-line utility. This is the same tool you might have used to connect to PostgreSQL before, but if you haven't installed it yet, check out the installing psql section.

Setting up the TimescaleDB extension

important

If you installed TimescaleDB from the pre-built Docker container, then you probably already have the TimescaleDB extension, and you can skip this procedure.

  1. On your local system, at the command prompt, connect to the PostgreSQL instance as the postgres superuser:

    psql -U postgres -h localhost

    If your connection is successful, you'll see a message like this, followed by the psql prompt:

    psql (13.3, server 12.8 (Ubuntu 12.8-1.pgdg21.04+1))
    SSL connection (protocol: TLSv1.3, cipher: TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384, bits: 256, compression: off)
    Type "help" for help.
    tsdb=>
  2. At the psql prompt, create an empty database. Our database is called example:

    CREATE database example;
  3. Connect to the database you created:

    \c example
  4. Add the TimescaleDB extension:

    CREATE EXTENSION IF NOT EXISTS timescaledb;
  5. You can now connect to your database using this command:

    psql -U postgres -h localhost -d example

You can check that the TimescaleDB extension is installed by using the \dx command at the psql prompt. It looks like this:

tsdb=> \dx
List of installed extensions
-[ RECORD 1 ]------------------------------------------------------------------
Name        | pg_stat_statements
Version     | 1.7
Schema      | public
Description | track execution statistics of all SQL statements executed
-[ RECORD 2 ]------------------------------------------------------------------
Name        | plpgsql
Version     | 1.0
Schema      | pg_catalog
Description | PL/pgSQL procedural language
-[ RECORD 3 ]------------------------------------------------------------------
Name        | timescaledb
Version     | 2.5.1
Schema      | public
Description | Enables scalable inserts and complex queries for time-series data
-[ RECORD 4 ]------------------------------------------------------------------
Name        | timescaledb_toolkit
Version     | 1.3.1
Schema      | public
Description | timescaledb_toolkit

tsdb=>

Where to next

Now that you have your first TimescaleDB database up and running, you can check out the TimescaleDB section in our documentation, and find out what you can do with it.

If you want to work through some tutorials to help you get up and running with TimescaleDB and time-series data, check out our tutorials section.

You can always contact us if you need help working something out, or if you want to have a chat.

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