Dockering with Docker

Dec 1, 2020 | geoserver, postgis

It’s been a while since I posted anything mostly because I have no clue what to talk about these days. I’ve been working away on the Tn Address Server and one thing I wanted to do is to get it working in docker. Which – many of you are probably going IT’S NOT THAT HARD. Generally you are correct but it’s still a weird area for me to jump into. I’ve toyed with Docker for years – in general it works but I hardly ever have a reason to do much with it. Except now with the way I’m working on the TN address server I needed a way to “spin up” a postgis server and test everything and then take it down.

So I jumped back into Docker. Again.

You can build your own docker instance. You create a dockerfile and start adding whatever you need but I quickly decided I didn’t want to build my own dockerfile…yet.¬† After doing a bit of research Kartoza already has one built. Also – they have one for Geoserver . Geoserver has been one of those things that I don’t have quite integrated into the flow of the address sever yet – but I’m working on it.

Sitting down with Docker I had four things I wanted to do:

  • Functional database I can start and stop
  • Local Storage
  • I can sit in another room and work and still get to it on this machine.
  • I don’t want to pile of things installed on my computer.

Simple? Yes…mostly. It seems like for most of my career I’ve been dancing in between developer, system administrator, and geo person. I never seem to have complete control over any of the things except being a “geo person” scratches the itch more than the other two. So that started a day long “How do I…..?” which resulted in again reaffirming that stack exchange is the devil, documentation can be boring, and a lot of people can’t write anything to save their lives (myself included about half the time).

The biggest headache was keeping my data permanent on my hard drive. I can mount the geoserver docker to a directory¬† – why can’t I mount the postgis docker….and surprisingly there is a wealth of misinformation out there. In short – you have to make a volume for postgis to work – which is basically doing the following:

  • Create a /directory/somewhere
  • Create a volume: docker volume create –driver local –name pg_data –opt type=none –opt device=/directory/somewhere –opt o=bind

Finally I did the following:

docker run –name=postgis -d -e POSTGRES_USER=user -e POSTGRES_PASS=pass -e POSTGRES_DBNAME=tndemo -e ALLOW_IP_RANGE= -p 5432:5432 -v pg_data:/var/lib/postgresql/ kartoza/postgis:latest


docker run -d -p 8580:8080 –name “geoserver” –link postgis:postgis -p 8080:8080 -v /media/data/demo/geoserver_data:/opt/geoserver/data_dir kartoza/geoserver:latest

PostGIS and Geoserver up and running in harmony…in docker. I was pleased. I can connect geoserver to postgis. I can connect to both things from my couch while I listen to the Baby Yoda Chronicles.

I was also a bit dismayed. Mostly at me.

To burn the amount of time I did getting to a functional setup was way too long. Not anyone fault as I have directions, functioning internet, and the ability to ask questions in the community. Which has been a problem for me as of late – I remember back to past failures and start fresh on a project and get haunted by the past failures. So much so I’ve been “tuning out” more. The pandemic has made things frustrating enough without my brain getting in the way. So I’m back to the art of learning this month and tossing out the old.

Now that this is running I can build and break the database at will now and hopefully get a running version of this that does everything I want it to do.

Maybe I’ll build a dockerfile just to say I did it.

Maybe I’ll do a few other fun things.



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