ArangoDB v2.8 reached End of Life (EOL) and is no longer supported.

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How to run ArangoDB in a Docker container


How do you make ArangoDB run in a Docker container?


ArangoDB is now available as an official repository in the Docker Hub (@see documentation there). Furthermore, it could be used from our own repository:

Running ArangoDB - using the ArangoDB repository - is as simple as…

docker run -p 8529:8529 arangodb/arangodb

I’ve created an automated build repository on docker, so that you can easily start a docker container with the latest stable release. Thanks to frodenas, hipertracker, joaodubas, webwurst who also created dockerfiles.

ArangoDB generates a random default password for the web-interface which you can copy from the shell.

Status: Downloaded newer image for arangodb/arangodb:2.7.0
starting ArangoDB in stand-alone mode
creating initial user, please wait ...
ArangoDB User: "root"
ArangoDB Password: "X7GFlFfFn1OTpmvD"

Please note that this recipe is a general overview. There is also a recipe explaining how to install an application consisting of a node.js application and an ArangoDB database server.

You can get more information about Docker and how to use it in our Docker repository.


First of all you need to start an ArangoDB instance.

In order to start an ArangoDB instance run

unix> docker run --name arangodb-instance -d arangodb/arangodb

By default ArangoDB listen on port 8529 for request and the image includes EXPOST 8529. If you link an application container, it is automatically available in the linked container. See the following examples.

Using the instance

In order to use the running instance from an application, link the container

unix> docker run --name my-app --link arangodb-instance

Running the image

In order to start an ArangoDB instance run

unix> docker run -p 8529:8529 -d arangodb/arangodb

ArangoDB listen on port 8529 for request and the image includes EXPOST 8529. The -p 8529:8529 exposes this port on the host.

In order to get a list of supported options, run

unix> docker run -e help=1 arangodb/arangodb

Persistent Data

note: if you’re running a docker machine on OS X or Windows, read first about using docker inside of virtual machines

ArangoDB use the volume /var/lib/arangodb as database directory to store the collection data and the volume /var/lib/arangodb-apps as apps directory to store any extensions. These directory are marked as docker volumes.

See docker run -e help=1 arangodb for all volumes.

You can map the container’s volumes to a directory on the host, so that the data is kept between runs of the container. This path /tmp/arangodb is in general not the correct place to store you persistent files - it is just an example!

unix> mkdir /tmp/arangodb
unix> docker run -p 8529:8529 -d \
          -v /tmp/arangodb:/var/lib/arangodb \

This will use the /tmp/arangodb directory of the host as database directory for ArangoDB inside the container.

Alternatively you can create a container holding the data.

unix> docker run -d --name arangodb-persist -v /var/lib/arangodb ubuntu:14.04 true

And use this data container in your ArangoDB container.

unix> docker run --volumes-from arangodb-persist -p 8529:8529 arangodb/arangodb

If want to save a few bytes for you can alternatively use tianon/true or progrium/busybox for creating the volume only containers. For example

unix> docker run -d --name arangodb-persist -v /var/lib/arangodb tianon/true true

Building an image

Simple clone the repository and execute the following command in the arangodb-docker folder

unix> docker build -t arangodb .

This will create a image named arangodb.

Update note

that we have changed the location of the data files, in order to be compatible with the official docker image (see

  • /var/lib/arangodb instead of /data
  • /var/lib/arangodb-apps instead of /apps
  • /var/log/arangodb instead of /logs

Docker inside of a virtual machine

There are some setups in which you may want to run a docker container inside of a virtual machine - either you want reproduceable tests for deployment, or its not directly compatible with your hosts os (aka OS X or Windows). If you only want to mount filesystems native to the VM as persistent volume, everything is fine. But if you need to mount filesystems from your host into the VM and then in term into the docker container, things get complicated. Even more if the Virtual Machine part is abstracted away from the user - if you’re on OS X with boot to docker or on windows. Please read the upstream documentation howto mount persistent volumes in this case..


A good explanation about persistence and docker container can be found here:

Author: Frank Celler

Tags: #docker #howto