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Version: 2.3.0

How to work with Docker

Docker is a service that uses OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages that are called containers.

Memgraph uses Docker because it is:

  • Flexible
  • Lightweight
  • Portable - you can build locally or deploy to the cloud
  • Runs on all platforms - Windows, Linux and macOS
  • Deploys in Kubernetes

If you are new to Docker, this guide will help you get a grasp of Docker and make it easier to accomplish tasks within Memgraph. After installing Docker, all commands are run from the command-line tool of your preference.

Related - Reference Guide

How to set up Memgraph with Docker?​

We recommend installing and running Memgraph using Docker.

There are three Docker images you can use to run Memgraph:

  • memgraph-platform - installs the whole Memgraph Platform, which includes:
    • MemgraphDB: the graph database
    • mgconsole: a command-line interface for running queries
    • Memgraph Lab: visual user interface for running queries and visualizing graph data
    • MAGE: an open-source library of graph algorithms and custom Cypher procedures
  • memgraph-mage - installs MemgraphDB and MAGE
  • memgraph - installs MemgraphDB

Download the Memgraph Docker image​

Images are downloaded using the docker pull command followed by the name of the Docker image. We encourage you to use Memgraph Platform as it includes everything you might need while making the best of Memgraph.

To download the latest Memgraph Platform image, run:

docker pull memgraph/memgraph-platform

Create Docker image tags​

Some images might need tags to be able to run properly and this is usually noted in the installation process. By creating a tag for the image, you are allowing all the dependencies within the Docker container to refer to the image by its original name and the tag.

For example, the following command allows the processes inside the image to refer to the image as memgraph-platform and memgraph:

docker image tag memgraph/memgraph-platform memgraph

Run a Memgraph Docker image​

All images are started using the docker run command followed by various flags, environmental variables and configuration options.

The most common flags used while running Memgraph images are:

  • enable interactive mode: -it
  • publish ports: -p 3000:3000
  • specify volumes for data persistance -v mg_lib:/var/lib/memgraph
  • set up configuration using environmental variables in the case of the memgraph-platform image, or configuration flags using the memgraph or memgraph-mage image

A docker run command can look like this:

docker run -it -p 7687:7687 [-p host_port:container_port] [-v volume_name:volume_path] [configuration] memgraph/image_name

Publish ports​

Ports are published in order to allow services outside the container to be able to connect to the container. When publishing ports, you need to define two ports separated by a colon. The left side port stands for the host port and the right side port is the container port.

The most common ports published while running Memgraph are:

  • -p 7687:7687 - connection to the database instance (the Bolt protocol uses this port by default)
  • -p 3000:3000 - connection to the Memgraph Lab application when running Memgraph Platform
  • -p 7444:7444 - connection to fetch log files from Memgraph Lab (only in version 2.0 and newer)

For example, if you are running two instances using the memgraph-platform image and you want to connect to both instances using the Memgraph Lab in-browser application. You would run the first instance with:

docker run -it -p 7687:7687 -p 3000:3000 memgraph/memgraph-platform

Because ports 7687 and 3000 are now taken, you need to change the left side ports (host ports):

docker run -it -p 7688:7687 -p 3001:3000 memgraph/memgraph-platform

To connect to the first instance, you should open Memgraph Lab in your browser at localhost:3000, but the second instance is at localhost:3001.

Specify volumes​

Specifying a volume creates a copy of a directory inside the Docker container as a local directory. The -v flag is followed by the name of the local directory separated from the path of the volume in the container by a semicolon:

-v volume_name:volume_path

Useful volumes you can specify while running Memgraph are:

  • -v mg_lib:/var/lib/memgraph - directory containing data, enables data persistency
  • -v mg_log:/var/log/memgraph - directory containing log files
  • -v mg_etc:/etc/memgraph - directory containing the configuration file

The exact location of the local directories depends on your specific setup.

The configuration file can usually be found at /var/lib/docker/volumes/mg_etc/_data/memgraph.conf but you can also copy the file from the Docker container, modify it and copy it back into the container.

Logs can usually be found in \\wsl$\docker-desktop-data\version-pack-data\community\docker\volumes\, but you can also view them in the Memgraph Lab 2.0 (or newer) by publishing the port 7444.

Set up the configuration​

If you want a certain configuration setting to be applied during this run only, you need to pass the configuration option within the docker run command instead of changing the configuration file.

If you are working with the memgraph-platform image, you should pass configuration options with environmental variables.

For example, if you want to limit memory usage for the whole instance to 50 MiB, pass the configuration like this:

docker run -it -p 7687:7687 -p 3000:3000 -e MEMGRAPH="--memory-limit=50" memgraph/memgraph-platform

When you are working with memgraph or memgraph-mage images, you should pass configuration options as arguments.

For example, if you want to limit memory usage for the whole instance to 50 MiB, pass the configuration argument like this:

docker run -it -p 7687:7687  memgraph/memgraph --memory-limit=50

Stop image​

Database instances are stopped by stopping the Docker container with the command docker stop. To stop a container you need to know the container's ID.

You can list all the containers you want to stop in one docker stop command:

docker stop CONTAINER1_ID CONTAINER2_ID

How to retrieve a Docker container ID?​

Run the following command:

docker ps

You should get an output similar to this:

CONTAINER ID   IMAGE                        COMMAND                  CREATED        STATUS        PORTS                                                                    NAMES
45fa0f86f826 memgraph/memgraph-platform "/bin/sh -c '/usr/bi…" 21 hours ago Up 21 hours 0.0.0.0:3000->3000/tcp, 0.0.0.0:7444->7444/tcp, 0.0.0.0:7687->7687/tcp admiring_almeida

You can shorten this ID to 4 letters if the ID remains unique, for example, 45fa.

How to retrieve a Docker container IP address?​

To retrieve the Docker container IP address, first, you need to retrieve its ID.

Then run the following command if the container ID is 9397623cd87e.

docker inspect -f '{{range.NetworkSettings.Networks}}{{.IPAddress}}{{end}}' 9397623cd87e

How to browse files inside a Docker container?​

To browse files inside a Docker container, first, you need to retrieve its ID.

Then run the following command if the container ID is 9397623cd87e:

docker exec -it  9397623cd87e bash

To navigate through the container, use the following commands:

  • ls - list all the directories and files
  • cd <directory> - enter a directory
  • cd .. - leave the directory
  • cat <file> - list the content of a file

You don't have to write file and directory names in full, once you write enough letters to have a unique string, press the <TAB> key.

How to copy files from and to a Docker container?​

To copy files from and to the Docker container, first, you need to retrieve its ID.

  1. Place yourself in the local directory where you want to copy the configuration file.

  2. Copy the file from the container to your current directory with the command:

    docker cp <CONTAINER ID>:<path_in_container> <local_file_name>

    Be sure to replace the <CONTAINER ID> parameter.

    The example below will copy the configuration file to the user's Desktop:

    C:\Users\Vlasta\Desktop>docker cp bb3de2634afe:/etc/memgraph/memgraph.conf memgraph.conf
  3. Copy the file from your current directory to the container with the command:

    docker cp  <local_file_name> <CONTAINER ID>:<path_in_container>

    Be sure to replace the <CONTAINER ID> parameter.

    The example below will replace the configuration file with the one from the user's Desktop:

    C:\Users\Vlasta\Desktop>docker cp memgraph.conf bb3de2634afe:/etc/memgraph/memgraph.conf