Install TerminusDB as a Docker Container

Docker memory allocation on Windows\ On Windows, the default memory allocated for the Docker is 2GB. TerminusDB is an in-memory database so it is advised to increase the allocation in Docker desktop settings. Install TerminusDB on Windows with Docker Guide

For a comprehensive guide to installing on Windows, our friends at DFRNT put this blog together - Run TerminusDB on Windows with Docker

Linux package manager\ On Linux, use your distro's package manager for containerized deployments or find more information here.

Install steps

Install and run the TerminusDB container with the following steps.

Clone TerminusDB

clone the terminusdb repository and cd to it.

git clone
cd terminusdb

Run the container

Run the container using docker compose.

Running for the first time

First, set up a .env in the cloned directory with the following contents:

# And optionally specify number of pages for the vector database
# for instance

The OPENAI_KEY is not mandatory to use, but without it, the AI indexing will not work. Of course, all the document graph database functionality will still work as intended.

Run the container with the command docker compose up. See Environment configuration for further configuration options.

docker compose up

This generates the message: terminusdb-server container started This is the TerminusDB Server and Console URL.

Subsequent runs

  • Remove previous volumes. Enter y to confirm removal when prompted.
  • Rerun the container.

Warning: Removing previous volumes will erase local data.

docker compose rm
docker compose run

Use the console

Open the TerminusDB console in a web browser using the URL.

Use the Dashboard

The TerminusDB local dashboard is included within TerminusDB. The dashboard is a UI to create and manage data products, model data, and test queries. To use the dashboard visit:


Use GraphQL

TerminusDB hosts a GraphQL endpoint at:


For instance, with a data product named admin/people, and a locally installed TerminusDB, you can query it at:

TerminusDB ships with a GraphiQL graphical GraphQL query interface and schema browser. This is a quick way to get acquainted with GraphQL in TerminusDB.

You can reach this browser at:

Environment configuration

The container uses a set of environment variables with default values. You can configure the environment by setting these variables. You can set additional ENV variables or override already set ones by creating a .env file.

Migrating from terminusdb-bootstrap

In order to migrate from the default terminusdb-bootstrap installation while stil keeping the data of your previous installation, run the docker compose commands the following way:

docker compose -f docker-compose.yml -f distribution/docker-compose/bootstrap_storage.yaml

For instance, for the up command to start the server, run:

docker compose -f docker-compose.yml -f distribution/docker-compose/bootstrap_storage.yaml up

Using the CLI

To access the TerminusDB CLI from the Docker Compose, run:

docker compose run terminusdb-server ./terminusdb

Or use exec when you have the service already running

Server deployment

The TerminusDB server is deployed to your computer by default.

Local computer deployment

By default, the Docker container binds to IP This prevents insecure deployments and ensures the TerminusDB server is accessible on a local computer only.

Remote server deployment

To deploy the TerminusDB server to a remote machine:

  • Enable HTTPS with a remote proxy like Nginx
  • Don't use the X-Forward-Header ENV variables unless you really know what you are doing