Octopus Deploy Documentation

Octopus Server Linux Container

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Octopus Server Linux Containers are part of our Early Access Program (EAP) and may contain bugs or be unstable.

This page describes how to run Octopus Deploy within a Linux Container. If you want to run an Octopus Deploy Windows container, please refer to the Octopus Server Container Windows documentation.

Note: When using Linux containers on a Windows machine, please ensure you have switched to Linux Containers.

Running the Octopus Server inside a container provides a simple way to set up an Octopus Deploy instance, and upgrading to the latest version of Octopus is just a matter of running a new container with the new image version.

Although there are a few different configuration options, the following is a simple example of starting an Octopus Server container:

$ docker run --interactive --detach --name OctopusDeploy --publish 1322:8080 --env ACCEPT_EULA="Y" --env DB_CONNECTION_STRING="..." octopusdeploy/octopusdeploy:2020.4.6

We run in detached mode with --detach to allow the container to run in the background.

The --interactive argument ensures that STDIN is kept open which is required since internally this is what the running Octopus.Server.exe process is waiting on to close.

Setting --name OctopusServer gives us an easy to remember name for this container. This is optional, but we recommend you provide a name that is meaningful to you, as that will make it easier to perform actions on the container later if necessary.

Using --publish 1322:8080 maps the container port 8080 to 1322 on the host so that the Octopus instance is accessible outside this sever.

To set the connection string we provide an environment variable DB_CONNECTION_STRING (this can be to a local database or an external database).

In this example, we are running the image octopusdeploy/octopusdeploy:2020.4.6. The tag maps directly to the Octopus Server version that is bundled inside the image.


When running an Octopus Server Image, the following values can be provided to configure the running Octopus Server instance.

Master Key

If you do not specify a master key when Octopus is first run, Octopus will generate one for you, which you then must pass as the MASTER_KEY environment variable with each subsequent run. However, it is also possible to generate your own master key which is used by Octopus when configuring the database.

Master keys must be a 128 bit string that is then base 64 encoded. You can generate a random string to use as the master key with the command:

openssl rand 16 | base64

Service Definition with systemd

You can use systemd to boot the Octopus Docker container each time the OS starts. To do this, create a file called /etc/systemd/system/docker-octopusdeploy.service with the following contents:

Be sure to change the ADMIN_PASSWORD and MASTER_KEY from the defaults shown here.

Description=Daemon for octopusdeploy
After=docker-mssql.service docker.service
Requires=docker-mssql.service docker.service

ExecStartPre=-/usr/bin/docker create --net octopus -m 0b -e "ADMIN_USERNAME=admin" -e "ADMIN_EMAIL=example@example.org" -e "ADMIN_PASSWORD=Password01!" -e "ACCEPT_EULA=Y" -e "DB_CONNECTION_STRING=Server=mssql,1433;Database=Octopus;User Id=SA;Password=Password01!;ConnectRetryCount=6" -e "MASTER_KEY=6EdU6IWsCtMEwk0kPKflQQ==" -e "DISABLE_DIND=Y" -p 80:8080 -p 10943:10943 --restart=always --name octopusdeploy octopusdeploy/octopusdeploy:2020.3.2
ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker start -a octopusdeploy
ExecStop=-/usr/bin/docker stop --time=0 octopusdeploy


Note that we assume a Docker bridge network called octopus exists. This can be created with the command:

docker network create -d bridge octopus

The Octopus service also relies on a MS SQL service define in the file /etc/systemd/system/docker-mssql.service with the following contents:

Description=Daemon for mssql

ExecStartPre=-/usr/bin/docker create --net octopus -m 0b -e "ACCEPT_EULA=Y" -e "SA_PASSWORD=Password01!" -e "MSSQL_PID=Express" -e "MSSQL_MEMORY_LIMIT_MB=2048" -p 1433:1433 --restart=always --name mssql mcr.microsoft.com/mssql/server:2019-latest
ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker start -a mssql
ExecStop=-/usr/bin/docker stop --time=0 mssql


To load the new service files, run:

systemctl daemon-reload

Then start the services with the commands:

systemctl start docker-mssql
systemctl start docker-octopus

Environment Variables

Read the Docker docs about setting environment variables.

DB_CONNECTION_STRING Connection string to the database to use
MASTER_KEY The Master Key to use to connect to an existing database. If not supplied, and the database does not exist, it will generate a new one. The Master Key is mandatory if the database exists.
OCTOPUS_SERVER_BASE64_LICENSE Your license key for Octopus Deploy. If left empty, it will try and create a free license key for use
ADMIN_USERNAME The admin user to create for the Octopus Server
ADMIN_PASSWORD The password for the admin user for the Octopus Server
ADMIN_EMAIL The email associated with the admin user account
DISABLE_DIND The Linux image will by default attempt to run Docker-in-Docker to support worker execution containers. This requires the image be launched with privileged permissions. Setting DISABLE_DIND to Y prevents Docker-in-Docker from being run when the container is booted.

Exposed Container Ports

Read Docker docs about exposing ports.

8080 Port for API and HTTP portal
443 SSL Port for API and HTTP portal
10943 Port for Polling Tentacles to contact the server

Volume Mounts

Read the Docker docs about mounting volume.

/import Imports from this folder if Octopus Migrator metadata.json exists then migrator Import takes place on startup
/repository Package path for the built-in package repository
/artifacts Path where artifacts are stored
/taskLogs Path where task logs are stored
/cache Path where cached files are stored


When the volumes are externally mounted to the host filesystem, upgrades between Octopus versions are much easier. We can picture the upgrade process with a container as being similar to moving a standard Octopus Server since containers, being immutable, don't themselves get updated.

Similar to moving an instance, to perform the container upgrade you will need the Master Key that was used to set up the original database. The Master Key for an Octopus Server in a container can be found by using the container exec command:

> docker container exec <container name/ID> /Octopus/Octopus.Server show-master-key --console --instance OctopusServer


When you have the Master Key, you can stop the running Octopus Server container instance (delete it if you plan on using the same name), and run almost the same command as before, but this time, pass in the Master Key as an environment variable and reference the new Octopus Server version. When this new container starts up, it will use the same credentials and detect that the database has already been set up and use the Master Key to access its sensitive values:

$ docker run --interactive --detach --name OctopusServer --publish 1322:8080 --env DB_CONNECTION_STRING="..." --env MASTER_KEY "5qJcW9E6B99teMmrOzaYNA==" octopusdeploy/octopusdeploy:2020.4.6

The standard backup and restore procedures for the data stored on the filesystem and the connected SQL Server still apply as per normal Octopus installations.

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