Docker Quick Start

The Stoplight Platform comes as a single container image, making it simple to both run and manage at any scale. Apart from the Stoplight application code itself, also included in the container is:

All of the components above are included (but not always used) to ensure the running container has everything it needs to run with as few dependencies as possible.

System Requirements

  • Docker, or another compatible container runtime (Kubernetes, OpenShift, etc) with access to at least 2 CPUs and 4GB of memory

  • Network access to the running container port, which defaults to 8080 (but can be remapped). If SSL will be enabled, the default port is 8443.

SSL Requirements

If SSL will be enabled, you will also need:

  • SSL certificate in the PEM format

  • SSL secret key in the PEM format

Authenticating with the Container Registry

Before you can run the Stoplight Platform container, you will need to login to the Stoplight container registry:

docker login -u="username" -p="password"

The credentials used above will be provided by the Stoplight Customer Success team at the beginning of your evaluation or implementation. Please contact us if you do not have registry credentials.

To verify the image is accessible, run:

docker pull

Running Locally

To start the Stoplight process using docker run:

# create local data directory
mkdir stoplight-data
chmod -R 777 stoplight-data

# start the service
docker run --name stoplight-platform \
    -p 8080:8080 \
    -v $(pwd)/stoplight-data:/home/node/postgresql \


  • The -v $(pwd) means the Platform data directory will be stored in the current local directory from where the docker run command is being run. You can replace $(pwd) with a full path (ie, /data/stoplight) if you would like to store data somewhere else on the host system.

  • All data used by Stoplight is stored within the PostgreSQL data directory located at /home/node/postgresql, so be sure to include the -v option referenced above to ensure data is persisted outside the container.

  • The master process inside the container runs as the container’s nginx user, which has a UID of 101. Make sure that this user has write permissions to the mounted volume (specified with -v). This is handled by the chmod command at the start of the snippet above.

Running Remotely

To start the Stoplight process when running remotely, you will need to follow the instructions above as well as set the following variable:

  • SL_API_URL, which is the fully-qualified URL of the Stoplight instance with an /api suffix (ie,

To start the Stoplight process using docker run:

# create local data directory
mkdir stoplight-data
chmod -R 777 stoplight-data

# start the service
docker run -d --name stoplight-platform \
    -p 8080:8080 \                                      # * if this is updated, update SL_API_URL
    -v $(pwd)/stoplight-data:/home/node/postgresql \
    -e SL_API_URL= \ # * update to your hostname/IP _and_ port

Enabling SSL

To enable SSL, you will need to include the environment variables:

  • SL_ENABLE_SSL=true, which enables the SSL logic in the container runtime.

  •, where the value is the fully-qualified hostname of the running container (ie, the hostname that the certificate was created for).

  • SL_API_URL=, where the value is the fully-qualified hostname of the running Stoplight Platform container. This is typically https:// + $SL_HOSTNAME (above) + /api.

This makes the final docker run command:

docker run -d --name stoplight-platform \
    -v $(pwd)/stoplight-data:/home/node/postgresql \
    -p 8443:8443 \                                                          # * ssl binds to 8443
    -e SL_ENABLE_SSL=true \                                                 # *
    -e \                               # * update this to your hostname
    -e SL_API_URL= \                    # * include https in URL
    -v ./path/to/cert.pem:/etc/nginx/custom-certificates/fullchain.pem \    # *
    -v ./path/to/key.pem:/etc/nginx/custom-certificates/privkey.pem \       # *

Self-Signed Certificates

When enabling SSL with a self-signed (or custom CA-signed) certificate, make sure and set the environment variable NODE_EXTRA_CA_CERTS with the file path to the certificate.


Using a Custom PostgreSQL Database

While the Stoplight container does include a version of PostgreSQL Server, setting the SL_POSTGRES_URL variable to an external PostgreSQL URL will disable the included PostgreSQL Server and, instead, use the external PostgreSQL instance for storage.

-e SL_POSTGRES_URL=postgres://username:[email protected]:5432/stoplight

When using an external PostgreSQL server, you do not need to use an external volume (-v) for storing application data.

Log Output

Log output for the Stoplight processes are available at the paths below:

  • /home/node/log/frontend.log
  • /home/node/log/backend.log
  • /home/node/log/nginx.log
  • /home/node/log/postgres.log

If you would like the container to send output to stdout instead of a log file, set the EMIT_STDOUT environment variable to the value true:


Disabling IPv6

If you would like to prevent nginx from binding to IPv6 interfaces, set the DISABLE_IPV6 environment variable to the value true:

-e DISABLE_IPV6=true

Accessing Supervisor

If you ever need to access the running supervisord process in order to control running processes within the container, you can do so by running the command:

docker exec -it stoplight-platform supervisorctl

By accessing supervisord, you can see the process status, restart services, and more:

$ docker exec -it stoplight-platform supervisorctl
backend                          RUNNING   pid 1470, uptime 1:31:47
frontend                         RUNNING   pid 1468, uptime 1:31:47
nginx                            RUNNING   pid 1467, uptime 1:31:47
postgres                         RUNNING   pid 1469, uptime 1:31:47
supervisor> restart nginx
nginx: stopped
nginx: started

To disable the supervisorctl access, set the SUPERVISOR_RPC_DISABLED environment variable to true:


Taking a Backup

To take a backup of the running Stoplight container, use the included pg_dump utility to export the PostgreSQL database:

docker exec -it stoplight-platform pg_dump stoplight > stoplight-backup.$(date +%Y.%m.%d_%H%M%S).sql

Once the command above completes, you will have a stoplight-backup.*.sql file with a timestamp of when the backup was taken that can then be loaded into a new system.

Restoring from Backup

NOTE, be sure to erase any pre-existing application data before restoring a database backup.

To restore from a backup, you will use the included pg utility to import data from a pre-existing SQL backup file:

# copy backup into running container, under /tmp/
docker cp stoplight-backup.sql platform:/tmp/

# stop the backend service (if not already)
docker exec -it platform supervisorctl stop backend

# restore the backup
docker exec -it stoplight-platform pg -f /tmp/stoplight-backup.sql stoplight

# start the backend
docker exec -it platform supervisorctl start backend

Once completed, be sure to use the same SL_APP_SECRET from the previous installation to prevent user sessions and secrets from being invalidated.