# Docker Installation

Docker (opens new window) is a quick and simple way to download and start automating with n8n. By using Docker you are able to:

  • Install to a pristine environment
  • Easily install and run the your preferred database with n8n
  • Enjoy a quick and simplified installation experience regardless of your OS

# Prerequisites

Before proceeding ensure that you have installed Docker Desktop (opens new window).

💡 Linux Users

Docker Desktop is only available for Mac and Windows. You must install Docker Engine (opens new window) and Docker Compose (opens new window) individually for your distribution.

# Starting n8n

From your terminal, run:

docker run -it --rm \
	--name n8n \
	-p 5678:5678 \
	-v ~/.n8n:/home/node/.n8n \
	n8nio/n8n

This command will download all required n8n images and start your container, exposed on port 5678. So that all your data is not lost when you stop the container, it also mounts a local directory, .n8n, to persist your data locally.

You can then access n8n by opening: http://localhost:5678 (opens new window)

# Using alternate databases

By default n8n uses SQLite to save credentials, past executions and workflows. n8n also supports PostgresDB, MySQL and MariaDB, configurable via environment variables as detailed below.

It is important to still persist data in the /root/.n8n folder as it contains n8n user data and even more importantly the encryption key for credentials. It is also the name of the webhook when the n8n tunnel is used.

If no directory is found, n8n creates automatically one on startup. In this case, existing credentials saved with a different encryption key can not be used anymore.

# PostgresDB

docker run -it --rm \
	--name n8n \
	-p 5678:5678 \
	-e DB_TYPE=postgresdb \
	-e DB_POSTGRESDB_DATABASE=<POSTGRES_DATABASE> \
	-e DB_POSTGRESDB_HOST=<POSTGRES_HOST> \
	-e DB_POSTGRESDB_PORT=<POSTGRES_PORT> \
	-e DB_POSTGRESDB_USER=<POSTGRES_USER> \
	-e DB_POSTGRESDB_SCHEMA=<POSTGRES_SCHEMA> \
	-e DB_POSTGRESDB_PASSWORD=<POSTGRES_PASSWORD> \
	-v ~/.n8n:/home/node/.n8n \
	n8nio/n8n \
	n8n start

A complete docker-compose file for Postgres can be found here (opens new window).

# Passing data via file

To avoid passing sensitive information via environment variables _FILE may be appended to some environment variables. It will then load the data from a file with the given name. That makes it possible to load data easily from Docker- and Kubernetes-Secrets.

The following environment variables support file input:

  • DB_POSTGRESDB_DATABASE_FILE
  • DB_POSTGRESDB_HOST_FILE
  • DB_POSTGRESDB_PASSWORD_FILE
  • DB_POSTGRESDB_PORT_FILE
  • DB_POSTGRESDB_USER_FILE
  • DB_POSTGRESDB_SCHEMA_FILE
  • N8N_BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD_FILE
  • N8N_BASIC_AUTH_USER_FILE

# MySQL

docker run -it --rm \
	--name n8n \
	-p 5678:5678 \
	-e DB_TYPE=mysqldb \
	-e DB_MYSQLDB_DATABASE=<MYSQLDB_DATABASE> \
	-e DB_MYSQLDB_HOST=<MYSQLDB_HOST> \
	-e DB_MYSQLDB_PORT=<MYSQLDB_PORT> \
	-e DB_MYSQLDB_USER=<MYSQLDB_USER> \
	-e DB_MYSQLDB_PASSWORD=<MYSQLDB_PASSWORD> \
	-v ~/.n8n:/home/node/.n8n \
	n8nio/n8n \
	n8n start

# Setting timezone

To define the timezone n8n should use, the environment variable GENERIC_TIMEZONE can be set. This gets used by schedule based nodes such as the Cron node.

The timezone of the system can also be set separately. This controls what some scripts and commands return like $ date. The system timezone can be set via the environment variable TZ.

Example using the same timezone for both:

docker run -it --rm \
	--name n8n \
	-p 5678:5678 \
	-e GENERIC_TIMEZONE="Europe/Berlin" \
	-e TZ="Europe/Berlin" \
	n8nio/n8n

# Further reading

More information about Docker setup can be found in the README file of the Docker Image (opens new window).