Using external databases with Sourcegraph

Sourcegraph by default provides its own PostgreSQL and Redis databases for data storage:

  • PostgreSQL for storing long-term information, such as user information when using Sourcegraph’s built-in authentication provider instead of an external one.
  • Redis for storing short-term information, such as session information and cache data.

Using your own PostgreSQL server

You can use your own PostgreSQL v9.6+ server with Sourcegraph if you wish. For example, you may prefer this if you already have existing backup infrastructure around your own PostgreSQL server, wish to use Amazon RDS, etc.

Simply add the standard PostgreSQL environment variables to your Sourcegraph deployment files and Sourcegraph will use that PostgreSQL server instead of its built-in one.


Add the following to your docker run command:

docker run [...] -e -e PGUSER=sourcegraph -e PGPASSWORD=secret -e PGDATABASE=sourcegraph -e PGSSLMODE=require sourcegraph/server:3.18.0

Docker Compose

  1. Add/modify the following environment variables to all of the sourcegraph-frontend-* services and the sourcegraph-frontend-internal service in ` docker-compose.yaml:

      # ...
        # ...
        - ''
        - 'PGUSER=sourcegraph'
        - 'PGPASSWORD=secret'
        - 'PGDATABASE=sourcegraph'
        - 'PGSSLMODE=require'
      # ...

    See “Environment variables in Compose” for other ways to pass these environment variables to the relevant services (including from the command line, a .env file, etc.).

  2. Comment out / remove the internal pgsql service in docker-compose.yaml since Sourcegraph is using the external one now.

    # # Description: PostgreSQL database for various data.
    # #
    # # Disk: 128GB / persistent SSD
    # # Ports exposed to other Sourcegraph services: 5432/TCP 9187/TCP
    # # Ports exposed to the public internet: none
    # #
    # pgsql:
    # container_name: pgsql
    # image: '[email protected]:072481559d559cfd9a53ad77c3688b5cf583117457fd452ae238a20405923297'
    # cpus: 4
    # mem_limit: '2g'
    # healthcheck:
    #    test: '/'
    #    interval: 10s
    #    timeout: 1s
    #    retries: 3
    #    start_period: 15s
    # volumes:
    #    - 'pgsql:/data/'
    # networks:
    #     - sourcegraph
    # restart: always


Update the PG* environment variables in the sourcegraph-frontend deployment YAML file to point to the external PostgreSQL instance.

Version requirements

Please refer to our Postgres documentation to learn about version requirements.


Most standard PostgreSQL environment variables may be specified (PGPORT, etc). See for a full list.

Using your own Redis server

Version requirements: We support any version starting from 5.0.

Generally, there is no reason to do this as Sourcegraph only stores ephemeral cache and session data in Redis. However, if you want to use an external Redis server with Sourcegraph, you can do the following:

Add the REDIS_ENDPOINT environment variable to your docker run command and Sourcegraph will use that Redis server instead of its built-in one. The string must either have the format $HOST:PORT or follow the IANA specification for Redis URLs (e.g., redis://:[email protected]:6379/2). For example:

docker run [...]   -e   sourcegraph/server:3.18.0

If using Docker for Desktop, host.docker.internal will resolve to the host IP address.