Running in Docker

Canton is published to the digitalasset/canton dockerhub repository. The canton executable is the default image entry point so all examples using bin/canton can simply substitute that with docker run digtialasset/canton.

For example, to run our example simple topology:

docker run --rm -it digitalasset/canton:latest --config examples/01-simple-topology/simple-topology.conf --bootstrap examples/01-simple-topology/simple-ping.canton

The --rm option ensures that the container is removed when the canton process exits. The -it options start the container interactively and provide a TTY for running our console.

The default working directory of the container is /canton. This directory contains the same content as the release archive (daml, dar, examples).

By default docker will pull the latest tag containing the latest Canton release. As docker will only automatically pull latest once, ensure you have the latest version by periodically running docker pull digitalasset/canton.

Previous releases can be run by specifying their tag digitalasset/canton:0.0.27.

Supplying custom configuration and DARs

To expose files to the canton container you must specify a volume mapping from the host machine to the container.

For example, if you have the local directory my-application containing your custom canton configuration and DAR:

docker run --rm \
   --volume "$PWD/my-application:/canton/my-application" \
   digitalasset/canton --config /canton/my-application/my-config.conf

DARs can be loaded using the same container local path.

Exposing the ledger-api to the host machine

Applications using Canton will typically need access to the ledger-api to read from and write to the ledger. Each participant binds the ledger-api to the port specified at the configuration key: ledger-api.port. For participant1 in the simple topology example this is set to port 5011.

To expose the ledger-api to port 5011 on the host machine, run docker with the following options:

docker run --rm -it \
   -p 5011:5011 \
   digitalasset/canton \
   --config examples/01-simple-topology/simple-topology.conf \
   --bootstrap examples/01-simple-topology/simple-ping.canton

The ledger-api port for each participant will need to be mapped separately.

Running Postgres in Docker

Canton requires an appropriate database to persist data. For this purpose, such a database can also be run in a docker container using the following, helpful command:

Please note that the –publish command allows us to pick the target port which we have to define in the Canton configuration file. The –rm will delete the data store once the docker container is killed. This is useful for short-term tests. The –shm-size 256mb is necessary as Docker will allocate only 64mb of shared memory by default which is insufficient for the way Canton uses Postgres.

Note that you also need to create the databases yourself, which for Postgres you can do using psql

The tables will be managed automatically by Canton. The psql solution works also if you run multiple nodes on one Postgres database which all require separate databases. If you run just one node against one database, you can avoid using psql by adding –POSTGRES_DB=participant1 to above docker command.