Running in a Docker container

This guide will show you how to run Litestream within a Docker container either as a sidecar or within the same container as your application. You will need a Docker installed on your machine for this guide.


Docker is a common tool for deploying applications and Litestream can be easily integrated into your workflow. Docker typically recommends running one application per container and Litestream can be run as a sidecar to another container. However, some deployment models do not support this so we’ll show you how to run your application & Litestream in the same container as well.

Running as a sidecar

Litestream provides an official image via Docker Hub. You can use it with a configuration file or with a replica URL.

Using a configuration file

Typically, it’s recommended to run Litestream using a configuration file as it provides more configuration options. First, create your configuration file:

access-key-id:     YOUR_ACCESS_KEY_ID
secret-access-key: YOUR_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY

  - path: /data/db
      - url: s3://BUCKET/db

Note that the database path is using the /data path in your Docker container. Also, you can specify access key & secret key via environment variables instead.

Next, you’ll need to attach both your data directory and your configuration file via a volume:

docker run \
  -v /local/path/to/data:/data \
  -v /local/path/to/litestream.yml:/etc/litestream.yml \
  litestream/litestream replicate

You can also use named volumes instead of absolute paths. See Docker’s Use volumes documentation for more information about which one to use.

Now that Litestream is running, you can start your application and mount the same data volume.

Using a replica URL

For basic replication of a single database, you can set your S3 credentials via environment variables, mount a volume to read from, and specify the path and replica as arguments:

docker run \
  -v /local/path/to/data:/data \
  litestream/litestream replicate /data/db s3://BUCKET/db

This command will use the LITESTREAM_ACCESS_KEY_ID and LITESTREAM_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY environment variables in your current session and pass those into your Docker container. You can also set the values explicitly using the -e flag.

The command then mounts a volume from your localpath to the /data directory inside the container.

Finally, the replicate command will replicate data from the db database file in your /data volume to an S3 bucket. You’ll need to replace BUCKET with the name of your bucket.

Running in the same container

If you are deploying to a service like that only uses a single container, you can bundle both your application and Litestream together using Litestream’s built-in process supervision. You can specify your application’s process and flags by passing them to the -exec flag:

litestream replicate -exec "myapp -myflag myarg"

Or you can pass them in via the config file:

exec: myapp -myflag myarg
  - path: /path/to/db

Litestream will monitor your application’s process and automatically shutdown when it closes. You can find an example application in the litestream-docker-example repository.

If you need to monitor multiple application processes, you can also use s6 as a process supervisor. s6 provides a simple init system for managing multiple processes. It is wrapped by the s6-overlay project to provide this service to Docker containers. You can find a small example application in the litestream-s6-example repository.