Running with Docker

In the Healthchecks source code, /docker/ directory, you can find a sample configuration for running the project with Docker and Docker Compose.

Note: For the sake of simplicity, the sample configuration starts a single database node and a single web server node, both on the same host. It does not handle TLS termination.

Getting Started

  • Grab the Healthchecks source code from the GitHub repository.
  • Copy docker/.env.example to docker/.env and add your configuration in it. As a minimum, set the following fields:

    • ALLOWED_HOSTS – the domain name of your Healthchecks instance. Example:
    • DEFAULT_FROM_EMAIL – the "From:" address for outbound emails.
    • EMAIL_HOST – the SMTP server.
    • EMAIL_HOST_PASSWORD – the SMTP password.
    • EMAIL_HOST_USER – the SMTP username.
    • SECRET_KEY – secures HTTP sessions, set to a random value.
    • SITE_ROOT – The base public URL of your Healthchecks instance. Example: SITE_ROOT=
  • Create and start containers:

    $ cd docker
    $ docker-compose up
  • Create a superuser:

    $ docker-compose run web /opt/healthchecks/ createsuperuser
  • Open http://localhost:8000 in your browser and log in with the credentials from the previous step.

uWSGI Configuration

The reference Dockerfile uses uWSGI as the WSGI server. You can configure uWSGI by setting UWSGI_... environment variables in docker/.env. For example, to disable HTTP request logging, set:


To adjust the number of uWSGI processes (for example, to save memory), set:


Read more about configuring uWSGI in uWSGI documentation.

SMTP Listener Configuration via SMTPD_PORT

Healthchecks comes with a smtpd management command, which runs a SMTP listener service. With the command running, you can ping your checks by sending email messages to email addresses.

The container is configured to start the SMTP listener conditionally, based on the value of the SMTPD_PORT environment value:

  • If SMTPD_PORT environment variable is not set, the SMTP listener will not run.
  • If SMTPD_PORT is set, the listener will run and listen on the specified port. You may also need to edit docker-compose.yml to expose the listening port (see the "ports" section under the "web" service in docker-compose.yml).

The conditional logic lives in uWSGI configuration file, uwsgi.ini.

See also: the PING_EMAIL_DOMAIN environment variable for customizing the domain part of the email addresses.

TLS Termination

If you plan to expose your Healthchecks instance to the public internet, make sure you put a TLS-terminating reverse proxy or load balancer in front of it.

Important: This Dockerfile uses uWSGI, which relies on the X-Forwarded-Proto header to determine if a request is secure or not. Make sure your TLS-terminating reverse proxy:

  • Discards the X-Forwarded-Proto header sent by the end user.
  • Sets the X-Forwarded-Proto header value to match the protocol of the original request ("http" or "https").

For example, in NGINX you can use the $scheme variable like so:

proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

Pre-built Images

Pre-built Docker images, built from the Dockerfile in the /docker/ directory, are available on Docker Hub. The images are built automatically for every new release.

The Docker images:

  • Support amd64, arm/v7 and arm64 architectures.
  • Use uWSGI as the web server. uWSGI is configured to perform database migrations on startup, and to run sendalerts, sendreports, and smtpd in the background. You do not need to run them separately.
  • Ship with both PostgreSQL and MySQL database drivers.
  • Serve static files using the whitenoise library.
  • Have the apprise library preinstalled.
  • Do not handle TLS termination. In a production setup, you will want to put the Healthchecks container behind a reverse proxy or load balancer that handles TLS termination.

To use a pre-built image for Healthchecks version X.Y, in the docker-compose.yml file replace the "build" section with:

image: healthchecks/healthchecks:vX.Y