Try PL/Rust with Docker

Giving PL/Rust a try has never been easier with Docker! This document outlines what is required to get a functional Postgres + PL/Rust environment running with just a few commands.

The PL/Rust repository supplies a Dockerfile named Dockerfile.try that contains everything necessary to spin up and test PL/Rust in a target environment.

The following instructions assume a very basic understanding of what Docker is and that it is already installed in the target environment. If Docker is not yet installed, instructions can be found here:

  1. Clone the PL/Rust code, and switch to that directory
  2. From a command line, run the following from the root of the checkout directory (sudo or equivalent may be required):
    docker build -f Dockerfile.try -t tcdi/try-plrust .
    Note that this may take a little while to finish.
  3. Once the above has finished, run the following (sudo may be required here):
    docker run -it tcdi/try-plrust
  4. There will be some output that the Postgres server has started, and psql prompt will start up in the foreground:
    Type "help" for help.

That's it! From here, the psql interactive prompt with PL/Rust installed can be used to create and run PL/Rust functions. Here is a very small example to get started:


Creating PL/Rust functions compiles Rust code in the backend, so this may take some time depending on the host's hardware specifications and internet connection speeds. Once this completes, the PL/Rust function can be executed similar to other Postgres functions:


which will provide the following results:

postgres(plrust)=# SELECT * FROM;
(1 row)

To exit out of the prompt and the Docker container, type the Postgres command quit:

postgres(plrust)=# quit

Alternate running modes

Running the Docker container using docker run -it tcdi/try-plrust as described above will spin up both the Postgres server in the background and the psql command line utility in the foreground in the same running container. However, the option exists to run the Postgres server only (with PL/Rust installed) so that an alternative Postgres client can be used. To do this, run the following command (which may require sudo or equivalent):

docker run -it -p 5432:5432 tcdi/try-plrust server

This will set up everything that is necessary and run the Postgres server only, binding to TCP port 5432. Output here will be all of the Postgres log entries, including any errors that result from a PL/Rust compilation error. The final server argument in the command indicates that it should launch the server script upon container bootup. In order to connect with an alternative client, the only pieces of information that are required are the Postgres username (postgres), the hostname or IP address (e.g. localhost or and the port (5432). There is no password set for the postgres user in this setup. An example Postgres URI might look like this:


To exit out of server mode, press Ctrl+c in the running Docker container.


  • This Dockerfile and resulting image should not be used in production. It does not take many security precautions into consideration. As such, the way Dockerfile.try is constructed should not be considered a best practice as it relates to setting up and securing a Postgres instance with PL/Rust installed.

  • The Postgres data directories, logs and built PL/Rust functions are not persistent and are destroyed upon container termination. Externally mounting Postgres' data, log and function directories is outside the scope of this example.