Single VM deployment

This documentation is for the CARTO Self-Hosted Legacy Version. Use only if you've installed this specific version. Explore our latest documentation for updated features.

Estimated time: Completing this deployment guide is expected to take approximately 3 hours. This estimate may vary based on individual familiarity with the technology stack involved and the complexity of your organization's environment.


To deploy CARTO Self-Hosted based on a Single VM deployment, you need:

  • A CARTO Self-Hosted installation package containing your environment configuration and a license key. The package has two files: customer.env and key.json. If you don't have it yet, you can ask for it at

  • A domain you own, to which you can add a DNS record.

  • Familiarity with and installations of Docker Engine and Docker Compose.

  • Familiarity as a SysAdmin in the cloud environment where you are running your installation: GCP, AWS, or Azure.

Create a Linux VM instance

CARTO Self-Hosted can be deployed in any Virtual Machine that meets the minimum requirements specified at Single VM deployments (docker-compose).

Create a new Linux VM in the Google Cloud console that meets the minimum requirements specified at Single VM deployments (docker-compose).

Refer to the Google Cloud documentation to learn how to create a new virtual machine.

  • Configure the firewall to allow HTTPS traffic.

  • Specify SSD persistent with a size that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements.

Once, your VM is ready, you should log in via SSH and install the latest version of Docker Engine and Docker Compose.

Installation steps

Clone this repository:

git clone
cd carto-selfhosted

Checkout to the latest stable release:

git checkout tags/2024.2.21

Copy into carto-selfhosted folder the two files of the installation package

  • customer.env

  • key.json

Domain configuration

Configure your CARTO Self-hosted domain by updating the env var SELFHOSTED_DOMAIN to

A full domain is required. You cannot install CARTO in a domain path like

Create a DNS record that points to the External IP of your VM. For debugging purposes, you might want to modify your /etc/hosts:

echo "" >> /etc/hosts

Configure the external database

Add to customer.env the configuration of the external database. At this point, you need to provide a PostgreSQL admin user (typically postgres) with permission to create users and databases.

  • POSTGRES_ADMIN_USER: Your PostgreSQL admin user.

  • POSTGRES_ADMIN_PASSWORD: The password of your admin user.

  • WORKSPACE_POSTGRES_USER: The admin user to be created. It will be created with the previous admin user.

  • WORKSPACE_POSTGRES_PASSWORD: The new password to be created.

  • WORKSPACE_POSTGRES_DB: The database to be created.

# Set to 0 to not create the PostgreSQL container locally
# SSL will be enabled later.

In some scenarios, it's required an SSL connection between the external database and the APIs. In that case, you should provide the SSL certificate and add to customer.env the SSL configuration of your server.

# Only applies if Postgres SSL certificate is self-signed

Mutual TLS connections between the external database and the APIs are not supported, so client certificates can't be configured on your external database

You should copy your certificate in .pem format into the certs folder located inside your installation route. We'll automatically mount the whole certs folder inside the required containers so that they can use the SSL certificate.

Bring up the environment

Run the script to generate the .env file out of the customer.env file:


Bring up the environment:

docker-compose up -d

Check all the containers are up and running:

docker-compose ps

All containers should be in the state Up, except for workspace-migrations which state should be Exit 0, meaning the database migrations finished correctly.

A non-production-ready deployment of CARTO should be available at

Configure your storage buckets

CARTO Self-hosted platform needs access to some storage buckets to save some resources needed by the platform. These buckets are in charge of storing assets such as imported datasets, map snapshots and custom markers.

You can create and use your own storage buckets in any of the following supported storage providers:

And in order to configure them, there is a detailed guide available that you should follow to complete the Self-Hosted configuration process.

Add your SSL certificate

By default, CARTO Self-hosted will generate and use a self-signed certificate. In production environments, you need to provide your own SSL certificate.

If you don't have yet a valid certificate for the domain of your Self-hosted, you might be interested in using to get a valid one.

A valid certificate contains:

  • A .crt file with your custom domain x509 certificate.

  • A .key file with your custom domain private key.

If your TLS certificate key is protected with a passphrase the CARTO Self-hosted installation won't be able to work as expected. You can easily generate a new key file without passphrase protection using the following command:

openssl rsa -in keyfile_with_passphrase.key -out new_keyfile.key
  1. Create a certs folder in the current directory (carto-selfhosted)

  2. Copy your <cert>.crt and <cert>.key files in the certs folders

  3. Modify the following vars in the customer.env file:



docker-compose up -d 

Post-installation checks

In order to verify CARTO Self Hosted was correctly installed, and it's functional, we recommend performing the following checks:

  1. Sign in to your Self Hosted, create a user and a new organization.

  2. Go to the Connections page, in the left-hand menu, create a new connection to one of the available providers.

  3. Go to the Data Explorer page, click on the Upload button right next to the Connections panel. Import a dataset from a local file.

  4. Go back to the Maps page, and create a new map.

  5. In this new map, add a new layer from a table using the connection created in step 3.

  6. Create a new layer from a SQL Query to the same table. You can use a simple query like:

SELECT * FROM <dataset_name.table_name> LIMIT 100;
  1. Create a new layer from the dataset imported in step 4.

  2. Make the map public, copy the sharing URL, and open it in a new incognito window.

  3. Go back to the Maps page, and verify your map appears there, and the map thumbnail represents the latest changes you made to the map.

Congrats! Once you've configured your custom buckets, you should have a production-ready deployment of CARTO Self-Hosted at

You may notice that the onboarding experience (demo maps, demo workflows...) and the Data Observatory-automated features (subscriptions, enrichment...) are disabled by default in your new organization, because the CARTO Data Warehouse is not enabled.

If you'd like to enable the onboarding experience and the Data Observatory features, follow the guide to enable the CARTO Data Warehouse or contact

If you prefer not to enable the CARTO Data Warehouse, you can still use the Data Observatory without the UI features: after getting in touch, our team can deliver the data (both premium and public subscriptions) manually to your data warehouse.

Analytics Toolbox in CARTO Self-Hosted

To fully leverage CARTO's capabilities you need to gain access to the Analytics Toolbox functions. This step is crucial to fully leverage CARTO's capabilities. Please refer to the documentation of your data warehouse provider for detailed instructions:

Root Privileges

The installation of CARTO Self-Hosted doesn't require root privileges. It can be performed using a regular system user with permission to execute the docker and docker-compose binaries.

This means that once the dependencies and prerequisites are satisfied, the operator that runs the installation only requires permission to run the docker and docker-compose binaries.

This is usually achieved by adding the system user to the docker group, but there is more detailed information here.


The following standard commands of docker-compose could be used to debug possible issues that might arise:

docker-compose logs and docker-compose ps


The container workspace-migrations will be responsible for creating a new user carto_worskpace_admin and a database carto_workspace.

To debug possible errors with the connection of the external database, you might need to check the logs of this container:

docker-compose logs workspace-migrations

For further assistance, check our Support page.

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