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Single VM deployment

Deploy CARTO Self-hosted using a Virtual Machine and Docker Compose


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 [email protected].
  • A domain you own, to which you can add a DNS record.
  • Familiarity with and installations of Docker Engine and Docker Compose.

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).
Google Cloud GCP Instance
AWS EC2 Instance
Azure VM
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.
Create a new Linux EC2 instance in the Amazon EC2 console using the Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS (x86) Amazon Machine Image (AMI).
Refer to the Amazon EC2 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.
Create a new Linux VM in the Azure Portal that meets the minimum requirements.
Refer to the Azure documentation to learn how to create a new virtual machine.
  • Configure the firewall to allow HTTPS traffic.
  • When creating the VM, use SSH public key authentication and provide a username. Generate a new key-pair and specify a name. Azure generates and stores the key in the Azure KeyVault to download later.
  • Specify SSD persistent with a size that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements.
  • Once the VM is initialized, download the private key when prompted. Update the permissions of the key-pair to ensure it has the required permissions for your SSH client.
chmod 400 <path_to_pem_file>
ssh -i <path_to_pem_file> <username>@<public_ip>
Ensure Delete public IP and NIC when VM is deleted is enabled.
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/2023.10.25
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.
For Azure Postgres instances you'll need a couple of extra env vars
  • WORKSPACE_POSTGRES_INTERNAL_USER: Same value as WORKSPACE_POSTGRES_USER but without the @db-name prefix.
  • POSTGRES_LOGIN_USER: Same value as POSTGRES_ADMIN_USER but without the @db-name prefix.
# 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. 1.
    Create a certs folder in the current directory (carto-selfhosted)
  2. 2.
    Copy your <cert>.crt and <cert>.key files in the certs folders
  3. 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. 1.
    Sign in to your Self Hosted, create a user and a new organization.
  2. 2.
    Go to the Connections page, in the left-hand menu, create a new connection to one of the available providers.
  3. 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. 4.
    Go back to the Maps page, and create a new map.
  5. 5.
    In this new map, add a new layer from a table using the connection created in step 3.
  6. 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. 7.
    Create a new layer from the dataset imported in step 4.
  2. 8.
    Make the map public, copy the sharing URL, and open it in a new incognito window.
  3. 9.
    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

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.