In this tutorial, you’re going to learn how to deploy a Prisma server to Dokku.


Dokku is an extendible, open source Platform as a Service that runs on a single server of your choice.


VPS or local server to host Dokku

You need a system that meets following requirements:

  1. A fresh installation of Ubuntu 16.04 x64, Ubuntu 14.04 x64, Debian 8.2 x64 or CentOS 7 x64 (experimental) with the FQDN set [1]
  2. At least 1GB of system memory

Install Dokku

You need to install an up-to-date version of Dokku on your system of choice. You can find installation instructions on


Create the app

Create the application on the Dokku host. You will need to ssh onto the host to run this command.

# on the Dokku host
dokku apps:create prisma-server

Create the backing service

Dokku by default does not provide any datastores such as MySQL or PostgreSQL. You will need to install plugins to handle that, but fortunately Dokku has official plugins for common datastores.

Install the Postgres plugin and create a service

# on the Dokku host
# install the Postgres plugin
# Plugin installation requires root, hence the user change
sudo dokku plugin:install

# create a Postgres service with the name prisma-server-db
dokku postgres:create prisma-server-db

You`ll see an output like that, once your server was created:

       Waiting for container to be ready
       Creating container database
       Securing connection to database
=====> Postgres container created: tst
=====> Container Information
       Config dir:          /var/lib/dokku/services/postgres/tst/config
       Data dir:            /var/lib/dokku/services/postgres/tst/data
       <b>Dsn:                 postgres://postgres:bd793d8a330715891698434697a0345b@dokku-postgres-prisma-server-db:5432/prisma-server-db</b>
       Exposed ports:       -
       Id:                  df03bfa7ca9ae3d42857dc5db2d98542542c5f4482fd2d269cf86ad663bcb2fe
       Internal ip:
       Links:               -
       Service root:        /var/lib/dokku/services/postgres/tst
       Status:              running
       Version:             postgres:10.2

The important part of that output is the Dsn. We'll need it later for setting up the prisma server!

Linking backing service to application

Once the service creation is complete, link the service to your prisma-server application.

# on the Dokku host
# each official datastore offers a `link` method to link a service to any application
dokku postgres:link prisma-server-db prisma-server

Create a new project folder

Create a new folder on your local machine and add these two files with the following content to it.


FROM prismagraphql/prisma:1.14
COPY config.yml prisma.yml


port: 4466
    connector: postgres
    host: dokku-postgres-prisma-server-db
    port: 5432
    user: postgres
    password: bd793d8a330715891698434697a0345b
    migrations: true

Deploy the Prisma server

Now you can deploy the Prisma server to your Dokku server. All you have to do is initialize a git project and add a remote to the app.

# from your local machine, inside your project folder
git init
git add .
git commit -m "Initial commit"
# the remote username *must* be dokku or pushes will fail
git remote add dokku dokku@YOUR_DOKKU_HOST:prisma-server
git push --set-upstream dokku master

Access your new deployed Prisma server

The GraphQL Playground should be accessible at http://YOUR_DOKKU_HOST:4466 after dokku deployed your app!