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testcontainers-python facilitates the use of Docker containers for functional and integration testing. The collection of packages currently supports the following features.

Getting Started

>>> from testcontainers.postgres import PostgresContainer
>>> import sqlalchemy

>>> with PostgresContainer("postgres:16") as postgres:
...     psql_url = postgres.get_connection_url()
...     engine = sqlalchemy.create_engine(psql_url)
...     with engine.begin() as connection:
...         version, = connection.execute(sqlalchemy.text("SELECT version()")).fetchone()
>>> version
'PostgreSQL 16...'

The snippet above will spin up the current latest version of a postgres database in a container. The get_connection_url() convenience method returns a sqlalchemy compatible url (using the psycopg2 driver per default) to connect to the database and retrieve the database version.

>>> from testcontainers.postgres import PostgresContainer
>>> import psycopg

>>> with PostgresContainer("postgres:16", driver=None) as postgres:
...     psql_url = postgres.get_connection_url()
...     with psycopg.connect(psql_url) as connection:
...         with connection.cursor() as cursor:
...             version, = cursor.execute("SELECT version()").fetchone()
>>> version
'PostgreSQL 16...'

This snippet does the same, however using a specific version and the driver is set to None, to influence the get_connection_url() convenience method to not include a driver in the URL (e.g. for compatibility with psycopg v3).

Note, that the sqlalchemy and psycopg packages are no longer a dependency of testcontainers[postgres] and not needed to launch the Postgres container. Your project therefore needs to declare a dependency on the used driver and db access methods you use in your code.

By default, Testcontainers will search for the container via the gateway IP. You can manually specify your own IP with the environment variable TESTCONTAINERS_HOST_OVERRIDE.


The suite of testcontainers packages is available on PyPI, and individual packages can be installed using pip.

Version 4.0.0 onwards we do not support the testcontainers-* packages as it is unsutainable to maintain ownership.

Instead packages can be installed by specifying extras, e.g., pip install testcontainers[postgres].

Docker in Docker (DinD)

When trying to launch a testcontainer from within a Docker container, e.g., in continuous integration testing, two things have to be provided:

  1. The container has to provide a docker client installation. Either use an image that has docker pre-installed (e.g. the official docker images) or install the client from within the Dockerfile specification.

  2. The container has to have access to the docker daemon which can be achieved by mounting /var/run/docker.sock or setting the DOCKER_HOST environment variable as part of your docker run command.


Env Variable





Path to Docker’s socket used by ryuk



Run ryuk as a privileged container



Disable ryuk



Custom image for ryuk

Development and Contributing

We recommend you use a virtual environment for development (python>=3.7 is required). After setting up your virtual environment, you can install all dependencies and test the installation by running the following snippet.

poetry install --all-extras
make <your-module>/tests

Package Structure

Testcontainers is a collection of implicit namespace packages to decouple the development of different extensions, e.g., testcontainers-mysql and testcontainers-postgres for MySQL and PostgreSQL database containers, respectively. The folder structure is as follows.

# One folder per feature.
[feature name]
    # Folder without __init__.py for implicit namespace packages.
        # Implementation as namespace package with __init__.py.
        [feature name]
            # Other files for this
    # Tests for the feature.
    # README for this feature.
    # Setup script for this feature.

Contributing a New Feature

You want to contribute a new feature or container? Great! You can do that in six steps as outlined here <https://github.com/testcontainers/testcontainers-python/blob/main/.github/PULL_REQUEST_TEMPLATE/new_container.md>__.