How to Install Exalate for Azure DevOps on Docker

    You can host Exalate for Azure DevOps on your own server. To do so, you need to install Exalate on Docker.

    Note: You need to install Docker. Check the docker documentation for more details.

    Steps to Install Exalate for Azure DevOps on Docker

    1. Create directory and create docker-compose.yml file

    Create a directory to hold the docker-compose file:

    cd ~
    mkdir exalate-azurenode

    Create or download a docker-compose.yml file

    Note: Click docker-compose.yml to download the file.

    Important: We recommend using the latest version of Exalate for Azure DevOps. It can be found in the Release History. Enter the latest version in the image tag. For example, in image: idalko/azurenode:5.12.0, the version of Exalate for Azure DevOps is 5.12.0 .

    The docker-compose.yml file should contain the following information in it:

    version: '2'
        restart: unless-stopped
        image: postgres:12.19
          - ./persist/db:/var/lib/postgresql/data
          - ./
          # adapt the default passwords
          - DB_NAME=azurenode
          - DB_USER=idalko
          - DB_PASS=idalko
          - POSTGRES_PASSWORD=changeme
          - database
        restart: unless-stopped
        # use the latest version
        image: idalko/azurenode:5.12.0
          - database #wait for postgres to be started, not for ready
          - ./persist/home:/opt/azurenode/data
          # Add your environment settings here, check documentation for details
          - AZURENODE_PG_HOST=database
          - AZURENODE_PG_DB=azurenode?gssEncMode=disable
          - AZURENODE_PG_USER=idalko
          - AZURENODE_PG_PWD=idalko
          - AZURENODE_PORT=9002
          # When you deploy Exalate onto a server, you configure a DNS rule such that 
          #whenever people navigate to, they reach your server's Exalate. 
          #You set up SSL so that leads to your Exalate on your server.
          #Now you need to set environment variable NODE_SELF_URL= 
          #for your Exalate docker container.
          # Use following variables to link the node with jwilder/nginx proxy
          # Replace with the appropriate FQDN
          - VIRTUAL_PORT=9002
          - NODE_SELF_URL=
          - database
          - proxy
        driver: bridge
        driver: bridge
            name: proxy

    Connecting to Postgres 10 or Higher

    For unencrypted connections from Exalate to a Postgres version 10 or higher, you need to disable gssEncMode with the following setting:

    # exalate is the name of the database on the postgres instance

    2. Ensure that a correct database is setup using a

    Create or download a file (referenced from docker-compose.yml):

    Note: Click to download the file.

    The file should contain the following information:

    TEST=`psql -U postgres <<-EOSQL
       SELECT 1 FROM pg_database WHERE datname='$DB_NAME';
    echo "******CREATING DOCKER DATABASE******"
    if [[ $TEST == "1" ]]; then
        # database exists
        # $? is 0
        exit 0
    psql -U postgres <<-EOSQL
    psql -U postgres <<-EOSQL
    psql -U postgres <<-EOSQL
    echo ""
    echo "******DOCKER DATABASE CREATED******"

    Ensure that the volumes are included in your backup strategy:

    • persist

    3. Set Environment Variables if necessary

    Below, you can find the environment variables used for the app container. All of them are optional, and in the given example, we've overridden AZURENODE_PG_DB, AZURENODE_PG_USER, and AZURENODE_PG_PWD just to show how to pass different credentials to the Exalate application.

    Full list of environment variables:
    Variable nameDefault valueExampleDescription
    AZURENODE_PG_HOSTAZURENODE_PG_HOST=databaseAZURENODE_PG_HOST=db.acme.comTells the exalate application where is the postgres database to connect to hosted
    AZURENODE_PG_DBAZURENODE_PG_DB=exalateAZURENODE_PG_DB=exalateTells the exalate application what is the postgres database name for the exalate application
    AZURENODE_PG_USERAZURENODE_PG_USER=idalkoAZURENODE_PG_USER=exalateTells the exalate application what is the postgres database User name for the exalate application to perform queries with
    AZURENODE_PG_PWDAZURENODE_PG_PWD=idalkoAZURENODE_PG_PWD=secretTells the exalate application what is the postgres database user's password for the exalate application to perform queries with

    Tells what which is the port to start the exalate application on. Note that this is the port within the exalateazurenode_azurenode_1 container, thus if this variable is changed (for example to 80), the

          - 9000:9000

    should also be changed to

          - 8080:8080 used to send email notifications about errors blocking synchronization
    AZURENODE_SMTP_PORTAZURENODE_SMTP_PORT=465AZURENODE_SMTP_PORT=587Is used to send email notifications about errors blocking synchronization used to send email notifications about errors blocking synchronization
    AZURENODE_SMTP_USERAZURENODE_SMTP_USER=adminAZURENODE_SMTP_USER=my.nameIs used to send email notifications about errors blocking synchronization
    AZURENODE_SMTP_PASSAZURENODE_SMTP_PASS=1234567AZURENODE_SMTP_PASS=secretIs used to send email notifications about errors blocking synchronization
    AZURENODE_SMTP_TLSAZURENODE_SMTP_TLS=trueAZURENODE_SMTP_TLS=trueIs used to send email notifications about errors blocking synchronization. Can be set to false, but then the AZURENODE_SMTP_PORT should be set to the port, that accepts non-SSL and non-TLS connections

    HTTP_HEADERS="TestName1: testAddHeader1"

    Allows additional information to pass between the clients and the server through the request header.

    Using a Proxy for Outgoing Connections

    Whenever the Exalate node needs to use a proxy to establish outgoing connections, use the following parameters in the environment (naming should be obvious):


    4. Start the Application

    cd ~/exalate-azurenode
    docker-compose up -d

    5. Register the Node

    To be able to fully use the functionality of your new node, it needs to be registered on the mapper.  This mapper acts as a DNS server, mapping tracker URLs to node URLs.
    This is required to be able to install the ADO extension on the organization's site.  Whenever deploying the extension, the extension requests the mapper where the node serving the ADO organization is located.  

    Please raise a ticket on the support portal providing the following:

    • URL of the ADO organization
    • URL of the Exalate node which has been deployed on-premise

    About the Exalate Node URL

    The exalate node needs to be reachable by:

    • The Azure DevOps instance.
      • Exalate configures webhooks on the ADO project, which is used to notify Exalate whenever a web item is modified
      • Exalate needs to be reachable for the OAuth protocol to set up a trust relationship between the ADO instance and the Exalate node
    • The ADO users
      • The sync panel and the Exalate console are web properties that need to be reachable by the users.

    How to Manage the Application on Docker

    Run Queries to the Application's Database

    cd ~/exalate-azurenode
    docker exec -it exalateazurenode_database_1 bash
    su postgres
    psql -A $DB_NAME

    You can find all tables using PSQLs \dt+ command:


    All the Postgres SQL queries are permitted

    To exit the application's DB:

    # \q exits the psql 
    # exits the postgres user session
    # exits the exalateazurenode_database_1 bash session

    Inspect the Application's Filesystem

    cd ~/exalate-azurenode
    docker exec -it exalateazurenode_azurenode_1 bash

    Remove the Application

    cd ~/exalate-azurenode
    docker-compose rm

    Remove the Application Data

    Warning:  Do this only if you wish to delete all the synchronization information, including the current synchronizations enqueued to be performed, and synchronization status. Ensure that the remote side you Exalate issues with knows that you're stopping synchronization and are ready to handle synchronization errors.

    cd ~/exalate-azurenode
    # docker volume ls | grep exalateazurenode_vol |  awk '{ print $2 }' | xargs docker volume rm
    docker volume rm exalateazurenode_voldatabase
    docker volume rm exalateazurenode_volazurenode

    System Administration Tasks

    With the Exalate for Azure DevOps is running on your environment, you are also required to do the mandatory system administration tasks

    • Backup (& restore tests)
    • Disaster recovery procedure
    • Upgrades whenever needed

    Note: Please note that an Exalate version has a lifespan of 2 years. This is to ensure backward compatibility over the whole platform. There are regular new versions deployed which contain bug fixes, security-related improvements, and even new features. Watch the release notes page for any new versions.

    Upgrading Exalate on Docker

    If you need to upgrade Exalate on Docker, here are the steps to follow:

    1. Edit the YAML File:

      Open the docker-compose.yml file in a text editor and modify the image tag for the service you wish to upgrade.

      # use the latest version
      image: idalko/azurenode:latest
      - database #wait for postgres to be started, not for ready

      Replace latest with the latest or desired version tag.

    2. Pull the Latest Image:

      From the directory containing your docker-compose.yml file, pull the latest image.

      docker-compose pull
    3. Recreate the Container:

      Using Docker Compose, you can easily recreate the container with the new image.

      docker-compose up -d

      The -d flag runs the containers in detached mode. Docker Compose automatically stops the old container and starts a new one based on the updated image.

    4. Post-Upgrade Checks:

      After starting the upgraded container, check to make sure everything is running as expected:

    • Log into the Exalate interface and verify that all your configurations, connections are intact.
    • Test out a few synchronizations to make sure they work as expected.
    • Check for any errors in the Docker logs or the Exalate logs.


    Issues during the installation of the Exalate for Azure DevOps

    If you have issues during the installation of the Exalate app for Azure DevOps, you can find logs describing possible problems inside /tmp.

    The name for the file is generated randomly and automatically by the OS, but you can find the file by the creation date.

    Issues while running the Exalate server for Azure DevOps

    Logs are generated under the directory: /opt/azurenode/data/logs (in the docker container)

    Refer to these logs to get more information about possible problems, and contact our support team if you need any assistance.


    Please read our Support options.