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Siddhant Kumar
Siddhant Kumar

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The Ultimate Hasura Development Setup

This post was originally published on my website.

In this post, we will look at how I set up and use Hasura graphql engine for local
development with pgadmin4 and pldbgapi (pldebugger).


  • This setup uses Hasura cli to generate postgres migrations and hasura metadata.
  • For debugging and other administrative operations, this setup uses pgAdmin4 with pldbgapi.
  • You can check this sample project to get a better idea.

Hasura Cli setup

To create a fresh hasura project, run hasura init. This will create a folder with the name you provide. Inside this folder, it creates many subfolders for managing different components of your hasura server.

The project structure looks like this:

├── config.yaml                # main config file
├── metadata                   # hasura metadata
│   ├── actions.graphql
│   ├── actions.yaml
│   ├── allow_list.yaml
│   ├── cron_triggers.yaml
│   ├── functions.yaml
│   ├── query_collections.yaml
│   ├── remote_schemas.yaml
│   ├── tables.yaml
│   └── version.yaml
├── migrations                 # postgres migrations
└── seeds

3 directories, 10 files
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The default config assumes you are running the graphql-engine at port 8080. You can change this setting in config.yml.

Hasura local server with docker-compose

To easily spin up many containers for postgres, hasura and pgadmin, I am using docker-compose.

The docker-compose.yml file looks like this:

version: '3.6'
      context: .
      dockerfile: Dockerfile.postgres
    image: postgres:13
    restart: always
      - db_volume:/var/lib/postgresql/data
      POSTGRES_USER: siddhant   # default postgres superuse
      POSTGRES_PASSWORD: passwd # password for siddhant
      POSTGRES_DB: hasura_db
    image: hasura/graphql-engine:latest
      - "8080:8080" # default port expected by hasura cli
      - "db"
    restart: always
      HASURA_GRAPHQL_DATABASE_URL: postgres://siddhant:passwd@db:5432/hasura_db
      ## enable the console served by server
      HASURA_GRAPHQL_ENABLE_CONSOLE: "true" # set to "false" to disable console
      ## enable debugging mode. It is recommended to disable this in production
      HASURA_GRAPHQL_ENABLED_LOG_TYPES: startup, http-log, webhook-log, websocket-log, query-log
      ## uncomment next line to set an admin secret
      # HASURA_GRAPHQL_ADMIN_SECRET: myadminsecretkey
    image: dpage/pgadmin4
    restart: always
      - "9090:80"
      - pgadmin_volume:/var/lib/pgadmin
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Some important things in this docker-compose file:

  1. Service db uses postgres:13 official docker image with a custom Dockerfile to build this image. This custom Dockerfile.postgres installs pldebugger extension for debugging procedural code. The code for this Dockerfile.postgres looks like this:
    FROM postgres:latest

    ENV PG_FULL 13.1

    # Install the postgresql debugger
    RUN apt-get update \
    && apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends \

    EXPOSE 5432
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To enable this extension you need to run CREATE EXTENSION pldbgapi; in your postgres instance.

  1. Service hasura uses the hasura-graphql-engine provided by Hasura.
    We are also exposing port 8080 so that this server is accessible by our hasura cli's console server.

  2. Serice pgadmin use the dpage/pgadmin4 docker image.
    To use pgadmin we are exposing port 80 as 9090 on our system.

That's it :)

Now you can use this setup by running the command docker-compose up -d inside the project folder.
This command will start all three services for us to use.

To access the hasura, console run hasura console command inside the project file.
This command will start a hasura console server that will record all your actions and update the migrations and other folders accordingly.

To access pgadmin, you can go to localhost:9090 on your browser.
You can log in with the email and password you set in the docker-compose file. Also, for debugging your procedural inside pgadmin, read the docs here

Run CREATE EXTENSION pldbgapi; inside your postgres instance to enable the pldebugger extension.

Follow me on twitter: @siddhantk232

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