I dont' want to install lots of programs to be able to manage a remote database from my local computer. I already have Docker installed, so I am planning to use an existing image for the database administration software.

Looking around the web, at first I found adminer, but after trying the Export feature, it threw some errors at when I imported the backup again to a new database stating:

PDO::quote() expects parameter 1 to be string

So, instead I will use pgAdmin, with an existing Docker image containing pgAdmin 4.

Getting started

As stated in the readme of the pgAdmin Docker image, we can start the container like this

$ docker run --rm -p 5050:5050 thajeztah/pgadmin4

Then browse the web interface locally from http://localhost:5050. But some features will not work without mounting some additional binaries to the container (e.g. pg_dump and pg_restore). So I'm downloading all the pre-compiled binaries from the official postgres website and extracting them to a user readable folder.

So stopping the container, then performing some steps locally to get what I need:

$ mkdir -p ~/tmp/postgres
$ cd ~/tmp/postgres
$ curl -O https://get.enterprisedb.com/postgresql/postgresql-9.6.4-1-linux-x64-binaries.tar.gz
$ tar -xf postgresql-9.6.4-1-linux-x64-binaries.tar.gz
$ ls pgsql/bin/
clusterdb   ecpg               pg_ctl          pg_restore      pgbench        psql.bin
createdb    initdb             pg_dump         pg_rewind       pltcl_delmod   reindexdb
createlang  oid2name           pg_dumpall      pg_standby      pltcl_listmod  vacuumdb
createuser  pg_archivecleanup  pg_isready      pg_test_fsync   pltcl_loadmod  vacuumlo
dropdb      pg_basebackup      pg_receivexlog  pg_test_timing  postgres
droplang    pg_config          pg_recvlogical  pg_upgrade      postmaster
dropuser    pg_controldata     pg_resetxlog    pg_xlogdump     psql

Now mount the binaries to the container. The volume syntax here is -v [local path]:[container mount path], which means I am mounting the binaries we just extracted into /pgbin of the container filesystem.

$ docker run --rm -v ~/tmp/postgres/pgsql/bin:/pgbin -p 5050:5050 thajeztah/pgadmin4

While the container is running, we can verify that the files were actually mounted by executing ls on the container. First checking what the name of the container is:

$ docker ps

docker ps CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS PORTS NAMES 908b146e9703 thajeztah/pgadmin4 "python ./usr/loca..." 4 minutes ago Up 4 minutes 0.0.0.0:5050->5050/tcp cocky_keller

So now we can execute ls on the container

$ docker exec cocky_keller ls /pgbin
createdb
createlang
droplang
oid2name
[...]

Now, to make use of these tools, open up a browser with http://localhost:5050 and go to File->Preferences->Paths->Binary paths, and enter /pgbin into both path fields.

pgAdmin 4 enter PostreSQL binary path

Now I can import and export my databases.