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Install Kestra on a GCP VM with Cloud SQL Postgres database backend and Cloud Storage as internal storage backend.


This guide provides instructions for deploying Kestra on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We’ll use Compute Engine with Docker to host Kestra server, a PostgreSQL Cloud SQL database and Cloud Storage as storage backend.


  • basic knowledge about using a command line interface
  • basic knowledge about Compute Engine, Cloud Storage and PostgreSQL.

Create a VM instance

First, create a VM instance using the Compute Engine. To do so, go to the GCP console and choose Compute Engine.

  1. Click on the Create Instance button at the top.
  2. Give a name to your instance.
  3. Choose an appropriate Region and Zone.
  4. Choose the General Purpose machine of the E2 series.
  5. Machine type: Kestra needs at least 4GiB Memory and 2vCPU to run correctly. Choosing the Preset machine type e2-standard-2 is a good starting point.
  6. Click on Change in the "Boot Disk" section, as we would like to change the image.
  7. Under the "Public Images" tab, choose Ubuntu as the operating system and the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS version.
  8. Continue with the "Allow default access" access scope, and select "Allow HTTPS traffic" in the Firewall section.

vm creation_1

vm creation 2



You can now click on "Create" and wait a few seconds for the VM instance to be up and running.

Install Docker

Click on the SSH button on the right side of the VM instance details to SSH into the VM instance terminal. Click on the Authorize button in the pop-up to authorize the SSH connection into the VM instance.


Kestra can be started directly from a .jar binary or using Docker. We’ll use Docker here for a quicker setup. Install Docker on the GCP VM instance. You can find the last updated instruction on the Docker website.

To check your installation, run sudo docker version and sudo docker compose version. You're now ready to download and launch the Kestra server.

Install Kestra

Download the official Docker-Compose file:

curl -o docker-compose.yml \

Use an editor such as Vim to modify the docker-compose.yml, set basic authentication to true, and configure your basic authentication credentials to secure your Kestra instance.

      enabled: true
      username: [email protected] # it must be a valid email address
      password: kestra





You can now access your Kestra instance and start developing flows.

Launch Cloud SQL

This first installation relies on a PostgreSQL database running alongside the Kestra server - on the VM instance (see the PostgreSQL service running thanks to the docker-compose).

For a simple proof of concept (PoC), you can keep the Postgres database running in Docker.

However, for a production-grade installation, we recommend a managed database service such as Cloud SQL.

Create a Cloud SQL database

  1. Go to the Cloud SQL console.
  2. Click on Choose PostgreSQL (Kestra also supports MySQL, but PostgreSQL is recommended).
  3. Put an appropriate Instance ID and password for the admin user postgres.
  4. Select the latest PostgreSQL version from the dropdown.
  5. Choose Enterprise Plus or Enterprise edition based on your requirements.
  6. Choose an appropriate preset among Production, Development or Sandbox as per your requirement.
  7. Choose the appropriate region and zonal availability.
  8. Expand Show Show Configuration Options at the bottom of the page.




Enable VM connection to database

  1. Expand the Connections section from the dropdown.
  2. Uncheck Public IP and check Private IP. If this is your first time using a Private IP connection, you will be prompted to Setup Connection.
  3. You will then need to choose Enable API on the right hand side pop out.
  4. Choose Use an automatically allocated IP range and click Continue.
  5. Click on Create Connection.





Enable Deletion

If you are just testing or would like to be able to delete your instance and all of it's data:

  1. Expand out the Data Protection on the left hand side and make sure Enable deletion protection is UNCHECKED


Create database user

  1. Go to the database overview page and click on Users from the left-side navigation menu.
  2. Click on Add User Account.
  3. Put an appropriate username and password, and click on Add.



Create Kestra database

  1. Go to the database overview page, and click on Databases from the left side navigation menu.
  2. Click on Create Database.
  3. Put an appropriate database name, and click on Create.

Update Kestra configuration

In the docker-compose configuration, edit the datasources property of the Kestra service in the following way:

    url: jdbc:postgresql://<your-db-external-endpoint>:5432/<db_name>
    driverClassName: org.postgresql.Driver
    username: <your-username>
    password: <your-password>

And delete the depends_on section at the end of the YAML file:

    condition: service_started

Because you now use the Cloud SQL service, you don't need the Postgres Docker service anymore. Remove it from the docker-compose.yml file.

In order for the changes to take effect, restart the docker services with sudo docker compose restart or sudo docker compose up -d.

Configure GCS

By default, internal storage is implemented using the local file system. This section will guide you on how to change the storage backend to Cloud Storage to ensure more reliable, durable, and scalable storage.

  1. Go to the Cloud Storage console and create a bucket.
  2. Go to IAM and select Service Accounts from the left-side navigation menu.
  3. On the Service Accounts page, click on Create Service Account at the top of the page.
  4. Put the appropriate Service account name and Service account description, and grant the service account Storage Admin access. Click Done.
  5. On the Service Accounts page, click on the newly created service account.
  6. On the newly created service account page, go to the Keys tab at the top of the page and click on Add Key. From the dropdown, select Create New Key.
  7. Select the Key type as JSON and click on Create. The JSON key file for the service account will get downloaded.
  8. We will be using the stringified JSON for our configuration. You can use the bash command % cat <path_to_json_file> | jq '@json' to generate stringified JSON.
  9. Edit the Kestra storage configuration.
    type: gcs
      bucket: "<your-cloud-storage-bucket-name>"
      project: "<your-gcp-project-name>"
      serviceAccount: "<stringified-json-file-contents>"

In order for the changes to take effect, restart the docker services with sudo docker compose restart or sudo docker compose up -d.

Next steps

This guide walked you through installing Kestra on a GCP VM instance with Cloud SQL database and Cloud Storage as storage backend.

This setup provides the easiest starting point for running Kestra in production on a single machine. For a deployment to a distributed cluster on GCP, check the GKE Kubernetes deployment guide.

Reach out via Slack if you encounter any issues or if you have any questions regarding deploying Kestra to production.

Make sure to also check the CI/CD guide to automate your workflow deployments based on changes in Git.

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