Solving Docker Permission Issues in Node.js Projects: A Guide to Overcoming EACCES Errors in Volumes

Written by Francisco Gonzalez

Published on: 2024-02-05

A complete guide to solve this issue

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Introduction

When working with Docker in Node.js projects, encountering permission errors, especially when using volumes for databases like MongoDB or PostgreSQL, is common. A typical error might look like this:

[Error: EACCES: permission denied, scandir '/home/username/Development/project/postgres-test']
[Error: EACCES: permission denied, scandir '/home/username/Development/project/mongo-test']

This tutorial will explain how to resolve this permissions issue, ensuring that Docker volumes are not created with root permissions.

Problem Explained

The EACCES error occurs when attempting to access a directory or file for which you do not have the appropriate permissions. In the context of Docker and Node.js, this often happens with database volumes, which are created with root permissions by default, preventing normal user access or modification.

Step-by-Step Solution

Step 1: Preparation

Ensure you have Docker and Node.js installed

docker --version
node --version

You should have a docker-compose.yml file for your project.

Step 2: Adjust the docker-compose.test.yml File

We’ll modify the docker-compose.test.yml file to use named volumes, which will avoid permission issues.

yaml
version: '3.8'

services:
  mongo-db:
    image: mongo:6.0.6
    restart: always
    environment:
      MONGO_INITDB_ROOT_USERNAME: ${MONGO_USER}
      MONGO_INITDB_ROOT_PASSWORD: ${MONGO_PASS}
    volumes:
      - mongo-test:/data/db
    ports:
      - 27019:27017

  postgres-db:
    image: postgres:15.3
    restart: always
    environment:
      POSTGRES_USER: ${POSTGRES_USER}
      POSTGRES_DB: ${POSTGRES_DB}
      POSTGRES_PASSWORD: ${POSTGRES_PASS}
    volumes:
      - postgres-test:/var/lib/postgresql/data
    ports:
      - 5435:5432

volumes:
  mongo-test:
  postgres-test:

Step 3: Run Docker Compose

  • Run docker compose down to stop and remove the current containers.
  • Run docker compose up -d to start the containers with the updated configuration.

Step 5: Verification

Check that the mongo-test and postgres-test directories on your host have the correct permissions and that the EACCES error has been resolved.

Conclusion

By following these steps, you can effectively resolve Docker permission problems in Node.js projects, preventing errors like EACCES when accessing database volumes and enhancing security in your development environment.