Production Setup: Single Instance

This guide will walk you through how to set up a single-instance WhatsApp Business API Client in production.

This document covers:


It's recommended you set up a single-instance WhatsApp Business API Client on a developer machine following the Developer Setup: Single Instance guide before following this guide to setup the WhatsApp Business API in production.

If you want to reuse the same phone number in production, please refer to the Migration guide before continuing with the rest of this guide. The content in this guide is based on the assumption of a fresh installation using a new phone number.

  1. Install Docker on your system.
  2. If Docker Compose is not bundled with your Docker installation, install it.
  3. A server to run the WhatsApp Business API Client. For system requirements, refer to What are the server system requirements to run the WhatsApp Business API Client? in the FAQ.
  4. A standalone database server running a MySQL or PostgreSQL process. The database server should only be a few milliseconds of latency away from the server hosting the WhatsApp Business API Client.

Either MySQL 5.7.xx or PostgreSQL 10.6/9.6.x/9.5.x is required.

Your database password should not contain any of these characters: ?{}&~!()^=

Failing to comply with this will likely cause the setup to fail.

There's also a known compatibility issue with MySQL 8. Please avoid using the latest for now, we're actively working on a fix.

Initial Setup

  1. Create a biz directory to store the setup scripts:
    mkdir ~/biz; cd ~/biz;
  2. Clone the prod-docker-compose.yml and db.env configuration files to ~/biz from the Installation directory of the WhatsApp-Business-API-Setup-Scripts Github repo.
  3. Set the WA_API_VERSION environment variable to the current version using:
    export WA_API_VERSION=new-whatsapp-version
  4. Change the values in the db.env file to reflect your MySQL/PostgreSQL configuration:
  5. The whatsappMedia volume defined in prod-docker-compose.yml file is used for storing media files. By default, the volume in mounted to a directory on the Docker machine. Alternatively, you can choose to mount the media volume to a host directory. To change the mount point of the media volume, modify the volume definition inside the service section from whatsappMedia to the path of the host directory.
          - /path/on/host/media:/usr/local/wamedia
          - /path/on/host/media:/usr/local/wamedia
  6. Run the following command to start the WhatsApp Business API Client with 1 Webapp container and 1 Coreapp container:
    docker-compose -f prod-docker-compose.yml up -d
    Example output:
    Creating biz_wacore_1 ... done
    Creating biz_waweb_1  ... done
  7. Check that all containers have an UP state by running:
    docker-compose -f prod-docker-compose.yml  ps
    Example output:
         Name                    Command               State                   Ports
    biz_wacore_1   /opt/whatsapp/bin/wait_on_ ...   Up      6250/tcp, 6251/tcp, 6252/tcp, 6253/tcp
    biz_waweb_1    /opt/whatsapp/bin/wait_on_ ...   Up>443/tcp
    By default, the Webapp container will be running on port 9090.
  8. You can download and configure our Postman Collection to easily interact with the WhatsApp Business API.
  9. Perform a health check to verify the WhatsApp Business API is running properly. Example response:
        "health": {
            "gateway_status": "unregistered"
    Because your WhatsApp Business API Client is not registered right now, you will see unregistered in the health status response.
  10. Follow the Registration documentation to register the WhatsApp Business API cilent.
  11. Perform another health check after registration. A connected status means the Coreapp container is able to connect to the WhatsApp server to check contacts and send messages. Example response:
        "health": {
            "gateway_status": "connected"

It's recommended you set up monitoring for your production WhatsApp Business API Client, see the Monitoring and Alerting documentation for more information.


There will be downtime during the upgrade process.

Backing up your current application settings before upgrading is highly recommended to ensure you can get back up and running quickly. Please follow the Backup and Restore documentation.

It is always recommended to perform upgrades during your least busiest hours.

To upgrade an installation, change the WA_API_VERSION environment variable to the new version and restart the Docker containers:

export WA_API_VERSION=new-whatsapp-version
docker-compose -f prod-docker-compose.yml up -d

For MySQL database users upgrading to version 2.23.x and above

You can now make use of a database upgrade service that will let you upgrade your database while your application is still running to avoid downtime.

  1. Download the dbupgrade-compose.yml file, which has fields indicating the container version.
    For example:
  2. To upgrade an installation, run the dbupgrade-service container with the WA_API_VERSION environment variable set to the latest version:
    WA_API_VERSION=2.23.4 docker-compose -f dbupgrade-compose.yml up -d
    Note: If you are using an orchestration that restarts the container upon exit irrespective of the exit code, start the service with the EXIT_ON_SUCCESS environment variable set to FALSE in order to avoid exiting the container when the exit code is 0.
  3. Wait for the upgrade to finish. If the database upgrade is successful, the container will exit with code 0. You can use the following Docker command to track the status:
    docker wait your-database-upgrade-container-name
    This will output the exit code of the dbupgrade-service container.
  4. Restart the Coreapp and Webapp Docker containers with the WA_API_VERSION environment variable set to the latest version:
    WA_API_VERSION=2.23.4 docker-compose -f prod-docker-compose.yml up -d


It is highly recommended to backup your current application settings before uninstallation. Please follow the Backup and Restore documentation.

If you need to reset your development environment by removing all containers, run the following command from the directory containing the prod-docker-compose.yml file:

docker-compose -f prod-docker-compose.yml down
Example output:
Stopping biz_waweb_1  ... done
Stopping biz_wacore_1 ... done
Removing biz_waweb_1  ... done
Removing biz_wacore_1 ... done

In order to get rid of all volumes defined in the prod-docker-compose.yml file in addition to the containers, run down with the -v parameter:

docker-compose -f prod-docker-compose.yml down -v


We recommend WADebug for more effective troubleshooting. WADebug is a command line tool to help find any potential issues with WhatsApp Business API setup and to make requesting for help from WhatsApp support more effective.

In cases where WADebug cannot be used or running the tool returns errors, to collect logs from all containers, run the following command:

docker-compose -f prod-docker-compose.yml logs > debug_output.txt

To collect logs of a specific service, append the service name (waweb or wacore) to the docker-compose logs command, e.g.:

docker-compose -f prod-docker-compose.yml logs waweb > debug_output.txt

You can find the logs in the debug_output.txt file in the current directory.

This software uses code of FFmpeg licensed under the LGPLv2.1 and its source can be downloaded here.