Tag Archives: docker-compose

Docker Compose Tutorial – Getting Started

This tutorial should help people with no Docker Compose knowledge and those that just need to freshen their memory 😀

  1. What is Docker Compose?
  2. What do I need? The prerequisites
  3. The docker-compose.yml
  4. Docker Compose commands

1. What is Docker Compose?

Docker Compose is a tool that can be used to define and run multi-container Docker applications.

The application’s services are defined and configured using a YAML file.

With a single command you may manage all your application’s services.

2. What do I need? The prerequisites

Docker Compose

Obviously you need to have Docker Compose installed on your machine. There are already plenty of articles out there and even the official Docker Compose Install documentation so we’re gonna skip that part.

Docker Machine

You can’t run any container without a Docker Machine up and running. If you don’t know how to do this, check out my Docker Tutorial.

3. The docker-compose.yml

In order to be able to use the Docker Compose you need an YAML file which defines how your applications run, how they communicate, what images (or Dockerfile) they use and other aspects.

For the following tutorial steps you may either use your own YAML or the sample YAML from bellow:

version: '3.7'
services:
    db:
        image: postgres
        restart: always
        environment:
            POSTGRES_PASSWORD: THEPASSWORD
        ports:
            - 5432:5432
    adminer:
        image: adminer
        restart: always
        ports:
            - 8080:8080

If you want to learn more about what the docker-compose.yml offers, you can go ahead and read this article.

Docker Compose Commands

All YAML Defined Services

Starting an application with all associated services:

docker-compose up --build

The above command builds images that were never built or that have changes since the last run. After build is done all containers are started and the console remains attached to all containers.

However, running the containers with this command doesn’t allow you to detach from them without stopping them. So you should specify that you want to run in detached mode:

docker-compose up --build -d

Stopping all containers:

docker-compose stop

Stopping all containers, remove them and the networks:

docker-compose down

Stopping and removing all containers and networks and volumes:

docker-compose down --volumes

Specific YAML Defined Service

Now that we have all containers running, if we only want to manage only one container we have the following commands:

Stopping a container:

docker-compose stop db

Starting a container:

docker-compose up start db

Rebuilding a container:

docker-compose up --no-start db

Restarting a container:

docker-compose restart db

Viewing logs of a single container:

docker-compose logs db

Hopefully this Docker Compose tutorial helps you understand what Compose is and how manage your containers with it.

If you’re not bored yet, check out my other Docker Articles.

Docker Compose YAML – Most Wanted Fields

This article describes the basic fields that can be configured in a Docker Compose YAML. It should help you bootstrap your Compose YAML and get your services up and running.

The fields described are available in Docker Compose YAML version 3.7. If your YAML version if different or you Docker Engine is too old, you might not be able to use all the fields.

What we’re gonna do is build-up the YAML from scratch, adding new fields as we require them.

Our initial docker-compose.yml looks like this:

version: '3.7'
services:
    database:

image

In order to run a container you need to have an image which describes what the container includes. You can specify the value using the image field (key). The value can be a string that refers to an image from the Public Docker Hub or an URL for any other hub.

For example if you want to use the official postgres image from here, you would specify the name like this:

version: '3.7'
services:
    database:
        image: postgres

build

Sometimes we need to use custom images that are created using custom made Dockerfile. You can specify which Dockerfile to use, and allocate a build context using the context and dockerfile fields.

version: '3.7'
services:
    database:
        build:
            context: ./my_project_folder
            dockerfile: ./my_project_folder/Dockerfile

If you specify both image and build, then docker-compose names the resulting image from the build using the name specified as the image value.

ports

The ports field allows configuration of the ports mapped between the container and the host machine.

You can specify multiple ports in the format: <HOST_PORT>:<CONTAINER_PORT>

version: '3.7'
services:
    database:
        image: postgres
        ports:
            - 5432:5432

Also check out these articles if you’re not familiar with Docker or Docker Compose.