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Remote Commands

Dokku commands can be run over SSH. Anywhere you would run dokku <command>, just run ssh -t <command> The -t is used to request a pty. It is highly recommended to do so. To avoid the need to type the -t option each time, create/modify a section in the .ssh/config on the client side, as follows:

    RequestTTY yes

Behavioral modifiers

Dokku also supports certain command line arguments that augment its behavior. If using these over SSH, you must use the form ssh -t -- <command> to avoid SSH interpreting Dokku arguments for itself.

--quiet                suppress output headers
--trace                enable DOKKU_TRACE for current execution only
--force                force flag. currently used in apps:destroy and other ":destroy" commands

Official Client

You may optionally use the official client when connecting to the Dokku server.

Of all methods, this is the most official method of interacting with your Dokku installation. It is a bash script that interacts with a remote Dokku installation via ssh. It is available in contrib/ in the root of the Dokku repository.

It can be installed either via the Homebrew package manager (macOS only), or manually.

Installation via Homebrew

To install, simply run the following command:

brew install dokku/repo/dokku

Manual installation

To install manually, simply clone the Dokku repository down and add the dokku alias pointing at the script:

git clone ~/.dokku

# optional: make sure that the version matches your Dokku version
cd ~/.dokku
git checkout <tag/branch>

# add the following to either your
# .bashrc, .bash_profile, or .profile file
alias dokku='$HOME/.dokku/contrib/'

Alternatively, if using another shell such as zsh, create an alias command which invokes the script using bash:

# zsh: add the following to either .zshenv or .zshrc
alias dokku='bash $HOME/.dokku/contrib/'

# fish: add the following to ~/.config/fish/
alias dokku 'bash $HOME/.dokku/contrib/'

# csh: add the following to .cshrc
alias dokku 'bash $HOME/.dokku/contrib/'


All commands have the application name automatically set via the --app flag on the remote server, and thus the app name does not need to be specified manually for core plugins.

The client supports several environment variables:

  • DOKKU_HOST (default: dokku git remote): Used to interact with a specific remote server. Can be overridden via the --remote flag.
  • DOKKU_PORT (default: 22): Used to specify a port to connect to the Dokku server on.

It also supports several flags (all flags unspecified here are passed as is to the server):

  • --app: Override the remote app in use.
  • --trace: Enable trace mode.
  • --remote: Override the remote server.
  • --global: Unsets the "app" value. May not be supported for the specified command.

In addition, the following commands have special local side-effects:

  • apps:create:
    • If no local --app flag is specified or detected from a dokku git remote, a random name is generated and used for the app.
    • The dokku git remote is set if not already set.
  • apps:destroy:
    • Removes the local dokku git remote if set.

Specifying a remote

While many users will only ever push to a single dokku remote from a given repository, it may be useful to point the same repository at multiple remotes, especially in the case of pre-production environments. This can be done via the remote commands. These commands are only available within the official remote client, and are not server-side commands.

To see your currently configured remote, run dokku remote. This will respect the --remote flag.

To list all available remotes, run dokku remote:list. This is equivalent to running git remote.

To add a remote, run dokku remote:add $REMOTE_NAME$APP_NAME, replacing $REMOTE_NAME with your desired remote name, the $APP_NAME with your desired app name and the host with your Dokku host. This is equivalent to running git remote add $REMOTE_NAME$APP_NAME.

To remove a remote, run dokku remote:remove $REMOTE_NAME. This is equivalent to running git remote remove $REMOTE_NAME.

By default, the remote in use is dokku. To change the remote the client uses by default, run dokku remote:set $REMOTE_NAME, where $REMOTE_NAME is the name of your desired remote. This will not check the value specified, so that remote must be available or errors will occur when running normal client commands. Note that specifying --remote when running dokku commands will override this configuration value.

To clear the configured remote, run dokku remote:unset. The client will unset the configured remote, and will default back to dokku, or the value of --remote if specified.

Unofficial Clients

Please refer to the community clients list for more details.