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Docker Installation Notes

Pull the dokku/dokku image:

docker pull dokku/dokku:0.27.10

Next, run the image.

docker container run \
  --env \
  --env DOKKU_HOST_ROOT=/var/lib/dokku/home/dokku \
  --name dokku \
  --publish 3022:22 \
  --publish 8080:80 \
  --publish 8443:443 \
  --volume /var/lib/dokku:/mnt/dokku \
  --volume /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \

The above command will start a new docker container that is ready when a message similar to Runit started as PID 12345 appears.

Dokku is run in the following configuration:

  • The global hostname is set to on boot.
  • The container name is dokku.
  • Container SSH port 22 is exposed on the host as 3022.
  • Container HTTP port 80 is exposed on the host as 8080.
  • Container HTTPS port 443 is exposed on the host as 8443.
  • Data within the container is stored on the host within the /var/lib/dokku directory.
  • Image build cache is set to the data dir + /home/dokku.
  • The docker socket is mounted into container.

Application repositories, plugin config, as well as plugin data are persisted to disk within the specified host directory for /var/lib/dokku.

Other docker container options can also be used when running Dokku, though the specific outcome will depend upon the specified options. For example, the Dokku container's nginx port can be bound to a specific host ip by specifying --publish $HOST_IP:8080:80, where $HOST_IP is the IP desired. Please see the docker container run documentation for further explanation for various docker arguments.

Plugin Installation

To install custom plugins, create a plugin-list file in the host's /var/lib/dokku directory. The plugins listed herein will be automatically installed by Dokku on container boot. This file should be the following format:

plugin_name: repository_url

An example for installing the postgres and redis plugins follows:


SSH Key Management

To initialize ssh-keys within the container, use docker exec to enter the container and run the appropriate ssh-keys commands.

docker exec -it dokku bash

Please see the user management documentation for more information.

Pushing Applications

When exposing the Dokku container's SSH port (22) on 3022, something similar to the following will need to be setup within the user's ~/.ssh/config:

Host dokku.docker
  Port 3022

In the above example, the hostname is being aliased to dokku.docker, while the port is being overriden to 3022. All SSH commands - including git pushes - for the hostname dokku.docker will be transparently sent to