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A Beginner's Guide to Docker Compose

14 April 2023

A Beginner's Guide to Docker Compose

This article is brought to you by JBI Training, the UK's leading technology training provider.   Learn more about JBI's Docker training courses & DevOps IntroductionAWS for Developers

Docker Compose is a powerful tool that allows you to define and run multi-container Docker applications. With Docker Compose, you can easily create and manage complex applications that require multiple services, such as databases, message queues, and web servers. In this guide, we'll walk you through the basics of Docker Compose and show you how to get started.

Introduction:

Docker Compose is a tool that allows you to define and run multi-container Docker applications. With Docker Compose, you can easily manage complex applications with multiple services, and you can quickly spin up and tear down entire environments with a single command. In this guide, we'll cover the basics of Docker Compose and show you how to get started.

Step 1: Install Docker Compose

Before we get started, we need to make sure Docker Compose is installed on our system. You can download and install Docker Compose by following the instructions for your operating system on the official Docker website.

Step 2: Define Your Application in a Docker Compose File

The first step in using Docker Compose is to define your application in a YAML file called docker-compose.yml. This file specifies the services that make up your application, their configuration, and how they are linked together.

Here's an example docker-compose.yml file that defines a simple web application:

version: '3'

services:

web:

build: .

ports:

- "5000:5000"

volumes:

- .:/code

environment:

FLASK_APP: app.py

FLASK_ENV: development

depends_on:

- db

 

db: image: postgres

volumes:

- db-data:/var/lib/postgresql/data/

volumes:

db-data:

In this file, we define two services: web and db. The web service is built from the current directory (.), exposes port 5000, mounts the current directory as a volume in the container, and sets environment variables for the Flask application. It also depends on the db service. The db service uses the postgres image and mounts a volume for the PostgreSQL data directory.

Step 3: Start Your Application with Docker Compose

Once you have defined your application in the docker-compose.yml file, you can start it with the following command:

docker-compose up

This command starts all the services defined in the docker-compose.yml file and attaches to their logs, allowing you to see the output of all the containers in real-time. You should see output similar to the following:

Creating network "myapp_default" with the default driver

Creating volume "myapp_db-data" with default driver

Building web

Step 1/6 : FROM python:3.8-slim-buster ...

web_1 | * Running on https://0.0.0.0:5000/ (Press CTRL+C to quit)

This indicates that your Docker Compose application is up and running.

Step 4: Stop and Remove Your Application with Docker Compose

When you're finished with your Docker Compose application, you can stop and remove it with the following command:

docker-compose down

This command stops and removes all the containers, networks, and volumes created by docker-compose up.

Use Cases:

Docker Compose is a powerful tool that is widely used in the industry for managing multi-container applications. It is especially useful for development environments where you need to quickly spin up and tear down entire environments with complex dependencies. With Docker Compose, you can easily create and manage environments that include databases, message queues, web servers, and more.

Here are some use cases for Docker Compose:

  • Development Environments: Docker Compose is perfect for creating development environments that are consistent and easy to manage. By defining your application in a docker-compose.yml file, you can quickly spin up and tear down your entire environment with a single command.

  • Testing Environments: Docker Compose is also useful for creating testing environments that mimic your production environment. By defining your application's services in a docker-compose.yml file, you can easily create a testing environment that includes all the dependencies your application needs.

  • Production Environments: While Docker Compose is primarily used for development and testing environments, it can also be used to manage production environments. However, in production, you'll want to use a more robust tool like Kubernetes or Docker Swarm to manage your containers.

Conclusion:

Docker Compose is a powerful tool that allows you to define and run multi-container Docker applications. With Docker Compose, you can easily manage complex applications that require multiple services, such as databases, message queues, and web servers. In this guide, we've covered the basics of Docker Compose and shown you how to define your application in a docker-compose.yml file, start it with docker-compose up, and stop and remove it with docker-compose down. We've also provided some use cases for Docker Compose, including development, testing, and production environments. With these skills, you'll be able to use Docker Compose to create and manage complex Docker applications with ease.

Here are some official documentation and links related to Docker Compose:

  1. Docker Compose documentation
  2. Docker Compose command-line reference
  3. Docker Compose file reference
  4. Compose CLI
  5. Docker Compose examples
  6. Compose file version 3 reference
  7. Docker Compose networking
  8. Docker Compose volume
  9. Docker Compose environment variables
  10. Docker Compose healthcheck

These resources provide a wealth of information on how to use Docker Compose effectively, including details on command-line options, file format, examples, and best practices.

JBI Training  - Docker training course

Learn Docker and simplify the development and deployment of software projects. Build, ship, and run distributed applications on this popular open platform utilising container technology. 

To view the course and request a booking form go here  - https://jbinternational.co.uk/course/665/docker-training-course

All of our DevOps Courses are here  - https://jbinternational.co.uk/courses/devops

About the author: Daniel West
Tech Blogger & Researcher for JBI Training

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