August 12, 2017

Up & Running Quickstart

A quickstart to using Docker Compose to run a PHP application in development.

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Let's start using a docker-compose.yml file to get started with Docker quickly.

In this video, we use the Shipping Docker Github repository to get up and running quickly. This repository includes a docker-compose.yml file and a build process for 2 images.

We basically follow the instructions in the Github repository to create an environment that we can use to start hacking on a PHP application.

1. Get the files and spin up containers

# Get shipping-docker files
git clone
cd php-app

# Start the app, run containers
#   in the background
# This will download and build the images
#   the first time you run this
docker-compose up -d

At this point, we've created containers and have them up and running. However, we didn't create a Laravel application to serve yet. We waited because we wanted a PHP image to get created so we can re-use it and run composer commands.

2. Create a new Laravel application

# From directory "php-app"
# Create a Laravel application
docker run -it --rm \
    -v $(pwd):/opt \
    -w /opt \
    --network=phpapp_appnet \
    shippingdocker/php \
    composer create-project laravel/laravel application

docker run -it --rm \
    -v $(pwd)/application:/opt \
    -w /opt \
    --network=phpapp_appnet \
    shippingdocker/php \
    composer require predis/predis


The -v flag is sharing the current directory (the $(pwd) command expands out to the current directory) with the /opt directory inside the container. We know a /opt directory exists in the container because it's a directory common to all flavors of Linux.

The -w flag sets the "working-directory" to /opt. In other words, when the container spins up, all commands run will be relative to /opt.

Since we shared our host machine's current directory (which includes our Laravel code files) with the container's /opt directory, and we set the working directory to /opt, we know any commands we run, such as composer require will be run from the directory containing our code.

Windows users may need to define their current directory manually. This means replacing $(pwd) with a file path such as C:/Path/To/Code/Files. Note the use of back-slashes instead of forward-slashes. Read more about that here.

Edit the application/.env file to have correct settings for our containers. Adjust the following as necessary:




If you already have an application, you can move it to the application directory here. Else, you can adjust the shared volume file paths within the docker-compose.yml file.

If you edit docker-compose.yml file, run docker-compose down; docker-compose up -d to suck in the new Volume settings.

3. Add Auth Scaffolding:

We can add Laravel's Auth scaffolding as well. To do that, we need to run some Artisan commands:

# Scaffold authentication views/routes
docker run -it --rm \
    -v $(pwd)/application:/opt \
    -w /opt \
    --network=phpapp_appnet \
    shippingdocker/php \
    php artisan make:auth

# Run migrations for auth scaffolding
docker run -it --rm \
    -v $(pwd)/application:/opt \
    -w /opt \
    --network=phpapp_appnet \
    shippingdocker/php \
    php artisan migrate

Now we can start using our application! Head to http://localhost/register to see your Laravel application with auth scaffolding in place.


Looking for a deeper dive into Docker?

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