Learn to use Docker containers

Docker tutorial: Get started with Docker Compose

Learn how to use Docker’s native service configuration and deployment tool for testing and debugging multi-container apps

Containers are meant to provide component isolation in a modern software stack. Put your database in one container, your web application in another, and they can all be scaled, managed, restarted, and swapped out independently. But developing and testing a multi-container application isn’t anything like working with a single container at a time.

Docker Compose was created by Docker to simplify the process of developing and testing multi-container applications. It’s a command-line tool, reminiscent of the Docker client, that takes in a specially formatted descriptor file to assemble applications out of multiple containers and run them in concert on a single host. (Tools like Docker Swarm or Kubernetes deploy multicontainer apps in production across multiple hosts.)

In this tutorial, I walk through the steps needed to define and deploy a simple multi-container web service app. While Docker Compose is normally used for development and testing, it can also be used for deploying production applications. For the sake of this tutorial, I concentrate on dev-and-test scenarios.

Docker Compose example

A minimal Docker Compose application consists of three components:

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