Chris Sainty

A technical blog covering full-stack web development.

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Running jekyll with docker

Previously I moved my jekyll installation inside a Vagrant image. At the time this was a big improvement over installing and maintaining ruby/jekyll locally on my machines.

For a while now I have wanted to move this installation inside Docker instead. I actually use Docker daily in my work and am very comfortable in that environment.
It wasn't until the recent release of Docker for Mac beta that this became practical though with the improvements to volume mapping.

So this morning I finally made the switch.

Install Docker for Mac

As usual you want to reach for Homebrew to install any software on your mac.

brew cask install docker

See my post for more details

Gone are all the complexities I discussed previously around creating machines, virtualization etc.

The Dockerfile

Creating the Dockerfile was just a matter of trial and error and tidying up some of my blog code to meet API changes in Jekyll.

As ever when I am sitting down to write a Dockerfile I start by running up the shell in my chosen base image docker run --rm -it alpine sh this gives me a test environment I can quickly use to check what packages I need to install and what additional config is needed. I can simply exit and re-run to clean it and start over. As I verify each command I add it to my Dockerfile I am editing in my text editor a screen across.

With the Dockerfile written it is a simple matter to build it docker build -t csainty/blog . then run it with my source mapped in and the Jekyll port mapped out docker run --rm -it -p 4000:4000 -v $(pwd):/src csainty/blog


With that done it now behaves exactly like if I was running Jekyll locally. Watched files work, I can browse to http://localhost:4000 to see the site, the generated _site folder is updated ready for publishing with git.

Wrap up

Docker for Mac opens a whole host of new options for small portable development environments that were previously tedious due to the remote host needed when running docker on OSX. I can see myself running many development tools from inside docker containers in the future.