Nginx and php-fpm with Phalcon 2 for dockerhub builds
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This is a Dockerfile to build a container image for nginx and php-fpm, with the ability to pull website code from git. The container can also use environment variables to configure your web application using the templating detailed in the special features section.

Git reposiory

The source files for this project can be found here:

If you have any improvements please submit a pull request.

Docker hub repository

The Docker hub build can be found here:

Nginx Versions

  • Mainline Version: 1.9.5
  • Stable Version: 1.8.0
  • Latest = Mainline Version


Pull the image from the docker index rather than downloading the git repo. This prevents you having to build the image on every docker host.

docker pull richarvey/nginx-php-fpm:latest

To pull the Stable Version:

docker pull richarvey/nginx-php-fpm:stable

To pull the Mainline Version:

docker pull richarvey/nginx-php-fpm:mainline


To simply run the container:

sudo docker run --name nginx -p 8080:80 -d richarvey/nginx-php-fpm

You can then browse to http://<docker_host>:8080 to view the default install files.


If you want to link to your web site directory on the docker host to the container run:

sudo docker run --name nginx -p 8080:80 -v /your_code_directory:/usr/share/nginx/html -d richarvey/nginx-php-fpm

Pulling code from git

One of the nice features of this container is its ability to pull code from a git repository with a couple of environmental variables passed at run time.

Note: You need to have your SSH key that you use with git to enable the deployment. I recommend using a special deploy key per project to minimise the risk.

To run the container and pull code simply specify the GIT_REPO URL including git@ and then make sure you have a folder on the docker host with your id_rsa key stored in it:

sudo docker run -e ''  -v /opt/ngddeploy/:/root/.ssh -p 8080:80 -d richarvey/nginx-php-fpm

To pull a repository and specify a branch add the GIT_BRANCH environment variable:

sudo docker run -e '' -e 'GIT_BRANCH=stage' -v /opt/ngddeploy/:/root/.ssh -p 8080:80 -d richarvey/nginx-php-fpm


Linking to containers also exposes the linked container environment variables which is useful for templating and configuring web apps.

Run MySQL container with some extra details:

sudo docker run --name some-mysql -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=yayMySQL -e MYSQL_DATABASE=wordpress -e MYSQL_USER=wordpress_user -e MYSQL_PASSWORD=wordpress_password -d mysql

This exposes the following environment variables to the container when linked:


To link the container launch like this:

sudo docker run -e '' -v /opt/ngddeploy/:/root/.ssh -p 8080:80 --link some-mysql:mysql -d richarvey/nginx-php-fpm

Enabling SSL or Special Nginx Configs

As with all docker containers its possible to link resources from the host OS to the guest. This makes it really easy to link in custom nginx default config files or extra virtual hosts and SSL enabled sites. For SSL sites first create a directory somewhere such as /opt/deployname/ssl/. In this directory drop you SSL cert and Key in. Next create a directory for your custom hosts such as /opt/deployname/sites-enabled. In here load your custom default.conf file which references your SSL cert and keys at the location, for example: /etc/nginx/ssl/xxxx.key

Then start your container and connect these volumes like so:

sudo docker run -e '' -v /opt/ngddeploy/:/root/.ssh -v /opt/deployname/ssl:/etc/nginx/ssl -v /opt/deployname/sites-enabled:/etc/nginx/sites-enabled -p 8080:80 --link some-mysql:mysql -d richarvey/nginx-php-fpm

Special Features

Push code to Git

To push code changes back to git simply run:

sudo docker exec -t -i <CONATINER_NAME> /usr/bin/push

Pull code from Git (Refresh)

In order to refresh the code in a container and pull newer code form git simply run:

sudo docker exec -t -i <CONTAINER_NAME> /usr/bin/pull


This container will automatically configure your web application if you template your code. For example if you are linking to MySQL like above, and you have a config.php file where you need to set the MySQL details include $$MYSQL_ENV_MYSQL_DATABASE$$ style template tags.


database_name = $$_MYSQL_ENV_MYSQL_DATABASE_$$;
database_host = $$_MYSQL_PORT_3306_TCP_ADDR_$$;

Using environment variables

If you want to link to an external MySQL DB and not using linking you can pass variables directly to the container that will be automatically configured by the container.


sudo docker run -e '' -e 'GIT_BRANCH=stage' -e 'MYSQL_HOST=host.x.y.z' -e 'MYSQL_USER=username' -e 'MYSQL_PASS=password' -v /opt/ngddeploy/:/root/.ssh -p 8080:80 -d richarvey/nginx-php-fpm

This will expose the following variables that can be used to template your code.


To use these variables in a template you'd do the following in your file:

database_host = $$_MYSQL_HOST_$$;
database_user = $$_MYSQL_USER_$$;
database_pass = $$_MYSQL_PASS_$$

Skip Templating

In order to speed up install time if templating is not required and you have a lot of files in your web root that you don't wish to be scanned, simply include the flag below:


Template anything

Yes ANYTHING, any variable exposed by a linked container or the -e flag lets you template your config files. This means you can add redis, mariaDB, memcache or anything you want to your application very easily.