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I'm using Docker containers to create a reproducible build environment for a C++ project. I'm using a multi-stage container to build the source and run the tests. I'm then creating a runtime container that is much smaller.

Based on a series on

The project itself talks to the world via RabbitMQ and a Restinio web server. I imagine it could be given work, the sort of work you want done on C++, by other services.

NOTE: I keep this repository in C:/PersonalSource/, which turns up in the configurations I provide. If your repository is elsewhere, change this when you see it.

Using the multistage container

Create the build image

docker build --target build -t rabbitmqcppexample/build .

Which will be cached and used to prepare the run image.

docker build -t rabbitmqcppexample/run .

Then run the service

docker run -d --rm  -p 8080:8080 --name rabbitmqcppexample rabbitmqcppexample/run

When you're done, stop the container

docker stop rabbitmqcppexample

See Docker comand line docs

Service usage


Debugging on VS Code

Create container:

You need to create a development only build container with a few more things we need for debugging

docker build -t rabbitmqcppexample/vs -f Dockerfile.vs .

Then run that

docker run -d -p 12345:22 -p 8080:8080 --security-opt seccomp:unconfined -v c:/PersonalSource/rabbitmq-cpp-example/src:/source --name rabbitmqcppexamplevscode rabbitmqcppexample/vs

Build C++ in container:

Create this task in your VSCode project (put it in your .vscode/tasks.json) and run it:

	"version": "2.0.0",
	"tasks": [
			"label": "build",
			"type": "shell",
			"command": "ssh",
			"args": [
			"problemMatcher": [

Debugging C++ in container:

Create this launch configuration (put it in your .vscode/launch.json)

	"version": "0.2.0",
	"configurations": [
			"name": "C/C++: (gdb) Pipe Launch",
			"type": "cppdbg",
			"request": "launch",
			"program": "/source/output/rabbitmqcppexample",
			"args": [],
			"stopAtEntry": true,
			"cwd": "/src/out",          
			"pipeTransport": {
				"debuggerPath": "/usr/bin/gdb",
				"pipeProgram": "C:/Windows/system32/OpenSSH/ssh.exe",
				"pipeArgs": [
				"pipeCwd": ""
			"sourceFileMap": {
				"/source": "C:/PersonalSource/rabbitmq-cpp-example/src"

IntelliSense for C++ with a container:

You need to get the headers on your local machine. Create a directory where you want to put your headers on your local machine.

If your container is running your can use scp to do this. Get the headers and the headers from vcpkg.

scp -r -P 12345 root@localhost:/usr/include .
scp -r -P 12345 root@localhost:/tmp/vcpkg/installed/x64-linux-musl/include .

Now configure your Intellisense to pickup these headers.

I used C:/PersonalSource/rabbitmq-cpp-example/headers as my header location. Here is my c_cpp_properties.json:

	"configurations": [
			"name": "Win32",
			"includePath": [
			"defines": [
			"windowsSdkVersion": "10.0.17763.0",
			"compilerPath": "C://Ruby24-x64//msys64//mingw64//bin//gcc.exe",
			"cStandard": "c11",
			"cppStandard": "c++17",
			"intelliSenseMode": "gcc-x64",
			"browse": {
				"path": [
				"limitSymbolsToIncludedHeaders": true,
				"databaseFilename": ""
	"version": 4

This is the point where you need a C++ compiler locally (damn!), but I already have one for free with my ruby install.

Keeping up with your containers:

When you're done stop the container

docker stop rabbitmqcppexamplevscode

And then next time start it up again

docker start findfacesvscode

And you'll need to rerun your multi-stage build to popylate your runtime container with your changes

docker build -t rabbitmqcppexample/run .


  • How do I run sh on an alpine container? docker exec -it CONTAINERID /bin/sh


Docker multi-stage build C++ application talking to the world via rabbitmq and a webserver. Debuggable in vscode.







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