A basic docker-compose, Rails and React / Webpack starter kit
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backend Update deps Mar 30, 2018
config/nginx Got FE hot reloading working Mar 4, 2018
.gitignore Basic backend setup Mar 4, 2018
README.md Update README.md May 16, 2018
docker-compose.yml Remove local volume mount binding for postgres May 19, 2018



  • Docker compose
  • Postgresql
  • Nginx proxy
  • Ruby on Rails 5 (API only)
  • React + Redux + Redux Thunk + Reselect
  • Sidekiq in a Worker container.

Setup && running the application

Before you run the application for the first time, you must create the database and run migrations:

docker-compose run backend rake db:create db:migrate

Or alternatively, log in via bash and run the commands there:

docker-compose run backend bash
root@1c5e8aedd21a:/usr/src/backend-app# rake db:create
Created database 'backend_development'
Created database 'backend_test'
root@1c5e8aedd21a:/usr/src/backend-app# rake db:migrate
== 20180306161431 DeviseTokenAuthCreateUsers: migrating =======================
-- create_table(:users)
   -> 0.0164s
-- add_index(:users, :email, {:unique=>true})
   -> 0.0088s
-- add_index(:users, [:uid, :provider], {:unique=>true})
   -> 0.0078s
-- add_index(:users, :reset_password_token, {:unique=>true})
   -> 0.0092s
-- add_index(:users, :confirmation_token, {:unique=>true})
   -> 0.0070s
== 20180306161431 DeviseTokenAuthCreateUsers: migrated (0.0497s) ==============

Docker on OS X

If you are using Docker for Mac, you must setup the directory /Users to be able to be bind mounted into Docker containers by going to Docker for Mac preferences, and then File Sharing, and ensuring that /Users is listed there.


Running the app (and navigate to http://localhost:8080):

docker-compose up --build

Accessing the bash console for the React container (for installing new Yarn / NPM packages):

docker-compose run frontend bash

Accessing the bash console for the Rails app (for rails c):

docker-compose run backend bash
=> rails c

Creating the database:

docker-compose run backend rake db:setup

Running migrations:

docker-compose run backend rake db:migrate

Killing the application (and remove data volumes):

docker-compose down --volumes

Running backend RSpec tests:

docker-compose run backend rspec

Running Jest (JS) specs:

docker-compose run frontend yarn test


The application can be built using docker-compose up --build.

There are several interlinking services orchestrated in individual containers: db (the postgresql instance), backend (the Rails api), frontend (the React application) and finally the nginx proxy container which pulls everything together and which is the only container which exposes any ports to the host machine.

The nginx conf can be found at /config/nginx/nginx.conf.

The Rails application is proxied from port 3000 to http://localhost:8080/api and the Webpack / React application is proxied from port 4000 to the root at http://localhost:8080/.

The React application was originally created using create-react-app but was ejected to expose the full configuration.

Using on your own project

Nuke the git directory:

rm -rf .git

Start again:

git init
git add .
git commit -m "Initial commit"

Do some work / profit

Recommended dep versions

I develop using Ubuntu, so your mileage may vary on other operating systems like OS X and Windows.

Docker Compose:

➜  react-rails-docker git:(master) docker-compose -v
docker-compose version 1.19.0, build 9e633ef


➜  react-rails-docker git:(master) ✗ docker -v
Docker version 17.12.1-ce, build 7390fc6

Ruby version (through rbenv):

➜  react-rails-docker git:(master) ✗ ruby -v
ruby 2.5.0p0 (2017-12-25 revision 61468) [x86_64-linux]