Redmine Docker image Control Scripts
Shell Ruby
Latest commit 0e89154 Nov 29, 2013 Ted Lilley Version 0.7 - detect initialization
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.gitignore Create demo script, update conditional syntax Nov 30, 2013 Version 0.7 - detect initialization Nov 30, 2013

Docker Redmine

Control scripts for a general-purpose Docker image of the Redmine issue tracker.


That's it.

Quick Start - Development Mode

git clone git://
cd docker-redmine

This will download, initialize and start a Redmine instance in development mode on port 3000 of the host machine. Connect at http://localhost:3000/.

To stop the server hit Ctrl-C. To restart the server, run again.

Installing Plugins

Put your plugins in 2.3-stable/plugins and run:


Note: don't put plugins in the 2.3-stable directory before you've run at least once, or initialization may fail.

Installing Themes

Put your themes in 2.3-stable/public/themes and restart Redmine.

Quick Start - Production Mode

git clone git://
cd docker-pgsql
cp sample.env .env
vim .env

Follow the directions in .env. At a minimum, set:

  • SU_USER - the superuser for the database cluster
  • SU_PASS - the superuser password
cd ..

This will start a PostgreSQL server on the standard port (5432) on the host.

If you've already done the development mode quick start, you can skip these next few steps.

git clone git://
cd docker-redmine
cp sample.env .env

Pick up again here. Make sure you're in the docker-redmine directory.

vim .env

Follow the directions in .env. At a minimum, set:

  • SU_USER - the superuser for the database cluster
  • SU_USER - the superuser password
  • DB_USER - the application user for the database
  • DB_PASS - the application user password
  • RAILS_ENV - set to production

This will start a Redmine instance in production mode on port 3001 of the host machine. Connect at http://localhost:3001/.

To stop the server, run docker stop $(docker ps -l -q).

To restart the server, run again.

To stop the PostgreSQL server, run docker ps, find the id of the PostgreSQL container and run docker stop [id].

Installing plugins and themes is the same as described above.





Inbound Email



The image contains:

  • Redmine 2.3-stable branch
  • Rails 3.2.13
  • Ruby 2.0.0-p247
  • ImageMagick
  • PostgreSQL adapter for production
  • SQLite for development
  • support for MySQL adapter
  • Unicorn server for production
  • Git and Mercurial binaries
  • all gem requirements installed
  • all binary requirements installed
  • Ubuntu 12.04

The only things missing from the standard Redmine install are the extra basic themes aside from the default theme. You can install them as you would any other theme.

Image Stack

  • binaryphile/redmine:2.3-stable
  • binaryphile/redmine:2.3-prereqs
  • binaryphile/ruby:2.0.0-p247
  • ubuntu:12.04

Repo Directory Structure

  • 2.3-stable/ - the Redmine 2.3 source repo (cloned during first run), with Docker-friendly customizations
  • dockerfile/ - directory with image creation scripts - see in the directory for details
  • scripts/ - supporting scripts - run these from the docker-redmine so they get the environment configuration
    • - start an interactive session inside a container
  • development mode by default, set RAILS_ENV to run production
    • - set up the Redmine source, bundler, extra directories, the database and default data, used by
  • - bundle plugin gems and migrate plugins
  • - run the server using settings in .env, detect whether initialization done and run if necessary
  • sample.env - sample values for environment settings


You will only need to rebuild the image if you need:

  • MSSQL or any DBMS other than PostgreSQL or MySQL
  • Subversion or any VCS other than Git or Mercurial
  • a plugin with a native compilation requirement which isn't supported by the image

The image is just a container for all of Redmine's system requirements. The Redmine source as well as plugins and gems are kept outside the container. You can modify them without rebuilding the image. You can even use the image for other branches of Redmine so long as the system prerequisites are the same.

For details, see dockerfile/


When you run the server you are always creating a new container from the image. While most of the commands will automatically remove the resulting container when stopped, Docker will not remove images which were started with the daemon option, which is how production is run. If you're running production, periodically you will want to remove the stopped containers which are left over.

You can do this using the command docker rm $(docker ps -a -q). Be careful, though, as this will remove all containers which aren't running, so only use it if you don't have containers you're trying to save.

If you do have stopped containers you're saving, you can get around this by making sure they are running when you run the rm command. The rm command will not delete containers which are currently running. Otherwise you will have to delete the stopped containers by id.

MySQL Support

MySQL support hasn't been tested, but the image is built with the prereqs.

Edit .env and set DB_ADAPTER to mysql and RAILS_ENV to production. Remove the .production file if it's there. Set up your MySQL database with a redmine user and empty redmine schema. Run and it will load the migrations and default data and then it will run the server.


The idea is to make it as simple as possible to deploy Redmine 2.3 on any system which supports Docker.

The image is crafted so that you don't have to go inside of it. All of the lifecycle tasks can be done without opening a command shell inside the container.

Not only that, the container itself is disposable. No state or configuration is kept inside the container. Only the binary executables are stored inside. This means that you never restart a container with the docker start command, instead you're always using the docker run command (in the form of one of the scripts in this project).

If you just want to run in production, follow the quick start directions. You'll need a real database system such as PostgreSQL.

Once you've cloned and started the server, it will be running on the host port 3001. It'll be running a Unicorn instance with 2 worker processes.

You can set the number of worker processes in .env by setting U_WORKERS. You should not set this to less than 2. Normally you'd want to set it to the number of processors on your host.

Unicorn is an application server which isn't set up to serve static assets when in production mode. You should normally set up a reverse proxy server which handles serving static assets and forwards other requests to Unicorn. You can find instructions for using Apache, nginx or other servers by googling "Rails proxy server".

If you want to skip setting up a proxy and use Unicorn directly, you can set RM_PORT to port 80 in .env. You may need to configure the server to serve static assets, although I haven't had to on mine, it just seems to work.


While you may simply set up a Redmine server and let it run, if you are upgrading the machine periodically, you may want to stage a separate server to ensure that the upgrade will work before you take down your existing server. You can do this on the same host as the production server, but to avoid database conflicts, I recommend using a different server so there is little chance you'll modify the production database.

The easiest way to set up a staging server is to stop the production Redmine and PostgreSQL servers, then gzip the docker-redmine and docker-pgsql directories and copy the files over to a new server (or any system which supports Docker, such as a Vagrant box running on your desktop). Don't forget to restart the production servers, PostgreSQL first.

Unzip both directories on the staging machine and run the PostgreSQL server then upgrade Redmine and run it. See the Redmine site for details on upgrading.


If you're working on Redmine code itself or plugins, you can run a container in development mode. The image does not, however, provide a development environment or tools, so it does not provide a lot of benefit aside from providing a pre-setup Rails environment.

Still, it can be very convenient to use the container if you don't already have a Rails development environment set up, since it has all of the prerequisites.

I recommend setting up your tools, such as Vim or RubyMine, outside of the container on the host. The source is all kept outside the container in the 2.3-stable (or your branch name) directory, so you can edit it there and keep a container running in development mode to test with a web browser, since it runs from the same code on the host.

If you are working with a plugin, the standard image should work fine. If you're working with your own fork of Redmine, however, you'll need to make some modifications.

The image will work with any recent branch, so you can use it with your own fork even if you aren't using 2.3-stable. You just have to change the GH_USER variable when you are setting up, and then make some modifications to the Redmine code itself. I've provided templates for the files which need to change.

First edit .env and change GH_USER to your Github user id, or the one which contains the Redmine fork if not yours. The default is to use the 2.3-stable branch. If you want a different -stable branch, set RM_VERSION to the version number. If instead you want a non-stable branch, set RM_BRANCH. For versions of Redmine which have the same binary requirements as 2.3, you can leave RM_IMAGE alone. Make sure RAILS_ENV is unset, or set to development.

If there is a 2.3-stable directory already, either move it or delete it. Once .env is properly set and there's no other source directory, run scripts/ This will clone the git repository and set up the extra directories necessary to run.

Copy the files from templates to your clone (substitute your branch name for 2.3-stable):

  • database.yml - 2.3-stable/config/database.yml
  • Gemfile.local - 2.3-stable/docker-redmine/Gemfile.local
  • sample.gitignore - 2.3-stable/.gitignore
  • unicorn.rb - 2.3-stable/config/unicorn.rb

Commit the changes.

Now you can run the server with and your code changes will show up when you test with a web browser, as is typical in development mode. You can run your same code in production by committing and pushing your changes, then making sure the production environment pulls from the same github user and branch.

File Ownership

The Redmine server in the container is run under the user "redmine". I'm talking about the Linux user, as opposed to the database user.

When the Redmine process writes to the filesystem, it uses the uid of the container's redmine user. From outside the container, the owner of the files is the user on the host with the same uid. This may or may not be your account on the host, so if you have issues with file ownership, you may need to build a custom image with a different uid for the redmine user.