PHP, Apache Docker Container
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PHP + Apache Docker Container

This is a docker container for running PHP 5 applications under Apache 2. It is designed to be very minimal, but in such a way that extending it is easy. Apache listens on port 8080 inside the container and runs in the foreground under a non-privileged user.

All the 'standard' PHP extensions are compiled, which basically means you can use MySQL, PgSQL, SQLite3, GD etc without doing anything special.


Apache is run in the foreground with a minimal config that can be found at in the www/ directory of the GitHub repository for the Apache image on which this is based.


Without any special configuration, the index page will serve up the phpinfo() output. This should demonstrate that the container is working correctly.

docker run -p 8080:8080 flippa/php:5.5.14

Accessing http://localhost:8080/ should show the PHP Info page and Apache logs should be written to stdout.


WARNING sendmail_path is set to /bin/true, effectively disabling the mail() function. Pull requests welcomed that provide a light wrapper to send mail directly to the MX, without depending on a daemon.

I have made no attempts to create an exhaustive configuration for PHP and Apache, rather focusing on setting a handful of minimal and sensible defaults and ensuring it is easy to override these defaults. In summary, the defaults are:

  • error_reporting E_ALL
  • display_errors On
  • short_open_tag Off
  • default_charset 'UTF-8'
  • date.timezone 'UTC'
  • memory_limit 128M
  • post_max_size 32M
  • upload_max_filesize 8M

For the Apache default, refer to flippa/apache-docker.



See: flippa/apache-docker.

The document root is set to /www/htdocs/ and you are expected to mount this directory as a volume, or add it to the container, using this image as the base image.


NOTE: The and associated config are loaded from an httpd.conf.d/ file that extends the base Apache configuration.

The main php.ini file resides in /www/php.ini, though it is kept to a minimum.

Extending the PHP configuration can be done by adding *.ini files to /www/php.ini.d/ using a volume, or by using this image as a base image. The default configuration is both minimal and strict.

If you know what you're doing, feel free to mount the entire /www/ directory as a volume and disregard the above, but make sure it contains at least an httpd.conf. Both Apache and PHP have been installed with --prefix=/usr/local.

Web Access

Here's an example of serving a WordPress blog with mod_rewrite loaded, using shared volumes.

# Start MySQL somewhere
docker run -d  \
  --name mysql \

# Start Wordpress, linking to MySQL
docker run -d                          \
  --name wordpress                     \
  -p 8080:8080                         \
  --link mysql:mysql                   \
  -v /path/to/wordpress:/www/htdocs    \
  -v /path/to/conf.d:/www/httpd.conf.d \

The contents of /path/to/wordpress/ would be the directory including the index.php from WordPress. The contents of /path/to/conf.d/ would be a file named mod_rewrite.conf, with the contents:

DirectoryIndex index.html index.php
AddType        application/x-httpd-php .php

LoadModule php5_module    modules/
LoadModule rewrite_module modules/

Now accessing http://localhost:8080/, you should see your WordPress blog, assuming it accesses MySQL on the hostname 'mysql'.

Here's the same example using a Dockerfile to create a new image, using this image as the base image:

FROM       flippa/php:5.5.14

ADD /path/to/wordpress /www/htdocs
ADD /path/to/conf.d    /www/httpd.conf.d

Now build the new image:

docker build --rm -t your-wordpress .

And run it with:

# Start MySQL somewhere
docker run -d  \
  --name mysql \

# Start Wordpress, linking to MySQL
docker run -d        \
  --name wordpress   \
  -p 8080:8080       \
  --link mysql:mysql \

You should be able to provide most needed configuration using this layout.

Command Line Access

If you need to run PHP on the command line, just start /bin/bash in the container:

docker run --rm -ti flippa/php:5.5.14 bash

By default the same configuration file is used for the CLI as for Apache.