Simple bash script that makes it easier to forward ports from Docker Machine
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pf Corrected quite to quiet May 15, 2017

Docker Machine Port Forwarding

A small bash script that makes it easier to expose ports between VirtualBox and the host when using docker-machine on Mac OSX. The script is called pf which stands for "port forward". You can also read more on this blog.


$ pf 8080

Forwards port 8080 in the container to port 8080 on the host in docker-machine environment default by opening an SSH connection to VirtualBox in the background.

If you run into this error:

Host does not exist: "default"

you'll need to specify the name of your docker-machine environment. For example:

$ pf 8080 -e dev

This will use the dev docker-machine environment.

Stopping the port forwarding

If you've started port forwarding in the background (default) you can easily stop it using:

$ pf 8080 -s

Note that you don't need to specify an environment (-e) for this to work.

Port Mapping

You can map the docker port to another port on the host like this:

$ pf 8090:8080

This will map port 8090 on the host to port 8080 running in the container.


You can also start the port forwarding process in the foreground:

$ pf 8080 -f

If you do this you'll see the docker-machine and once it's shutdown the port forwarding is also stopped automatically (i.e. no need to run pf 8080 -s).


Run pf -h to for more options


If you need more advanced options just use the vanilla docker-machine command. The purpose of pf is to make it really easy to do the most basic things.