An application to create a daemon from a Docker Compose file
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Portinus is a tool that creates a systemd service out of a docker-compose.yml file.


Just a warning; this is now unmaintained, since docker swarm updates in mid-2018 all the things I personally required from it that were missing are for the most part either working or have workarounds I prefer to maintain over maintaining this stack. So this repository is now just around for historical purposes

Why Portinus? Why not use docker application bundles/swarm/deploy?

Docker Application Bundles deployed via swarm are great, but in order to support horizontal scaling for many of the features in docker, you lose much of the composability and many features, such as network_modes and some other more complex interdependencies.


  • Automatic timer-based stack restart
  • Automatic health-check-based stack restart (just define a health check in your compose file and it works like magic!)


pip3 install portinus


NOTE: For all possible options, please use portinus --help and portinus <command> --help for more information.


  • docker
  • docker-compose
  • systemd
  • python3

To create or update a service:

sudo portinus ensure --name foo --source /home/justin/foo --env /home/justin/environment-file --restart daily
  • Where /home/justin/foo is a directory containing a docker-compose.yml file.
  • Where /home/justin/environment-file is a systemd EnvironmentFile formated list of key-pairs. These values can be used in the docker-compose.yml file
  • This will create a service named portinus-foo that will be enabled on boot and started as soon as it is created.
  • The files it runs will only be a snapshot of the source folder at the time portinus is executed.
  • Any files generated using paths such as ./ in the docker-compose.yml file will be removed during installation. All 'updates' are clean installs.
  • --restart supports any systemd OnCalendar format schedules such as 'daily', 'weekly', etc

To use docker-compose on a service:

portinus compose foo ps
portinus compose foo logs bar

To disable a service on boot

Just treat it like any other systemd service:

sudo systemctl disable portinus-foo.service

To remove a service

sudo portinus remove foo

To stop or restart a service

sudo portinus stop foo
sudo portinus restart foo
  • Only the name is required to remove a service
  • The service will be disabled and removed from systemd
  • The environment file and installed copy of the service will all be removed