Skip to content
Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.


A tool to keep environment as code.

Dojo helps to compile code and run other operations in Docker containers.

The Dojo project consists of:

  • dojo - a golang executable (CLI), which leverages docker and docker-compose
  • A specification and helper scripts for building Dojo Docker images

Dojo works on Linux or Mac. Dojo is continuously tested only on Linux.

Table of contents

  1. Installation
  2. Quickstart
  3. Why?
  4. Docker images
  5. Secrets distribution
  6. Dojofile
  7. Drivers
  8. Behavior reference
  9. FAQ
  10. Comparison to other tools
  11. Development
  12. License



The following must be installed for Dojo to run:

  • Bash
  • Docker - you must be able to run a local Docker daemon that can execute Linux Docker containers
  • Docker-Compose >=1.7.1 (only if using Dojo driver: docker-compose)

The Dojo binary

There is only 1 binary file to install. Installation options (choose one):

  • with homebrew:
brew install kudulab/homebrew-dojo-osx/dojo
  • a manual install:
# on Linux:
wget -O /tmp/dojo${version}/dojo_linux_amd64
# or on Mac:
wget -O /tmp/dojo${version}/dojo_darwin_amd64
chmod +x /tmp/dojo
sudo mv /tmp/dojo /usr/bin/dojo


First, follow the instructions to install Dojo. Dojo CLI will be available to use in this way:

dojo <flags> [--] <CMD>

Java Example

Let's build this java project using dojo:

git clone
cd gocd-yaml-config-plugin
dojo "gradle test jar"

The output should start with a docker command that was executed:

/tmp/gocd-yaml-config-plugin$ dojo "gradle test jar"
2020/12/09 07:40:28 [ 1]  INFO: (main.main) Dojo version 0.10.3
2020/12/09 07:40:28 [ 4]  INFO: (main.DockerDriver.HandleRun) docker command will be:
 docker run --rm -v /tmp/gocd-yaml-config-plugin:/dojo/work -v /home/tomzo:/dojo/identity:ro --env-file=/tmp/dojo-environment-dojo-gocd-yaml-config-plugin-2020-12-09_07-40-50-60121947 -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -ti --name=dojo-gocd-yaml-config-plugin-2020-12-09_07-40-50-60121947 kudulab/openjdk-dojo:1.4.1 "gradle test jar"
Unable to find image 'kudulab/openjdk-dojo:1.4.1' locally
1.4.1: Pulling from kudulab/openjdk-dojo

Then you should see docker pull output and after creating the container, all tests being executed. The build artifacts land in build/libs/, because that is how gradle behaves. These artifacts are available on our docker host. Things to notice:

  • We have pulled kudulab/openjdk-dojo docker image and created container from it.
  • Current directory /tmp/gocd-yaml-config-plugin was mounted to /dojo/work
  • Home directory on host /home/tomzo was mounted as readonly to /dojo/identity
  • After gradle test jar has finished running non-interactively, the docker container has exited and was removed. This is because we provided a command to dojo.

Every dojo image supports 2 modes: an interactive mode and non-interactive mode. In order to run interactively, run dojo without any command:

/tmp/gocd-yaml-config-plugin$ dojo

Then we can work in the container for longer time, very much like in a vagrant VM. Thanks to the mounted directory from the host, we can work on the project files using any other tools on our host, while container with java tools shares the same files.

This is a quickstart preview to give you a sense of how you would work with dojo. Read on for more examples. There is also a documentation site coming.

Golang Example

Let's build this project (Dojo) using dojo:

git clone
cd dojo
dojo -c "./tasks deps && ./tasks build"

Here we used Dojo flag -c This way we instructed dojo CLI which Dojofile to use. Dojofile keeps information about the Docker Image. uses kudulab/golang-dojo Docker image.

AWS Example

There are also Dojo Docker images which bundle a tool (or group of tools), e.g. awscli. Example usage:

$ nano Dojofile
$ cat Dojofile
$ dojo
# now we run interactively in the Dojo Docker container
dojo@407490ab35cb(aws-dojo):/dojo/work$ aws ec2 describe-instances --filters "Name=tag:Name,Values=ec2-ansible-test"
    "Reservations": []

To exit the container, type exit.

Docker in Docker (dind) Example

There are 2 methods.

The first method is to use the Docker Daemon from host. E.g.:

$ cat Dojofile.docker-from-host
# we use docker daemon from host
DOJO_DOCKER_OPTIONS="-v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock"
$ dojo -c Dojofile.docker-from-host
# now we run in Docker container
$ sudo docker ps -a
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                        COMMAND                  CREATED             STATUS                     PORTS               NAMES
2a1529381f9f        kudulab/ansible-dojo:1.5.0   "/usr/bin/tini -g --…"   7 seconds ago       Up 6 seconds                                   dojo-dojo-2020-12-18_08-19-32-69068479

The above command listed the Docker container, we are currently running in. The docker-ansible-dojo Dojo Docker image was used.

Using this method is not suitable to run Dojo in Dojo. But, you may want to use it:

  • when you want to provision a container on your host, and you want to invoke Ansible (or other provisioning tool) from another container on the same host,
  • when you want to build a Docker image on your host, and you want to invoke Packer (or other similar tool) from another container on the same host.

The second method is to run a separate Docker Daemon inside of a Docker container. We can use docker-inception-dojo Dojo Docker image:

$ cat Dojofile.dind-ubuntu18
$ dojo -c Dojofile.dind-ubuntu18
# now we run in the Docker container
# no containers are running inside the current Docker container:
$ docker ps -a
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND             CREATED             STATUS              PORTS               NAMES
$ ps aux | grep docker
root         198  0.0  0.0    200     4 pts/0    S    07:59   0:00 s6-supervise docker
root         201  0.5  0.5 1493132 83252 ?       Ssl  07:59   0:00 dockerd --host=unix:///var/run/docker.sock --log-level=error
root         240  0.5  0.2 1203480 43064 ?       Ssl  07:59   0:00 containerd --config /var/run/docker/containerd/containerd.toml --log-level error
dojo         346  0.0  0.0  13212  1096 pts/0    S+   08:00   0:00 grep --color=auto docker
$ docker --version
Docker version 19.03.5, build 633a0ea838
$ docker info | grep "Server Version"
 Server Version: 19.03.5

$ docker run --rm alpine:3.9 whoami
Unable to find image 'alpine:3.9' locally
# pulling image messages
dojo@ebc220b9655f(inception-dojo):/dojo/work$ docker images
REPOSITORY          TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
alpine              3.9                 78a2ce922f86        7 months ago        5.55MB

There is also an Alpine dind Docker image. Use it in the following way:

$ cat Dojofile.dind-alpine

This method is suitable for running Dojo in Dojo. Dojo e2e tests use this method to test various Docker commands in a clean, separate Docker container. This way, such tests cannot affect Docker containers or images on Docker host (they have a safe environment to run in).

Why was Dojo created? Dojo benefits

Docker and containerization has revolutionized application lifecycle by creating a common standard. Dojo uses Docker to provide a similar standard for environments, providing environments as code. Dojo allows environments to be versioned, released as a Docker image and used in the Infrastructure As Code manner.

Why was Dojo created? Dojo benefits:

  • to shorten setup time of development environment to near-zero
  • to have environment parity - environment consistent between multiple developers or between a developer and a CI server (fixes works on my machine problem)
  • to have easily reproducible environments (if your environment changed and you experience configuration drift, you can just recreate a Dojo Docker container)
  • to treat environment as code and lock it in source control of a project. The environment of a project is thus specified in one place, in Dojofile
  • to execute commands in docker much more easily than with bare docker run. Dojo takes care of many little details. (See lower why)

Problems solved by Dojo and surrounding practices:

  1. Works on my machine - with Dojo, each host (a developer's workstation or a CI agent) gets a consistent, reproducible environment delivered by a docker image.
  2. Configuration management - with Dojo, any development environment is built from a Dockerfile, which is versioned and released as a docker image. Therefore the provisioning of the environment is stated in several commands, providing both documentation and a setup script in the single source of truth.
  3. Tools on CI agents or developer's laptop over time may mismatch with project's required setup - With Dojo the environment is pulled as docker image just before the operation to be executed, therefore hosts don't need to be provisioned repeatedly to keep up with changing projects.

Who is it for?

  1. as-code practitioners - If you like as-code philosophy (infrastructure-as-code, pipelines-as-code) then you'll like Dojo, which provides development and operations environment as code.
  2. Consultants, DevOps Engineers, anyone jumping between projects and languages often. With Dojo, getting the right environment for a project takes as long as the docker pull.
  3. Polyglot software houses, especially where CI agents are shared by a variety of projects.
  4. If you are already running builds with docker, then Dojo will make your scripts shorter and your life easier.

By adopting Dojo you would be shifting responsibility for the development environment closer to the developers. A dojo docker image becomes a contract of what is a correct environment for a project at a particular commit (see Dojofile).

Docker images

A dojo docker image is responsible for setup of the development environment when container is created.

You can find complete examples of open source "dojo images" on github. Or you can build your own image starting from minimal example snippets below.

Image requirements and best practices

We have several rules and recommendations on how to properly craft a dojo docker image. Dojo also provides common setup scripts to achieve most of it.

  1. Image must have dojo user and group. We recommend to set uid and gid to 1000, although it is not necessary.
  2. Image must have bash and sudo installed.
  3. On container start, image should change uid and gid of dojo user to match with owner of the /dojo/work mount. Then, if any files were owned by dojo, their permissions should be updated.
  4. The docker image entrypoint:
    • must change current user to dojo user
    • should support running interactive and non-interactive shell
    • should source files in /etc/dojo.d/variables/*
    • should run files in /etc/dojo.d/scripts/*
    • should reap processes properly, by using an init system like tini or s6.
  5. Image must ensure that current directory after starting container is ${dojo_work} (by default /dojo/work).
  6. Image shell prompt may include name of the dojo image being used. E.g. dojo@297ea3cf20eb(openjdk-dojo):/dojo/work$

We have also established several best practices for dojo image development:

  • Treat each dojo image as any software project with its own lifecycle. That implies: automate builds and releases, but most importantly test the image before a release.
  • Use semantic versioning for the docker image.
  • Leverage images available on dockerhub in the FROM dockerfile instruction, then provision your custom tools and dojo-specific scripts. E.g. start a java-dojo from the official openjdk image.
  • If the development environment requires secrets setup, then container should assert validity of the secrets on start and exit with non-zero status if anything is missing.

Image scripts

Dojo provides several scripts to be used inside dojo images to meet most of above requirements. Scripts can be installed in a Dockerfile with:

RUN git clone --depth 1 -b ${DOJO_VERSION} /tmp/dojo_git &&\
  /tmp/dojo_git/image_scripts/src/ && \
  rm -r /tmp/dojo_git

Above script takes care of:

  • dojo user setup
  • handling owner of /dojo/work
  • provisioning of a correct entrypoint

Image developer is still responsible for:

  • installing bash and sudo
  • ensuring that current directory after starting container is ${dojo_work} (by default /dojo/work).

Below are valid, minimal examples of dojo dockerfiles:

Typical debian dockerfile

For debian-family systems (including ubuntu) a typical dockerfile has following structure:

FROM debian:9

ADD${TINI_VERSION}/tini /tini
RUN chmod +x /tini

# Install common Dojo scripts
RUN apt-get update && \
  DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends \
  sudo git ca-certificates && \
  git clone --depth 1 -b ${DOJO_VERSION} /tmp/dojo_git &&\
  /tmp/dojo_git/image_scripts/src/ && \
  rm -r /tmp/dojo_git

#TODO: Add the tools your project needs

# Optional scripts to run on container start
#COPY etc_dojo.d/scripts/* /etc/dojo.d/scripts/
# Optional environment variables to source on container start
#COPY etc_dojo.d/variables/* /etc/dojo.d/variables/

COPY profile /home/dojo/.profile
COPY bashrc /home/dojo/.bashrc
RUN chown dojo:dojo /home/dojo/.profile /home/dojo/.bashrc

ENTRYPOINT ["/tini", "-g", "--", "/usr/bin/"]
CMD ["/bin/bash"]

The supporting bashrc can be used to setup a command prompt:

PS1='\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\](minimal-debian-dojo):\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '

And supporting profile can be used to ensure current directory is ${dojo_work}:

# if running bash
if [ -n "$BASH_VERSION" ]; then
    # include .bashrc if it exists
    if [ -f "$HOME/.bashrc" ]; then
      . "$HOME/.bashrc"
# this variable is set by common Dojo image scripts
cd "${dojo_work}"

Typical alpine dockerfile

For alpine images a typical dockerfile has following structure:

FROM alpine:3.9

# Install common Dojo scripts
RUN echo "" >> /etc/apk/repositories && \
  apk add --no-cache tini bash shadow sudo git && \
  git clone --depth 1 -b ${DOJO_VERSION} /tmp/dojo_git &&\
  /tmp/dojo_git/image_scripts/src/ && \
  rm -r /tmp/dojo_git

#TODO: Add the tools your project needs

# Optional scripts to run on container start
#COPY etc_dojo.d/scripts/* /etc/dojo.d/scripts/
# Optional environment variables to source on container start
#COPY etc_dojo.d/variables/* /etc/dojo.d/variables/

COPY profile /home/dojo/.profile
COPY bashrc /home/dojo/.bashrc
RUN chown dojo:dojo /home/dojo/.profile /home/dojo/.bashrc

ENTRYPOINT ["/sbin/tini", "-g", "--", "/usr/bin/"]
CMD ["/bin/bash"]

The supporting bashrc can be used to setup a command prompt:

PS1='\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\](minimal-alpine-dojo):\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '

And supporting profile can be used to ensure current directory is ${dojo_work}:

# if running bash
if [ -n "$BASH_VERSION" ]; then
    # include .bashrc if it exists
    if [ -f "$HOME/.bashrc" ]; then
      . "$HOME/.bashrc"
# this variable is set by common Dojo image scripts
cd "${dojo_work}"


Every organization manages secrets distribution differently. Dojo is agnostic towards the secret management. This section is an overview of several possibilities on how to deliver secrets into dojo containers.

Don't add secrets to the image

I hope this is obvious.

Use environment variables

By default every dojo run will pass environment variables from the host to the container. So if you already have infrastructure in place which delivers secrets as environment variables, these secrets will just work inside dojo containers.

Copy secrets from home directory

Dojo mounts current user's home into /dojo/identity, one of the reasons is to allow the container startup scripts to copy secrets from the user's home. For example, ssh keys could be setup by adding a following script in the dojo image: /etc/dojo.d/scripts/

#/bin/bash -e
if [ ! -d "${dojo_identity}/.ssh" ]; then
  echo "${dojo_identity}/.ssh does not exist. This image requires ssh keys for operation"
  exit 5
  cp -r "${dojo_identity}/.ssh/" "${dojo_home}/"
  find ${dojo_home}/.ssh -name '*id_rsa' -exec chmod -c 0600 {} \;
  find ${dojo_home}/.ssh -name '*id_rsa' -exec chown dojo:dojo {} \;
# we need to ensure that ${dojo_home}/.ssh/config contains at least:
# StrictHostKeyChecking no
echo "StrictHostKeyChecking no
UserKnownHostsFile /dev/null
" > "${dojo_home}/.ssh/config"

Install secrets distribution tool in the image

All of your dojo images could include a tool such as Vault, which would be used in the image startup scripts to provision secrets locally in the container. This however, still requires to use any of the other methods to deliver VAULT_TOKEN used to authorize with the vault server to obtain other secrets.

Mount secrets as a volume

We don't recommend this, but it is an option. If the secret is outside the home directory of the user running dojo, then it can be mounted into the container by using additional docker options:

DOJO_DOCKER_OPTIONS="-v /path/to/local/secret:/path/in/docker"


Dojofile is a file specifying the docker image which should be used for current project. In simplest form Dojofile contains only DOJO_DOCKER_IMAGE with a docker image reference:


For example, a java project might have following Dojofile:


We recommend to:

  • add Dojofile at the root of the project
  • add Dojofile to the source control
  • use unambiguous docker tags, such as kudulab/openjdk-dojo:1.4.1 rather than kudulab/openjdk-dojo:latest. This guarantees that current commit will be always built in the same image, which helps with reproducible builds.

Dojofile options

Dojofile has several settings to control dojo behavior.

Dojo driver

Defines which driver to use. Possible values are docker or docker-compose. Default is docker.

equivalent CLI option is: --driver


Defines which image to use. The value must be a valid docker image reference, same as you would specify in docker pull. There is no default, you must specify an image in Dojofile or in CLI arguments.

equivalent CLI option is: --image

Docker options
DOJO_DOCKER_OPTIONS="-p 9090:80 --privileged"

Defines additional arguments for the docker run command. Default is empty.

equivalent CLI option is: --docker-options

Outer working directory

Defines directory on the docker host to mount into the container at /dojo/work (by default). The default is to mount current working directory.

Dojo setups following mount DOJO_WORK_OUTER:DOJO_WORK_INNER.

equivalent CLI option is: --work-dir-outer

We do not recommend changing this.

Inner working directory

Defines directory inside the docker container, which is mounted from the host. By default /dojo/work.

Dojo setups following mount DOJO_WORK_OUTER:DOJO_WORK_INNER.

equivalent CLI option is: --work-dir-inner

We do not recommend changing this.

Identity directory

Defines directory on the docker host to mount into the container at /dojo/identity. The default is to mount current user's home. See more about identity directory.

Dojo setups following mount DOJO_IDENTITY_OUTER:/dojo/identity.

equivalent CLI option is: --identity-dir-outer

Blacklist variables

By default dojo will pass environment variables from host to the container. DOJO_BLACKLIST_VARIABLES can be used to control which variables should not be mapped. It is a list of environment variables, split by commas, which should not be transfered from host to the docker container. A blacklisted variable name can end with an asterisk, e.g. BASH*, which means that all the variables with BASH prefix (like BASH_123, BASHBLA) will be blacklisted.

The default value is:


equivalent CLI option is: --blacklist

Log level

In CLI use --debug=true or --debug=false

Docker-compose file

Used only with docker-compose driver, points to the docker-compose file which should be used for creating containers when running docker-compose run. Default is docker-compose.yml.

equivalent CLI option is: -docker-compose-file

Docker-compose options

Defines additional arguments for the docker-compose run command. Used only with docker-compose driver. Default is empty.

no equivalent in CLI

Docker-compose exit behavior

Only applicable for docker-compose driver. Defines how to react when a non-default container exits. Possible values are:

  • ignore - the docker-compose run continues until default container exits.
  • abort (default) - the docker-compose run will be interrupted by dojo once any container stops.
  • restart - dojo will restart any non-default container which has stopped.

equivalent CLI option is: -exit-behavior


Dojo can run commands with docker or docker-compose, which is controlled by DOJO_DRIVER option in dojofile.

docker driver

docker driver is the default. It is based on docker run command and allows to create just one container for the development environment. It is useful for running builds, unit tests, simple CLI tools.

docker-compose driver

docker-compose driver is based on docker-compose run. Several containers can be created to setup the development environment. Dojo treats first container as the default (primary) container. It is the only container which has to be dojo-compliant. That means, you can use any other images in the remaining services.

Dojo with docker-compose driver is a very powerful tool. Some examples when it can be useful:

  • developing a java application which connects to a database. You can create java-dojo and linked postgresql container with a database server.
  • developing microservices, where default container is a dojo container where you develop an application, while several linked applications are containers with dependant microservices.
  • integration and performance testing. Especially with the abort exit behavior, failure of any container will stop and fail the test.
  • Real-world example usage is LiGet, where we test nuget clients against a nuget server running in docker.

docker-compose file

In order to use docker-compose driver, a Dojofile would include:


Next to the Dojofile, you must create a docker-compose.yml according the official reference. Example docker-compose file:

version: '2.2'
      - db:db
    init: true
    image: postgres:11.2-alpine

The docker-compose file must meet following several requirements to work with Dojo.

  • version of docker-compose file must be >=2.2
  • there must be a default service declared - it will be the container running a dojo docker image.
  • do not set image option in the default service. Because Dojo sets it based on DOJO_DOCKER_IMAGE from Dojofile or using CLI option.

You can try creating above 2 files in any directory and run dojo. The output should look like this:

tomzo@073c1c477b1f:/tmp/compose-example$ dojo
2019/04/28 18:38:17 [ 1]  INFO: (main.main) Dojo version 0.3.2
2019/04/28 18:38:18 [20]  INFO: (main.DockerComposeDriver.HandleRun) docker-compose run command will be:
 docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml -f docker-compose.yml.dojo -p dojo-compose-example-2019-04-28_18-38-17-33362956 run --rm default
Creating network "dojo-compose-example-2019-04-28_18-38-17-33362956_default" with the default driver
Pulling db (postgres:11.2-alpine)...
11.2-alpine: Pulling from library/postgres
bdf0201b3a05: Already exists
365f27dc05d7: Pull complete
bf541d40dfbc: Pull complete
823ce70c3252: Pull complete
a92a31ecd32a: Pull complete
83cc8c6d8282: Pull complete
7995b9edc9bf: Pull complete
7616119153d9: Pull complete
b3f69561e369: Pull complete
Creating dojo-compose-example-2019-04-28_18-38-17-33362956_db_1 ... done
28-04-2019 18:38:27 Dojo entrypoint info: Sourcing: /etc/dojo.d/variables/
28-04-2019 18:38:27 Dojo entrypoint info: Sourcing: /etc/dojo.d/variables/
28-04-2019 18:38:27 Dojo entrypoint info: Sourcing: /etc/dojo.d/scripts/
28-04-2019 18:38:28 Dojo entrypoint info: Sourcing: /etc/dojo.d/scripts/
+ usermod -u 1000 dojo
usermod: no changes
+ groupmod -g 1000 dojo
+ chown 1000:1000 -R /home/dojo
28-04-2019 18:38:28 Dojo entrypoint info: dojo init finished (interactive shell)

Behavior reference

CLI arguments

$ dojo --help
Usage of dojo <flags> [--] <CMD>:
  -a string
    	Action: run, pull. Default: run (shorthand)
  -action string
    	Action: run, pull. Default: run
  -blacklist string
    	List of variables, split by commas, to be blacklisted in a docker container
  -c string
    	Config file. Default: ./Dojofile (shorthand)
  -config string
    	Config file. Default: ./Dojofile
  -d string
    	Driver: docker or docker-compose (dc for short). Default: docker (shorthand)
  -dcf string
    	Docker-compose file. Default: ./docker-compose.yml. Only for driver: docker-compose (shorthand)
  -debug string
    	Set log level to debug (verbose). Default: false
  -docker-compose-file string
    	Docker-compose file. Default: ./docker-compose.yml. Only for driver: docker-compose
  -docker-options string
    	Options to the docker run command. E.g. "--init"
  -driver string
    	Driver: docker or docker-compose (dc for short). Default: docker
  -exit-behavior string
    	How to react when a container (not the default one) exits. Possible values: ignore, abort (default), restart. Only for driver: docker-compose
  -h	Print help and exit 0 (shorthand)
    	Print help and exit 0
  -i string
    	Set to false if you want to force not interactive docker run
  -identity-dir-outer string
    	Directory on host, to be mounted into a docker container to /dojo/identity. Default: $HOME
  -image string
    	Docker image name and tag, e.g. alpine:3.8
  -interactive string
    	Set to false if you want to force not interactive docker run
  -preserve-env-to-all string

  -print-logs string
      	Decide when to print the logs of non-default containers. Possible values: always, failure (default), never. Only for driver: docker-compose
  -print-logs-target string
      	Decide where to print the logs of non-default containers. Possible values: console (default, stderr), file. Only for driver: docker-compose
  -remove-containers string
    	Set to true if you want to not remove docker containers. Default: true
  -rm string
    	Set to true if you want to not remove docker containers. Default: true
  -test string
    	Set this to true when integration testing. This turns writing env files to a test directory
  -v	Print version and exit 0 (shorthand)
    	Print version and exit 0
  -w string
    	Directory in a docker container, to which we bind mount from host. Default: /dojo/work (shorthand)
  -work-dir-inner string
    	Directory in a docker container, to which we bind mount from host. Default: /dojo/work
  -work-dir-outer string
    	Directory on host, to be mounted into a docker container. Default: current directory

Home and identity directory

By default Dojo mounts current user's home directory into /dojo/identity. The mount is read-only. There are several reasons for such design:

  • /dojo/identity is read-only so hacking with the project inside container cannot break your home directory.
  • If user's home was mounted into /home/dojo, then many of the user's application settings could unintentionally break configuration of the dojo user in container. Instead every dojo image can selectively use /dojo/identity to setup /home/dojo so that container becomes operational.

Handling signals

Dojo reacts on signals: SIGINT (Ctrl+C) and SIGTERM. Dojo recognizes if 1 or 2 signals were sent. This means: you can press e.g. Ctrl+C two times to speed up containers stopping.

event driver Dojo behavior exit status
one signal docker docker stop that 1 container 130 for SIGINT, 2 for SIGTERM
one signal docker-compose docker stop default container, then docker-compose stop to gracefully stop all the other containers 130 for SIGINT, 2 for SIGTERM
2 signals docker docker kill that 1 container 3
2 signals docker-compose docker kill default container, then docker-compose kill to immediately stop all the other containers 3
>2 signals all ignored 3

In order to not couple Dojo behavior with Docker and Docker-Compose behavior, signals from terminal are not simply preserved onto docker run or docker-compose run process (the process is started with a separate process group ID).

docker-compose stop and docker-compose kill do not stop the default container, created with docker-compose run default CMD, thus, firstly, we stop the default container.

After goroutines that handle signals are finished, cleanup is performed (remove docker containers, network, environment file and docker-compose.yml.dojo file).

To test reacting on signals, run the following commands. After "will sleep" is printed, press Ctrl+C. You may also test pressing Ctrl+C more times.

  1. driver: docker, container's PID 1 process not preserving signals:
dojo --image=alpine:3.8 -i=false sh -c "echo 'will sleep' && sleep 1d"
  1. driver: docker, container's PID 1 process preserving signals:
dojo --docker-options="--init" --image=alpine:3.8 -i=false sh -c "echo 'will sleep' && sleep 1d"
  1. driver: docker-compose:
dojo --driver=docker-compose --dcf=./test/test-files/itest-dc.yaml -i=false --image=alpine:3.8 sh -c "echo 'will sleep' && sleep 1d"

Preserving exported Bash functions #17

Needs Dojo >= 0.9.0, earlier Dojo versions will result in an error like:

13-08-2020 19:53:43 Dojo entrypoint info: Sourcing: /etc/dojo.d/variables/
/etc/dojo.d/variables/ line 1: export: `DOJO_BASH_FUNC_my_bash_func%%=()': not a valid identifier
/etc/dojo.d/variables/ line 1: export: `{': not a valid identifier
/etc/dojo.d/variables/ line 1: export: `"hello"': not a valid identifier
/etc/dojo.d/variables/ line 1: export: `}': not a valid identifier

You may want to have your locally exported Bash functions available in a Dojo Docker image. For example, you have defined and exported such a Bash function:

my_bash_func() {
  echo "hello"
export -f my_bash_func

This function (and all the other exported Bash functions) will be saved into the file /etc/dojo.d/variables/ inside a Dojo Docker image. This is done automatically, by Dojo, on a container start. In order to be able to invoke a function in a Dojo Docker image, you have to run:

source /etc/dojo.d/variables/

If you use Dojo and Bats-core v1.2.1, use Dojo >= 0.9.0.

Due to using Sudo in Dojo images standard entrypoint, exported bash functions are not preserved and that is why you have to source the file yourself. Preserving Bash functions by Sudo was removed after Shellshock, see this and this.


Will Dojo work with any docker image?

It will run, but this is not recommended and won't be very convenient because:

  • Most images by default use root user inside the image, therefore any files created in the container will be owned by root.
  • Dojo mounts current directory into /dojo/work, a correct dojo image would by default enter /dojo/work. A random image usually enters /.
  • A correct dojo image would setup current user inside docker container to match with UID and GID of the owner of /dojo/work mount. A random image usually runs as root, even if not, then still chances of UID/GID match with /dojo/work are low.

Why not just docker run?

You may be using docker run or docker-compose run already for your builds. For example: docker run -ti --volume $PWD:/build openjdk:8u212 gradle test. There are several issues which are not solved out of the box by these tools, in fact all of them are reasons why dojo was created:

  • Not running builds as root
  • Interactive vs non-interactive shell problems. E.g. you could not run docker run -ti on a CI agent, but you can on interactive terminal.
  • Selectively passing environment variables from host to the container.
  • Handling mismatch between UID/GID of the user on the host and UID/GID inside the container. Basically keeping artifacs and project files owned by the same user during the entire time.
  • In docker-compose dealing with containers crashed during the run
  • Capturing and handling signals.
  • Returning exit code from inside container to the host.
  • Cleanup of the containers and networks.
  • Dojofile enforces versioning of the reference to development environment.

Multiple dojofiles

A single project can use multiple dojo images, therefore multiple Dojofiles should be checked-in the repository. For example, front-end and backend can live in same repository, written in 2 different languages.

We recommend to name your dojofiles with a suffix suggesting the type of environment. E.g. Dojofile-nodejs and Dojofile-python. To point which Dojofile should be used, pass -c option to dojo:

dojo -c Dojofile-nodejs npm install

Comparison to other tools

vs. Batect

Batect is the closest tool to Dojo and its created for the same reasons. The primary differences between dojo and Batect:

  • Batect requires java to run, Dojo is a self-contained binary
  • Batect orchestrates multiple containers by itself, dojo uses docker-compose
  • Batect is configured with YAML where you define lifecycle tasks of the project. Dojo is agnostic towards the lifecycle, you can use any existing tool (Make, gradle, bash scripts) to define tasks/targets of the project.
  • Batect encourages usage of existing official images, therefore YAML config of each project has to define options such as volume mounts, users, etc. Dojo encourages having custom images, so that Dojofile config is minimal within a project.
  • Dojo does not support Windows.

vs. Vagrant

Vagrant has the same mission as Dojo - to make portable, easy to setup, development environments. However vagrant is a tool from the virtualization era and is built around virtual machines. The typical workflow in vagrant is

vagrant up
vagrant ssh
vagrant down

Major difference is that:

  • vagrant assumes a long running development environment, rather then spinning up new host for running each command. Dojo allows to have both approaches.
  • vagrant up can take time (VM booting time)
  • vagrant (in most cases) requires a periodic synchronization of your current working directory to the VM and back. In dojo, the filesystem is shared between the container and the host.

Still vagrant is a great tool and irreplaceable if you must use a VM.

Dojofile is similar to Vagrantfile in its function. But with a restriction that Dojo forces you to first build and release the image, while Vagrantfile has some tools to provision the VM when running vagrant up which adds up to the startup time.

vs. dependency managers

A typical dependency manager allows you to commit references to all immediate and transitive dependencies in source control, files such as Gemfile.lock, paket.lock, yarn.lock etc. It is a good practice to do so, because project defines fully, in code, what libraries it depends on. If we extend this concept, then we soon realize that the project did not define how the host, where it should be built, should look like. Probably, the most common situation is that there is a README file listing several tools to install. It does not provide a good developer experience. In any sensible organization, configuration management is used to provision the CI-agents and developer's workstation building the project. It is one level better than the README, but still the definition of the environment exists outside the project and there is no reference to it. The Dojofile is the lock file which allows to store this reference in source control. When you run dojo <command>, then the environment is fetched, just like a dependency manager would fetch all dependencies of the project.


Run these commands in dojo (use previous version of dojo to build a next one):

./tasks deps
./tasks build
./tasks unit

Run integration tests, (this uses inception-dojo docker image):

./tasks e2e alpine
./tasks e2e ubuntu18


Copyright 2019 Ewa Czechowska, Tomasz Sętkowski

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.