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Rails development with Docker

This repository shows you how to easily share a Rails application development environment amongst your co-workers, without them having to manually install, compile, or maintain any dependencies on their local workstations.

The repository setup contains sample files for using Docker and Docker Compose in a certain way to set up a local dev environment in minutes. The only thing that your and your co-workers will need to install is Docker and Docker Compose.

The stack in this repository:

  • Ruby on Rails 5.1.4
  • PostgreSQL database
  • Redis database
  • Sidekiq for background jobs
  • Standard Rails asset compilation with Yarn support
  • Headless chrome for system tests

Changed files compared to regular Rails app:

  • database.yml
  • Dockerfile
  • docker-compose.yml
  • bin/devconsole
  • test/application_system_test_case.rb (for configuring headless chrome)

Getting Started

  1. Copy docker-compose.yml into your own application.

  2. Copy Dockerfile into your own application.

Now your own application is set up and you can follow the regular development environment instructions:

Start your development environment

You could copy-paste the following steps into your own Rails app's README, so that anyone contributing knows how to get a development environment up and running.

To set up your local development environment, we'll be using a piece of software called Docker. We then use Docker Compose configuration that's present in this repository to get all required software for running this application on your own workstation.

First, install Docker for your workstation:

Then open a terminal and use the docker-compose commands to set up a local environment:

$ cd ~/path/to/my/application
$ docker-compose run --rm web /bin/bash
# rails db:setup

Open up another tab in your terminal, or exit the shell session inside the container again via Control-D.

Then, start the local development server:

$ docker-compose up

To stop your local development environment again where you're finished working:

$ docker-compose stop

Migrating, running tests, etc.

To do any regular Rails task like creating migrations, running tests, or generating models and controllers, you can use the following command to keep a development shell open inside the Rails environment:

$ docker-compose run --rm web /bin/bash

Recommended is to just keep this command open in a terminal so that you can always access development tasks in Rails.

Running tests

You can run tests via:

$ docker-compose run --rm web /bin/bash
# rails test

Running DB migrations

You can run database migrations via:

$ docker-compose run --rm web /bin/bash
# rails generate migration AddAColumnToATable column:string
# rails db:migrate

Modifying Gemfile

After you've made a change to the Gemfile, you need to rebuild your local Docker container image via docker-compose and restart the local development server:

$ docker-compose down
$ docker-compose build
$ docker-compose up


This repository is licensed MIT.


Michiel Sikkes