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Wharf is an opinionated web frontend for Dokku. You can also use the command line version, but most features you'll need day-to-day are in the Web UI



  1. Install Dokku (versions up to 0.19.13, see #78)
  2. Install the following plugins:
  1. Setup the Let's Encrypt plugin to auto-renew (dokku letsencrypt:cron-job --add)
  2. Create the app (dokku apps:create wharf)
  3. Add SSH key storage:
  • mkdir /var/lib/dokku/data/storage/wharf-ssh/
  • chown dokku:dokku /var/lib/dokku/data/storage/wharf-ssh/
  • dokku storage:mount wharf /var/lib/dokku/data/storage/wharf-ssh/:/root/.ssh
  1. Add Redis (dokku redis:create wharf && dokku redis:link wharf wharf)
  2. Add Postgres (dokku postgres:create wharf && dokku postgres:link wharf wharf)
  3. Set ADMIN_PASSWORD to something secret (dokku config:set wharf ADMIN_PASSWORD=somesecret)
  4. Deploy this Git repo as per the standard Dokku instructions

Helpful hints

  • If you're running SSH on a non-standard port, set DOKKU_SSH_PORT e.g. dokku config:set wharf DOKKU_SSH_PORT=2222
  • If Dokku is running somewhere else than the local machine, set DOKKU_SSH_HOST e.g. dokku config:set wharf
  • If there's a Dockerfile in your repository, it'll try and deploy using that by default. Set BUILDPACK_URL to override
  • BUILDPACK_URL should be an HTTPS one, not a SSH or heroku/something one
  • You should setup the global domain name when creating Dokku to start with and add a *.<your dokku domain> entry to give new apps more usable names.

Enabling Github auto-deploy webhooks

  1. Set GITHUB_SECRET config item to something secret
  2. Goto settings/webhooks in Github
  3. Make a new webhook for <your Wharf instance>/webhook with Content type as application/json and Secret to the secret from GITHUB_SECRET


Easiest way to do dev is:

  1. vagrant up which will boot the entire Dokku setup in a VM
  2. DOKKU_SSH_HOST=host.docker.internal DOKKU_SSH_PORT=2222 docker-compose up
    • host.docker.internal works on Mac/Windows, but not on Linux (see docker/for-linux#264). On Linux hosts, you should set DOKKU_SSH_HOST to whatever your IP is (not localhost, but a local IP is fine)
  3. Load up http://localhost:8000/