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CiviCRM Buildkit Docker Image


Builds a completely self-contained container that runs CiviCRM Buildkit via MySQL, Apache, PHP and SSH in a Debian Stretch container. It manages services using runit.

The civicrm-buildkit directory is available on the host and in the container.

Steps to create

Note: this is not a normal Docker file that pulls an image from the Docker network. It's generally not a good idea to pull code blindly from the Internet.

Instead, create your own base image by running these commands AS ROOT (adjust the timezone if you want):

temp=$(mktemp -d)
apt-get install debootstrap
export LC_ALL=C && debootstrap --variant=minbase --include=apt-utils,less,iputils-ping,iproute2,vim,locales,libterm-readline-gnu-perl,dnsutils,procps stretch "$temp"

echo "America/New_York" > "$temp/etc/timezone"
chroot "$temp" /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure --frontend noninteractive tzdata
echo "deb stretch/updates main" > "$temp/etc/apt/sources.list.d/security.list"
echo "deb stretch-updates main" > "$temp/etc/apt/sources.list.d/update.list"
echo "Upgrading"
chroot "$temp" apt-get update
chroot "$temp" apt-get -y dist-upgrade
# Make all servers America/New_York

echo "Importing into docker"
cd "$temp" && tar -c . | docker import - my-stretch
echo "Removing temp directory"
rm -rf "$temp"

For the remaining steps, I assume you are in the directory containing the Dockerfile.

Copy your ssh public key to your current directory:

cp ~/.ssh/ .

This file will be copied to the container's authorized_ids file so you can ssh in without a password.

Next, create the directory that will be mounted in the container and hold the buildkit data.

mkdir -p civicrm

Build the civicrm-buildkit image:

docker build -t civicrm-buildkit ./

Now, create the container and run it:

docker create -v "$(pwd)/civicrm:/var/www/civicrm" -e "DOCKER_UID=$UID" \
  -p 2222:22 -p 8001:8001 --name civicrm-buildkit civicrm-buildkit
docker start civicrm-buildkit

You have full access to the civicrm-buildkit directory from the host so you can git pull and push as needed.

The basic workflow

  • ssh into the container (ssh -p 2222 www-data@localhost)
  • When running for the first time, set things up with: sudo /usr/local/sbin/civicrm-buildkit-setup
  • run all buildkit commands to create the sites you want:
    • amp test
    • civibuild create mycivi --type drupal-clean --url http://localhost:8001 --admin-pass admin
    • Learn more civibuild commands
  • Then, work via your host computer:
    • access your sites via a browser on your host computer (http://localhost:8001).
    • modify code via your editor on your host computer via the civicrm-buildkit directory (look in civicrm-buildkit/build/mycivi)
    • add git repositories, etc via your host computer

Maintenance tasks

All maintenance tasks should be run while you are in the container via ssh.

Note: if you destroy or --force create, you will lose any un-committed code modifications and un-pushed git commits. Be sure to commit and push first! After re-creating you will need to add your git repositories all over again.

  • Destroy and start over:
    • civibuild create mycivi --force
  • Or...
    • civibuild destroy mycivi
    • civibuild create mycivi --type drupal-clean --civi-ver master --url http://localhost:8001 --admin-pass admin
  • Update civibuild code:
    • cd /var/www/civicrm/civicrm-buildkit
    • git pull
    • civi-download-tools

Unit Tests

All tests should be run while you are in the container via ssh.

The testing database will be setup by default.

Run a test with (for example):

cd /var/www/civicrm/civicrm-buildkit/build/mycivi/web/sites/all/modules/civicrm
env CIVICRM_UF=UnitTests phpunit5 ./tests/phpunit/api/v3/CaseTest.php --filter testCaseCreate

For more info on testing, see

More info

More documentation is available via git.


A docker image for running civicrm-buildkit



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