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docker-compose interface for Grunt

Getting Started

This plugin requires:

- grunt: "^1.0.1"
- grunt-shell

Important: grunt-shell is a peerDependency. as NPM v3+ deprecates peerDependencies, you need to explicitly specify grunt-shell in your project's devDependencies:

npm install grunt-shell --save-dev

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin and its dependencies with this command:

npm install grunt grunt-docker-compose grunt-shell grunt-concurrent --save-dev

Once the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:


Prerequisite: Docker

It is assumed you already have your Docker toolchain installed and working:

  • docker-compose: >1.7.1,
  • docker: >1.11.1

You should have at least a docker-compose.yml file in the working directory.

If you are not familiar with Docker, please see to get started.

Tasks setup

Add this to your Gruntfile.js to register all of the tasks as aliases to your grunt command:

// register all dockerCompose targets 
['up','down','stop','restart','logs','build','pull','exec','config'].forEach(function (target) {
    grunt.registerTask(target, function () {
        var args = '';
        if (this.args.length > 0) {
            args += ':' + this.args.join(':')
        }'dockerCompose:' + target + args);

Now you can:

  • grunt up will execute docker-compose up
  • grunt down will execute docker-compose down
  • etc...

The "dockerCompose" task


In your project's Gruntfile, add a section named dockerCompose to the data object passed into grunt.initConfig().

    // ....... stuff ....... 
    dockerCompose: {
    options: {
    mappedComposeFile: 'docker-compose-mapped.yml',
    dockerRegistryNamespace: 'my-web-app'


To use the tag, dockerRegistry, and dockerRegistryNamespace options, you must utilize environment variable interpolation in your docker-compose.yml:

version: '2'
    image: redis
    build: .
      - 80:80
Order of precedence (higher options override lower ones)
  1. sane defaults set by the plugin
  2. Gruntfile
  3. environment variables
  4. command line arguments


  • grunt up:foo will set the foo tag instead of default latest,
  • TAG=foobar grunt up will set the foobar tag instead of default latest,
  • TAG=baz grunt up:foo will set the foo tag instead of default latest. Note that TAG is overridden, being lower precedence.


Docker Registry. Defaults to an empty string, which corresponds to DockerHub. If set, this option will set a DOCKER_REGISTRY environment variable before running each command. Use it by interpolation in your docker-compose.yml file, e.g.:

    image: ${DOCKER_REGISTRY}/myNamespace/myapp:some-tag

If you aren't using it this way in your docker-compose files, setting this option has no effect.


Docker Registry Namespace. If using this option, you should specify your DockerHub username or organization here. Defaults to an empty string.

Used in the same way as dockerRegistry:



Image tag. Defaults to 'latest'. Use by interpolation in your docker-compose files.



The name of your "main" service in the docker-compose file. This is the service whose logs will be tailed by default (and piped through bunyan) when doing grunt logs


How many lines of log to tail initially when starting to tail the logs. Defaults to 10.


An optional docker-compose YAML file that extends the default, and allows for mounting host directories into the container for development. Defaults to docker-compose.yml (functionally identical to not using any extra docker-compose files).

You would use this option if your docker-compose.yml doesn't mount any volumes into your container by default, and you had another file like docker-compose-volumes.yml extending it and specifying mounted volumes, e.g.:


    build: .
    ports: 80:80


        file: docker-compose.yml
        service: myapp
        - ./src:/usr/local/src/myapp


Another optional docker-compose YAML file that extends the default and uses a different Dockerfile or other options for debug use (or whatever other purpose you may have). Same idea as above.

options.composeFile (NOT YET IMPLEMENTED)

Name of the docker-compose file to use. Defaults to docker-compose.yml.

Usage Examples

grunt dockerCompose:up
grunt dockerCompose:up:v1.0-tag
grunt dockerCompose:up:v1.0-tag --baked
grunt dockerCompose:up --debug
grunt dockerCompose:down
grunt dockerCompose:restart
grunt dockerCompose:restart:my-app
grunt dockerCompose:logs
grunt dockerCompose:logs:my-app
grunt dockerCompose:logs --raw
grunt dockerCompose:build
grunt dockerCompose:build:my-app
grunt dockerCompose:build:my-app:v1.0-tag
grunt dockerCompose:build:my-app:v1.0-tag --no-cache
grunt dockerCompose:build:my-app:v1.0-tag --debug
grunt dockerCompose:pull
grunt dockerCompose:pull:my-app
grunt dockerCompose:pull:my-app:v1.0-tag
grunt dockerCompose:exec
grunt dockerCompose:exec:some-service
grunt dockerCompose:exec:some-service:some-executable
grunt dockerCompose:exec:redis:redis-cli
grunt dockerCompose:config


In lieu of a formal styleguide, take care to maintain the existing coding style. Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality. Lint and test your code using Grunt.

Release History

06/15/2016 0.1.0 Initial release