Dokku is an extensible, open source Platform as a Service that runs on a single server of your choice. If you ever used Heroku, then think of it as your hosted version of Heroku. You can have docker based Platform as a Service running on a single server. In this guide, we will cover the installation and usage of Dokku on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux.
Installation of Dokku on CentOS 7 is still experimental and not the recommended option, though it can run. As of v0.3.18, Dokku defaults to being installed via Debian package, and the same can be automated more using a bootstrap script.
Installing Dokku on Ubuntu 18.04 – Pre-requisites
- Installed and updated Ubuntu 18.04 system
- Docker Engine
- At least 1GB of system memory
- Server with FQDN set – Can be on DNS or /etc/hosts
There are two ways of installing Dokku on Ubuntu 18.04:
- Using bootstrap script
- Installing from Dokku apt repository
We will consider both methods to install Dokku on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux server. I recommend installing Dokku from the apt repository so that you can have a view of what’s happening.
Set system hostname using the
# hostamectl set-hostname dokku.sxi.io # echo "192.168.10.20 dokku.sxi.io dokku" >> /etc/hosts
Method 1: Install Dokku on Ubuntu 18.04 from apt repository
Dokku packages are available on
packagecloud.io dokku repository. Start by importing repository GPG key to trust packages:
# wget -nv -O - https://packagecloud.io/gpg.key | apt-key add - 2018-07-29 07:45:29 URL:https://packagecloud.io/gpg.key [3889/3889] -> "-"  OK
Add the repo using the commands below:
echo "deb https://packagecloud.io/dokku/dokku/ubuntu/ bionic main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/dokku.list
Then update system package list:
$ sudo apt-get update
Step 1: Install Docker Engine on Ubuntu 18.04
You can install either stable release of Docker or edge release, both are supported by Dokku. For the installation of docker on Ubuntu 18.04 from the official apt repository, follow our guide:
If you would like to install Edge release, then run the commands:
# wget -nv -O - https://get.docker.com/ | sh
This is unattended installation, wait for it to complete then confirm docker engine version installed:
Step 2: Install Dokku on Ubuntu 18.04
Once docker has been installed, you can proceed to install Dokku on your Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system. This is done by updating system packages and installing
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade $ sudo apt-get install dokku
Dependencies installed through
When asked whether to enable web configuration interface, answer yes
Installation of dokku will also configure nginx for you and create a systemd service unit for managing the service. Installation output summary is shown below:
A user and group named dokku is also added to the system, its home directory is /home/dokku. This user account is used when deploying applications to Dokku.
The service should be running by default after the installation. The name of the service is
# systemctl status dokku-installer.service ● dokku-installer.service - Dokku web-installer Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/dokku-installer.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled) Active: active (running) since Sun 2018-07-29 09:13:58 UTC; 9min ago Main PID: 13389 (python2.7) Tasks: 1 (limit: 4704) CGroup: /system.slice/dokku-installer.service └─13389 python2.7 /usr/share/dokku/contrib/dokku-installer.py selfdestruct Jul 29 09:13:58 erpnext systemd: Started Dokku web-installer. Jul 29 09:21:37 erpnext dokku-installer.py: 127.0.0.1 - - [29/Jul/2018 09:21:37] "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 -
Confirm if the service is enabled to start on boot:
# systemctl is-enabled dokku-installer.service enabled
Dokku version can be checked using:
# dokku version 0.12.10
Finish the installation by setting up core dependencies:
# dokku plugin:install-dependencies --core
Step 3: Configure Dokku on Ubuntu 18.04
When done with the installation, go to your server’s IP and follow the web installer to configure Dokku.
SSH Public keythat you’ll use to access Dokku apps.
- Provide FQDN hostname for dokku to be used for apps URL
Use virtualhost namingto have your apps deployed on Dokku with hostnames
Then click “Finish Setup” button to finish Installation of Dokku on Ubuntu 18.04.
Note that Once you save your settings, the web admin will self-terminate and you should be able to run or deploy to the Dokku installation.
Upgrading Dokku on Ubuntu 18.04
To upgrade Dokku to the latest stable release, use dokku-update command:
Upgrading Dokku with above command will not affect the running dokku and automates many of the upgrade instructions for you. If you would like to rebuild all applications after the upgrade, use:
# dokku ps:rebuildall
Installing Dokku Plugins
Dokku provides a handful of Plugins to manage other functionalities. All are available on Dokku has official plugins. Installation of these plugins is done on the Dokku host as a root user or using a user account with sudo privileges.
See examples below:
Install PostgreSQL datastore service:
sudo dokku plugin:install https://github.com/dokku/dokku-postgres.git
Install MariaDB datastore plugin:
sudo dokku plugin:install https://github.com/dokku/dokku-mariadb.git mariadb
Deploying Apps to Dokku
Now that you have a working Dokku installation on your Ubuntu 18.04 system, you can begin deployment of applications. You can read a comprehensive guide on deploying apps to Dokku,
Dokku is a free and open-source Docker-based PaaS that allows you to basically do the same things as Heroku on your own infrastructure (on-premises or cloud). It is easy to setup and use. If you have any challenges with the installation and configuration, let me know through the comment section.