This article is going to show steps and configurations on how to build a development box (PHP CodeIgniter + Apache + PostgreSQL) using Docker on Windows.

Why Docker

  • Comparing to VirtualBox, it’s a lot easier and probably faster
  • Portable.

Files to prepare

1. Install Docker for Windows. Unfortunately native Docker is only available on Windows10 so all other Windows have to use Docker Toolbox which is based on VirtualBox.

2. Prepare your folder structure for your project. Note when using “Docker Toolbox”, you’ll need to put your project folder under your home folder which is normally c:\users\USERNAME on Windows (Native Docker allows you to change this to other place)

Below is my project folder







3. Create files

  • Dockerfile
FROM php:7.2.5-apache

MAINTAINER YourName@Tarwis Tech

COPY . /var/www/tarwis
#copy a custom php.ini
COPY config/php.ini /usr/local/etc/php/
COPY docker/php/vhost.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

WORKDIR /var/www/tarwis
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y libpq-dev 
RUN docker-php-ext-configure pgsql --with-pgsql=/usr/local/pgsql
RUN docker-php-ext-install pgsql
RUN docker-php-ext-install pdo_pgsql
#below is critical if you run on Windows host but want to change user 1000 to www-data!
RUN usermod -u 1000 www-data 
RUN chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/tarwis
RUN a2enmod rewrite
  • Apache vhost.conf
<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /var/www/tarwis

    <Directory "/var/www/tarwis">
        AllowOverride all
        Require all granted

    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
  • Docker-compose.yml
version: '3'
        context: .
        dockerfile: docker/php/Dockerfile
    image: ci-docker
    container_name: tarwis_crm_container
        - "8080:80"    
        #bind mount app to container folder /var/www/tarwis
        - ./app:/var/www/tarwis    
    #by defining the same "user defined network", all containers can talk to each other
    #do NOT use link as it may not be supported in future
      - appnet
        #env variables, used by your application
        DB_HOSTNAME: postgres
        #this points to the postgres db's name
        DB_DATABASE: tarwis_crm 
        DB_PORT: 5432
        DB_USERNAME: yourDBUser
        DB_PASSWORD: yourDBUserPassword
    image: "postgres:10.4"
    #when container_name is specified, as 
    #container name is always unique you cannot scale a service beyond 1 container
    container_name: pg_container
    restart: always    
        #specify db name
        POSTGRES_DB: tarwis_crm
        #default is postgres but custom it here for clarity
        POSTGRES_USER: postgres
        POSTGRES_PASSWORD: hardToGuess        
      - "15432:5432"    
    #by defining the same "user defined network", all containers can talk to each other
      - appnet

#definition of all networks
  #with default settings (which is a load-balanced overlay network)
#no need of volumes
#  app-vol:
#    external: true

4. Build Docker images.

docker-compose build

5. Start Docker container. Docker container is a running instance of a Docker image. Load balancing is supported by running multiple containers of the same image (we don’t use this feature here)

docker-compose up

6. Done

7. Common commands

  • docker-compose build
  • docker-compose build
  • –list Docker containers
  • docker ps
  • –connect to a Docker container
  • docker exec -it container_name bash




Building a development box on Docker
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