• 2019/08/20: I updated the alpine repo link in the dockerfile code below. Also, I noticed that Hot module reloading is currently broken with this in Windows. I'll update again when I solve that!

Docker is Fantastic!

I'm probably late to the party on this one, but I recently started using Docker as a part of my development workflow. I absolutely love it, and believe all developers should at least tinker with a basic tutorial somewhere. Trust me, it's a rabbit hole worth venturing into!

But... There Was a Minor Hitch

However... while going through a couple of my recent Gatsby and NextJS projects this week to "Dockerize" them, I noticed that there didn't seem to be much information readily available for making that happen.

Gatsby does offer a Docker setup within their repo (based on alpine:edge), but to be blunt: it seemed needlessly complicated and vague, and I could not make it work for my purposes. I decided to create a custom one from an official node:alpine (latest) image... just something to use for a quick dev environment setup regardless of which computer I'm using. (If I wanted to deploy somewhere other than Netlify, I could quickly add on an Nginx image/service and a super basic conf file.)

Problem Solved!

So... after hours of learning, research, and experimenting (and possibly some frustration), I present you with my version of a working Dockerfile! It will create a fully functional Docker image that installs all the needed 'extras' in Apline Linux (latest) for building Gatsby (and NextJS) sites and apps. Below that you'll find the docker-compose.yml file that I use along with it.

Note: For NextJS sites, I simply change the final CMD and the port(s) to whatever I'm using for the site/app. (Usually 8080)


FROM node:alpine

# Also exposing VSCode debug ports
EXPOSE 8000 9929 9230

  apk add --no-cache python make g++ && \
  apk add vips-dev fftw-dev --no-cache --repository http://dl-3.alpinelinux.org/alpine/edge/community --repository http://dl-3.alpinelinux.org/alpine/edge/main && \
  rm -fR /var/cache/apk/*

RUN npm install -g gatsby-cli yarn

COPY ./package.json .
RUN yarn install && yarn cache clean
COPY . .
CMD ["gatsby", "develop", "-H", "" ]

And my docker-compose.yml file. (Note the setting of GATSBY_WEBPACK_PUBLICPATH - this seemed to fix any HMR issues I was having when editing code.) Edit: This currently doesn't fix the issue in Windows.


version: '3'
      context: .
      dockerfile: Dockerfile
      - "8000:8000"
      - "9929:9929"
      - "9230:9230"
      - /app/node_modules
      - .:/app
      - NODE_ENV=development

So now, I just run docker-compose up and I'm ready to rock... whether I'm on my Macbook Pro or on my Windows desktop. Hopefully this helps you, too!