How to Use Docker Compose to Manage Multi-container Applications?

The following article describes How to Use Docker Compose. Also, it explains how to use it for managing multi-container applications.

Basically, docker Compose is a tool that allows you to define and manage multi-container Docker applications. It uses a YAML file to define the services, networks, and volumes for the application and provides a command-line interface for managing the containers. The following list shows its capabilities.

Steps Describing How to Use Docker Compose

  1. Define the services and their configurations. In fact, you can define the services that make up your application and their configuration settings, such as environment variables, ports to expose, and volume mounts.
  2. Manage the containers. Also, it starts and stops the containers for the services defined in the YAML file. Further, it also provides options for scaling the number of containers for each service.
  3. Create networks. Docker Compose creates a network for the containers to communicate with each other.
  4. Manage volumes. Likewise, it allows you to manage the volumes used by the containers.

In order to use Docker Compose, you need to create a YAML file named “docker-compose.yml” in the root directory of your application. Basically, the YAML file defines the services that make up the application and their configurations. The following example shows a YAML file for a multi-container application.

version: '3'

    build: .
      - "5000:5000"
      - FLASK_ENV=development
      - SECRET_KEY=mysecretkey
      - .:/app
    image: postgres
      - POSTGRES_USER=user
      - POSTGRES_PASSWORD=password
      - dbdata:/var/lib/postgresql/data


As can be seen in the example, the YAML file defines two services: “app” and “db”. The “app” service is built from the current directory and exposes port 5000. Also, it sets the environment variables and mounts the current directory as a volume. Actually, the “db” service uses the postgres image and sets the environment variables and volume mount for the database data.

In order to start the containers, you can use the “docker-compose up” command. This command reads the YAML file and starts the containers for the defined services. Also, you can use the “docker-compose down” command to stop and remove the containers and networks created by it.

In summary, docker Compose simplifies the management of multi-container applications by providing a way to define, configure, and manage the containers, networks, and volumes using a YAML file and a command-line interface.

Further Reading

When should we prefer to React over PHP?

Examples of Array Functions in PHP

Exploring PHP Arrays: Tips and Tricks

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Registration Form Using PDO in PHP


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