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Burak Boduro─člu
Burak Boduro─člu

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Dockerizing a Node.js App: A Comprehensive Guide for Easy Deployment­čÉő

Dockerizing a Node.js app is a useful technique that allows you to package your application and its dependencies into a container, making it easier to deploy and run consistently across different environments. In this blog post, we'll walk through the steps to dockerize a Node.js app. Let's get started!


Prerequisites

Before we begin, make sure you have the following installed on your machine:
Docker: You can download and install Docker from the official website (https://www.docker.com/).


Step 1: Set up your Node.js app

Assuming you already have a Node.js app, create a new directory for your project (if you haven't already) and navigate to it in your terminal.


Step 2: Create a Dockerfile

A Dockerfile is a text file that contains instructions for building a Docker image. Create a new file called Dockerfile in the root directory of your project and open it in a text editor.

Add the following content to your Dockerfile:

FROM node: 18-alpine

WORKDIR /usr/src/app

COPY package*.json ./

RUN npm install
# If you are building your code for production
# RUN npm ci --omit=dev

COPY . .

EXPOSE 3000
CMD [ "node", "server.js" ]
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Let's go through what each line does:

  • FROM node:18-alpine: Specifies the base image to use. In this case, we're using the official Node.js 14 image.
  • WORKDIR /usr/src/app: Sets the working directory in the container.
  • COPY package*.json ./: Copies the package.json and package-lock.json files to the working directory.
  • RUN npm install: Installs the app dependencies.
  • COPY . .: Copies the rest of the app source code to the working directory.
  • EXPOSE 3000: Exposes the port your app is listening on (change the port number if necessary).
  • CMD ["node", "app.js"]: Defines the command to start your Node.js application.

Save the Dockerfile.


Step 3: Build the Docker image

In your terminal, navigate to the root directory of your project (where the Dockerfile is located).

Run the following command to build the Docker image:

docker build -t your-image-name .
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Make sure to replace your-image-name with the desired name for your Docker image. The . at the end specifies the build context as the current directory.

Docker will now execute the instructions in the Dockerfile and build the image. This might take a while, especially if it's the first time you're running this command, as Docker needs to download the base image and install the dependencies.


Step 4: Run the Docker container

Once the Docker image is built, you can create a container and run your Node.js app using the following command:

docker run --name your-container-name -p 3000:3000 your-image-name

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This command maps port 3000 from the your container to port 3000 on your machine, allowing you to access the app on http://localhost:3000. Replace your-image-name with the name you specified when building the image.

You should now see your Node.js app running inside the Docker container.


Conclusion

Dockerizing a Node.js app provides several benefits, including easy deployment, consistent environments, and improved scalability. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you've learned how to create a Dockerfile, build a Docker image, and run a Docker container for your Node.js app.


References

Top comments (3)

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cjsmocjsmo profile image
Charlie J Smotherman

As your base image I would suggest using:

node: 18-alpine
or
node: 20-alpine

your image sizes will be a lot smaller.

Happy Coding

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burakboduroglu profile image
Burak Boduro─člu

Thanks for your comment. I will also update that part.

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uguremirmustafa profile image
uguremirmustafa

adding .dockerignore to the recipe will give you a lot of optimisations.