Sometimes you need to either inspect running containers or run a one-off command under an application. In those cases, Dokku makes it easy to either connect to a running container or run a fresh container.
run [ --env KEY=VALUE | -e KEY=VALUE ] <app> <cmd> # Run a command in a new container using the current application image
run command can be used to run a one-off process for a specific command. This will start a new container and run the desired command within that container. Note that this container will be stay around even after command completes. The container will be the same container as was used to start the currently deployed application.
# runs `ls -lah` in the `/app` directory of the application `node-js-app` dokku run node-js-app ls -lah # optionally, run can be passed custom environment variables dokku run --env "NODE_ENV=development" --env "PATH=/custom/path" node-js-app npm run mytask
run command can also be used to run a command defined in your Procfile:
console: bundle exec racksh
# runs `bundle exec racksh` in the `/app` directory of the application `my-app` dokku run my-app console
If you want to remove the container after a command has started, you can run the following command:
# don't keep `run` containers around dokku config:set --global DOKKU_RM_CONTAINER=1 # revert the above setting and keep containers around dokku config:unset --global DOKKU_RM_CONTAINER
You may also use the
--rm Dokku flags to remove the containers automatically:
dokku --rm-container run node-js-app ls -lah dokku --rm run node-js-app ls -lah
Containers may have specific labels attached. In order to avoid issues with dokku internals, do not use any labels beginning with either
dokku --label=com.example.test-label=value run node-js-app ls -lah
Finally, you may wish to run a container in "detached" mode via the
--detach Dokku flag. Running a process in detached mode will immediately return a
CONTAINER_ID. It is up to the user to then further manage this container in whatever manner they see fit, as Dokku will not automatically terminate the container.
dokku --detach run node-js-app ls -lah # returns the ID of the new container
Note that you may not use the
--rmflags when running containers in detached mode, and attempting to do so will result in the
--detachflag being ignored.
runfor cron tasks
You can always use a one-off container to run an application task:
dokku --rm run node-js-app some-command dokku --rm-container run node-js-app some-command
For tasks that should not be interrupted, run is the preferred method of handling cron tasks, as the container will continue running even during a deploy or scaling event. The trade-off is that there will be an increase in memory usage if there are multiple concurrent tasks running.
New as of 0.4.0
enter <app> [<container-type> || --container-id <container-id>] # Connect to a specific app container
enter command can be used to enter a running container. The following variations of the command exist:
dokku enter node-js-app web dokku enter node-js-app web.1 dokku enter node-js-app --container-id ID
Additionally, you can run
enter with no
<container-type>. If only a single
<container-type> is defined in your app, you will be dropped into the only running container. This behavior is not supported when specifying a custom command; as described below.
By default, it runs a
/bin/bash, but can also be used to run a custom command:
# just echo hi dokku enter node-js-app web echo hi # run a long-running command, as one might for a cron task dokku enter node-js-app web python script/background-worker.py
enterfor cron tasks
Your Procfile can have the following entry:
cron: sleep infinity
cron process scaled to
dokku ps:scale node-js-app cron=1
You can now run all your commands in that container:
dokku enter node-js-app cron some-command
Note that you can also run multiple commands at the same time to reduce memory usage, though that may result in polluting the container environment.
For tasks that will properly resume, you should use the above method, as running tasks will be interrupted during deploys and scaling events, and subsequent commands will always run with the latest container. Note that if you scale the cron container down, this may interrupt proper running of the task.
Regularly scheduled tasks can be a bit of a pain with Dokku. The following are general recommendations to follow to help ensure successful task runs.
dokkubinary will attempt to execute with
sudo, and your cron run with fail with
sudo: no tty present and no askpass program specified.
MAILTOenvironment variable to ship cron emails to yourself.
PATHenvironment variable or specify the full path to binaries on the host.
SHELLenvironment variable to specify Bash when running commands.
The following is a sample cronfile that you can use for your applications:
# server cron jobs MAILTO="email@example.com" PATH=/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin SHELL=/bin/bash # m h dom mon dow username command # * * * * * dokku command to be executed # - - - - - # | | | | | # | | | | +----- day of week (0 - 6) (Sunday=0) # | | | +------- month (1 - 12) # | | +--------- day of month (1 - 31) # | +----------- hour (0 - 23) # +----------- min (0 - 59) ### HIGH TRAFFIC TIME IS B/W 00:00 - 04:00 AND 14:00 - 23:59 ### RUN YOUR TASKS FROM 04:00 - 14:00 ### KEEP SORTED IN TIME ORDER ### PLACE ALL CRON TASKS BELOW # removes unresponsive users from the subscriber list to decrease bounce rates 0 0 * * * dokku dokku --rm run node-js-app some-command # sends out our email alerts to users 0 1 * * * dokku dokku ps:scale node-js-app cron=1 && dokku enter node-js-app cron some-other-command && dokku ps:scale node-js-app cron=0 ### PLACE ALL CRON TASKS ABOVE, DO NOT REMOVE THE WHITESPACE AFTER THIS LINE