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Remote Commands

Dokku commands can be run over SSH. Anywhere you would run dokku <command>, just run ssh -t <command> The -t is used to request a pty. It is highly recommended to do so. To avoid the need to type the -t option each time, simply create/modify a section in the .ssh/config on the client side, as follows:

    RequestTTY yes

Behavioral modifiers

Dokku also supports certain command line arguments that augment its behavior. If using these over SSH, you must use the form ssh -t -- <command> in order to avoid SSH interpretting Dokku arguments for itself.

--quiet                suppress output headers
--trace                enable DOKKU_TRACE for current execution only
--rm|--rm-container    remove docker container after successful dokku run <app> <command>
--force                force flag. currently used in apps:destroy and other ":destroy" commands

Official Client

You may optionally use the official client when connecting to the Dokku server.

Of all methods, this is the most official method of interacting with your Dokku installation. It is a bash script that interacts with a remote Dokku installation via ssh. It is available in contrib/ in the root of the Dokku repository.

It can be installed either via the Homebrew package manager (macOS only), or manually.

Installation via Homebrew

To install, simply run the following command:

brew install dokku/repo/dokku

Manual installation

To install manually, simply clone the Dokku repository down and add the dokku alias pointing at the script:

git clone ~/.dokku

# optional: make sure that the version matches your Dokku version
cd ~/.dokku
git checkout <tag/branch>

# add the following to either your
# .bashrc, .bash_profile, or .profile file
alias dokku='$HOME/.dokku/contrib/'

Alternatively, if using another shell such as zsh, create an alias command which invokes the script using bash:

# zsh: add the following to either .zshenv or .zshrc
alias dokku='bash $HOME/.dokku/contrib/'

# fish: add the following to ~/.config/fish/
alias dokku 'bash $HOME/.dokku/contrib/'

# csh: add the following to .cshrc
alias dokku 'bash $HOME/.dokku/contrib/'


All commands have the application name automatically set via the --app flag on the remote server, and thus the app name does not need to be specified manually for core plugins.

The client supports several environment variables:

  • DOKKU_HOST (default: dokku git remote): Used to interact with a specific remote server. Can be overriden via --remote flag.
  • DOKKU_PORT (default: 22): Used to specify a port to connect to the Dokku server on.

It also supports several flags (all flags unspecified here are passed as is to the server):

  • --app: Override the remote app in use.
  • --trace: Enable trace mode.
  • --remote: Override the remote server.
  • --global: Unsets the "app" value. May not be supported for the specified command.

In addition, the following commands have special local side-effects:

  • apps:create:
    • If no local --app flag is specified or detected from a dokku git remote, a random name is generated and used for the app.
    • The dokku git remote is set if not already set.
  • apps:destroy:
    • Removes the local dokku git remote if set.

Unofficial Clients

Please refer to the community clients list for more details.

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