Docker CheatSheet with NodeJS and Databases

Get a mysql server up and running

docker run \
  -it --rm --name mysql \
  -p 3306:3306 \
  --mount "src=mysqldata,target=/var/lib/mysql" \
  -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=mysecret \

Connection details

host: localhost
port: 3306
user: root
password: mysecret

Get IP address of the running container

It will help you to connect from other applications that isn't sharing a network with this container.

docker inspect \
  -f '{{range .NetworkSettings.Networks}}{{.IPAddress}}{{end}}' \

Get a mysql explorer up and running (Adminer)

Adminer is a free database explorer. It will help you to explore the running database.

docker run \
  -it --rm --name adminer \
  -p 8080:8080 \

It will get a database explorer running on localhost:8080

Get all running containers

docker ps  # all running containers
docker ps -a # all containers
docker container prune # remove all stopped containers
docker container restart name_of_container

Define a docker network

If you try to access the running database container from the host you were required to know th IP address of the running container which is problematic.

If you keep the database explorer tool in the same network with the database itself then we can resolve the IP address from the container name itself.

So let's create a network first!

docker network create --driver bridge network_name

And now in our previous mysql command can be modified to use this network instead

docker run \
  -d --rm --name mysql \
  -p 3306:3306 \
  --mount "src=mysqldata,target=/var/lib/mysql" \
  -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=mysecret \
  --net mysqlnet \

and adminer

docker run \
  -d --rm --name adminer \
  -p 8080:8080 \
  --net mysqlnet \

Now just refer the database server by it's name mysql

Using docker compose

Now we can just separately run the containers but it would be cooler if we can run them all using one command. And docker compose let's us do that!

Let's run the above 2 containers simultaneously

Create a docker-compose.yaml file. And paste the following there

version: "3"

    image: mysql
    container_name: mysql
      - MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=faisal
      - mysqldata:/var/lib/mysql
      - "3306:3306"
      - mysqlnet
    restart: on-failure

    image: adminer
    container_name: adminer
      - mysql
      - "8080:8080"
      - mysqlnet
    restart: on-failure



Then run

docker-compose up
docker-compose down

If you have previously run containers then you might face some issues with the password. In that case you will need to remove previously created volumes

docker volume prune
docker-compose down --volumes

And then run again to see the database up and running

Run the containers as backend service

If you want to run docker as a background service then you will add the -d option

docker-compose up -d

Cleaning up:

Docker can take significant amount of disk space. To see that

docker system df

You can remove stopped containers, unused networks and dangling images by

docker system prune

List commands

docker container ls -a # to see all containers
docker image ls -a # to see all images
docker volume ls  # to see all volumes
docker network ls  # to see all volumes

Run a postgresql instance

Similarly we can run a postgresql instance by running the following command

docker run \
  -it --rm --name postgres \
  -p 3000:5432 \
  --mount "src=postgresdata,target=/var/lib/postgresql/data" \
  -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=mysecret \

Run a MongoDB database

docker run \
  -it --rm --name mongodb \
  -p 3000:27017 \
  --mount "src=mongodata,target=/data/db" \

Add an existing dump

To generate some metadata for the local container you can run the following command. It can vary from database to database. The following one is for MySQL.

docker exec -i database_container_id mysql -u root -p faisal volume < path_to_dump_file

Create an independent Dockerfile for Nodejs application

# base Node.js LTS image
FROM node:lts-alpine

# define environment variables
ENV HOME=/home/node/app
ENV NODE_ENV=production

# create application folder and assign rights to the node user. This is just for security reasons
RUN mkdir -p $HOME && chown -R node:node $HOME

# set the working directory

# set the active user
USER node

# copy package.json from the host
COPY --chown=node:node package.json $HOME/

# install application modules
RUN npm install && npm cache clean --force

# copy remaining files
COPY --chown=node:node . .

# expose port on the host

# application launch command
CMD [ "node", "./index.js" ]

Then build the image

docker image build -t nodehello .

and run it

docker run -it --rm --name nodehello -p 3000:3000 nodehello

Create a Dockerignore file

Don't forget to create a .dockerignore file as well. This will avoid copying unnecessary files and keep our images lean.




But running it every time like this is not practical when we are developing

So let's create another docker-compose.yaml file

version: "3"

      - NODE_ENV=development
      context: ./
      dockerfile: Dockerfile
    container_name: nodehello
      - ./:/home/node/app
      - "3000:3000"
      - "9229:9229"
    command: npm run dev

We can use the following command to build the image

docker-compose up --build

It will give you the ability to hot reload your code on development.

Debug with VSCode

We can add a new option to the package.json file to debug our code

"debug": "ts-node-dev --trace-warnings --inspect= src/index.ts"

Now we will change the last command of our new docker-compose.yaml file

command: /bin/sh -c 'npm install && npm run debug'

then we can click on the debug icon on the left of vscode and create a new launch.json file inside the .vscode folder

Put the following content inside that file

  // For more information, visit:
  "version": "0.2.0",
  "configurations": [
      "type": "node",
      "request": "attach",
      "name": "Attach",
      "port": 9229,
      "protocol": "inspector",
      "localRoot": "${workspaceFolder}",
      "remoteRoot": "/home/node/app",
      "skipFiles": ["<node_internals>/**"]

Then we can run

docker-compose up

Then we can put break point inside the vscode. On the left of the editor and when we try to execute that code we will catch them inside debugger!

Docker image commands

docker image build -t myimage:first .

here the -t option gives the ability to tag the image. If we don't tag it the latest tag will be used by default

or from a specific Dockerfile

docker image build -f myCustomFile.txt -t myimage:first .

See all images

docker images
docker image ls -a ## to see all images

Docker Container commands

docker container ls ## active containers
docker ps ## active containers

docker container ls -a # stopped containers

docker exec -it <container_id_or_name> [command] [args...] # run a command inside the container

docker run [options] <image> [command] [args...]
docker run --it --rm -p 3306:3306 mysql

docker container restart <container_id_or_name> ## restart a container

docker container stop <container_id_or_name> # stop a container

docker stats ## See various metrics like cpu usage and memory usage

docker container rm <container_id_or_name>

docker container prune # remove all containers

docker inspect <container_id>

Docker volume commands

docker volume ls # to see all volumes
docker volume rm <volume_name> # remove a volume
docker volume prune # remove all volumes that are not currently attached

A directory on the host can be mounted into a container using the -v hostdir:containerdir option with the docker run command. For example, the following command mounts the current directory’s code subdirectory to the container’s /home/app directory:

-v $PWD/code:/home/app

Docker network commands

docker network create --driver bridge <network_name> # create a network

docker run --net mynet #Attach the container to that network in docker run with --net mynet

docker network ls ## view all networks

docker network rm <network_id_or_name> # remove the network

Full clean start

to see the status of the containers

docker stats

To remove all existing containers and get a fresh start do this.

docker system prune -a --volumes

Share this post

Profile Image

Who I am

Hi, I amMohammad Faisal, A full-stack software engineer @Cruise , working remotely from a small but beautiful country named Bangladesh.

I am most experienced inReactJS,NodeJS andAWS

Buy Me a Coffee Widget