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docker-compose - Define and run multi-container applications with Docker.


docker-compose [OPTIONS] [COMMAND] [ARGS]...


docker-compose allows you to define a multi-container application with all of its dependencies in a single file, then spin the application up in a single command. The application’s structure and configuration are held in a single place, which makes spinning up applications simple and repeatable everywhere.


Specify an alternate compose file (default: docker-compose.yml)
Specify an alternate project name (default: directory name)
Show more output
Print version and exit



Build or rebuild services

Do not use cache when building the image.


Displays help and usage information on a command.


Forces running containers to stop by sending a SIGKILL signal.

SIGNAL to send to the container. Default signal is SIGKILL.


View output from containers.

Produce a monochrome output.


Print the public port for a port binding

Choose the 4th layer protocol, tcp or udp. Default is tcp.
Index of the container if there are multiple instances of a service. Default is 1.


List containers.

Only display IDs.


Pulls service images from Docker registry.

Allow insecure connections to the Docker registry.


Restart running containers.

Specify a shutdown timeout in seconds. Default is 10.


Remove stopped service containers

Do not ask to confirm removal.
Remove volumes associated with containers.


Run a one-off command on a service. By default linked services will be started, unless they are already running.

Allow insecure connections to the Docker registry.
Detached mode. Run container in the background, print new container name.
Override the entrypoint of the image with CMD.
Set an environment variable. Can be used multiple times.
Run as a specific USER, a username or uid.
Do not start linked services.
Remove container after run. This option is ignored in the detached mode.
Run command with the service's ports enabled and mapped to the host.
Disable pseudo tty allocation. By default a tty is allocated.


Set number of containers to run for a service. Numbers are specified in the form service=num as arguments.

# docker-compose scale web=2 worker=3


Start existing containers.


Stop running containers without removing them.

Specify a shutdown timeout in seconds. Default is 10.


Build, (re)create, start and attach to containers. If there are existing containers for a service, `docker-compose up` will stop and recreate them (preserving mounted volumes with volumes-from), so that changes in `docker-compose.yml` are picked up. If you do not want existing containers to be recreated, `docker-compose up --no-recreate` will re-use existing containers.

Allow insecure connections to the Docker registry.
Detached mode. Run container in the background, print new container name.
Produce a monochrome output.
Do not start linked services.
Only recreate containers whose configuration or image needs to be updated. This feature is experimental.
If containers already exist, do not recreate them.
Do not build an image even if it is missing.
Specify a shutdown timeout in seconds. Default is 10.


Recreate containers to add labels. If docker-compose detects containers that were created without labels, it will refuse to run so that you don't end up with two sets of them.


Several environmental variables are available to configure docker-compose behavior.

Variables starting with DOCKER_ are the same as those used to configure the Docker command-line client. If you're using boot2docker, eval "$(boot2docker shellinit)" will set them to their correct values.


Sets the project name, which is prepended to the name of every container started by docker-compose. Defaults to the basename of the current working directory.


Specify what file to read configuration from. If not provided, docker-compose will look for docker-compose.yml in the current working directory, and then each parent directory successively, until found.


Sets the URL of the docker daemon. As with the Docker client, defaults to unix:///var/run/docker.sock.


When set to anything other than an empty string, enables TLS communication with the daemon.


Configures the path to the ca.pem, cert.pem, and key.pem files used for TLS verification. Defaults to ~/.docker.


Full documentation for docker-compose at: <>


This manual page was written by Dariusz Dwornikowski <> based on the official docker compose documentation.

July 2015 docker-compose