Dokku

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4.2 out of 5 stars

The smallest PaaS implementation you've ever seen. Docker powered mini-Heroku in around 200 lines of Bash

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Dokku review by <span>Sergei S.</span>
Sergei S.
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What do you like best?

It is really fast way to setup bare server as development/staging environment. It especially good, if your production environment will use some similar technology stack, for example deis/flynn

It has nice plugin system with a huge number of plugins for daily use: Postgres, Maria DB, Mongo, Redis everything works out of box.

Just like heroku, it really simple to deploy with single 'git push', all things happens magically.

What do you dislike?

It's not easy to monitor states of current containers, all management only possible through command line. Web gui is used only for initial setup, although it will be nice to have web interface for whole management.

Because plugins are supported by community, some of them often out of date, for some tasks (for example postgres db) there are several plugins and it's hard to choose best one.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you are using Heroku or other PaaS you have to try dokku as an alternative for dev and internal services

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We searched for simple and fast way to build enviroment on test, development and staging servers.

It really take 15 minutes to setup machine from scratch using dokku.

Dokku is good solution for internal services, which not require to host high loads.

Our main application use some microservices, which are ok to be not very reliable. For example geo IP resolver. It hosted with dokku.

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Dokku review by <span>Iain C.</span>
Iain C.
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Not ready for prime time

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What do you like best?

When dokku actually works it's good. The plugin system seems promising.

What do you dislike?

Unfortunately it doesn't work out of the box in a lot of cases - even incredibly typical use cases like installing on vanilla Amazon EC2 instances.

Sadly the team seem a bit too keen to blame user error and less keen on investigating or acting on bug reports before closing them (regarding installation, setup and removal) so there are plenty of duplicate bug reports about it not working with the same types of errors that don't end in any actual changes to dokku.

The debug option rarely seems to help and it's missing simple sanity checks which make it fragile software even when run on a clean installation of a specific version of a specific distribution.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It's supposed to make it easier to deploy software. I have realised it's not worth the pain and effort because it's no less buggy than it was a year ago and it's just a time sink; even when it works upgrades are painful.

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Dokku review by <span>Daiwei L.</span>
Daiwei L.
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What do you like best?

Plugin system of Dokku is awesome. I often find it hard to create backing services like databases within a few command. But Dokku's plugin system solved that problem very well. E.g. postgresql plugin has very meaningful default for security, connections and etc. That help a ton when you trying to provision a complete server.

What do you dislike?

Nothing to dislike. It's doing what it says to do.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Notice I haven't tried to use Dokku in a multiserver setup. I think it should work, but I expect additional work on top of Dokku, which will reduce its value. You might want to look for more robust deployment tool for multiple server environment.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I was trying to find a hosting solution for my hobby projects. While I could use a Heroku free tier, but it's still costly if I want high availability for a simple hobby project. I want to spend minimum time fighting with the infrastructure and focusing on the fun part.

Dokku is a perfect alternative for this. It also have very good Docker support, which extends its use case even further. Although it's kinda a hack to use its Docker integration, but haven't that document and available has a lot of potential.

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Dokku review by <span>Alejandro V.</span>
Alejandro V.
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A platform for makers

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What do you like best?

Easy of installation, universality of concepts, great plugin ecosystem. Very responsible maintainers, strong community and good stability. It has the more common tools to catch good programmers, I mean almost any modern language and database can be used with this. Also, expanded with additional plugins, which makes it a lot more than a runtime and database container..

Great UX and can be used on low cost hardware quickly to get the job done. It can be used remotely withput SSH-ing into the server, which is something very handy once you get used to it.

I really like the workflow of git-push, using the tools we already know.

What do you dislike?

Altough some initiatives were ongoing to make a all-in-one package, it ended up failing, with a missing maintainer. And that's something quite inherent to Dokku; it has to be separate components from separate people and sometimes different communities. That's something I dislike but I gladly accept.

The somewhat weird mechanism to add keys from stdin. Would love to automate it.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Buy a remote server. Not just the ones you have lying around and using for internal ops. It will happen that you get so used to it that you may be tempted to release on it.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Continuous delivery, product iteration and innovation. Empowering teams to try new things and see them live in seconds, without fuss and using the tools they already know with the exact git-flow. One branch for release, other for dev and also some others for experiments.

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Dokku review by <span>Alexander P.</span>
Alexander P.
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What do you like best?

Dokku's slogan is «Docker powered mini-Heroku». It is true: to everybody who knows Heroku, Dokku will be an easy transition. There's one difference though: Dokku runs on your own server. This is possible because of Docker, a lightweight container system. One container, one app; it's that easy.

To those who aren't used to the Heroku workflow, it's not hard: you just add a bit of configuration to your repository (just a bit: a Procfile, which defines what command to run to start your application, and a requirements file — this one depends on the language your app is written in), then push it to your Dokku server, and it gets built automatically. Magic!

What do you dislike?

Apparently there is nothing I dislike about Dokku at the moment! The architecture is a bit odd, but this won't get in your way unless you'll want to mess with plugins, and if you do, you'll get used to it right away.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

In our company, we use Dokku as a staging server for our projects. It is really easy to use: we just git-push our sources onto a server and everything is built automatically.

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Dokku review by <span>Omar Q.</span>
Omar Q.
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What do you like best?

I love dokku's simplicity. Dokku allows you to get a simple server up and running in no time, do some configuration and start testing your code! Just the speed and simplicity of Dokku means everything to me.

What do you dislike?

Unfortunately, Dokku is not multi user. Who has the time to setup Flynn or Deis? So it would have been AMAZING if it were multi user. Especially in a team environment when you want to give specific people access to specific repos, manual work is too hard!

Recommendations to others considering the product

Very good for single developer or small teams. Fast code deployment and very minimum setup. If you want are not interested in spending hours and hours of work just to setup a development server then Dokku is the best for you!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

For our mobile app we are creating, we are able to quickly push change to our API into development servers and use those for testing while the real one remains untouched. The git push allows for a simple and efficient way to upload code and get testing much quicker! Business and development becomes efficient and very quick this way!

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