Existing Projects

To add Outrigger support to an existing project, you'll need to understand how to create:

  • Docker Compose file(s)
  • Custom Domain Names for Project Services
  • Local code sharing with your containers
  • Persistent data storage
  • An (optional) .outrigger.yml file

Docker Compose file(s)

Outrigger is intended to work with either raw Docker commands or Docker Compose files, and we find things are best when orchestrating your local environments using Docker Compose.

Be sure to read the Docker Compose compose file documentation so that you have a handle on how to setup the needed configuration.

Define Project Services

The essential point is that you will need to define a Docker Compose Service for each of the components in your architecture. Web/API Server, database, cache/key-value store, search server, proxy cache, mail server, etc. Each of those will be configured as a service in your docker-compose.yml file.

Please see the Outrigger Examples Repository to see setups of various technologies within Outrigger. Specifically, the Drupal 8 example covers all of the high points.

Build Container

In addition to containers for all of your project services, we find it useful to have a container we refer to as the build container. This container provides the tools supporting development of your project.

The default build image for Outrigger is outrigger/build. It includes tools supporting a wide variety of modern web development such as node, npm, composer, grunt, gulp, bower, etc.

We often configure the build container and associated command containers in a file named build.yml. The Drupal 8 example mentioned before contains a sample a build.yml file.

Choosing Images For Project Services

Any valid Docker Image can work with Outrigger. We also supply a collection of crafted Docker images that are easily configured and optimized. An example for an Apache / PHP image based on PHP7 is outrigger/apache-php:php70 or php:7.1.1-apache

Use Image Tags

When selecting and image to use, be sure to also specify a tag for that image. When you do not specify a tag, the default tag of latest is used and it is easy to get out of sync with other team members or simply get unwanted changes if you do not explicitly specify an image tag.

General Config

Once you set up your docker-compose.yml file, you'll likely need to customize your services for a variety of reasons. Many images will use environment variables and/or volume mounts to customize the running container configuration. See Customizing Container Configuration to learn more about customizing your configuration for your project.

Custom Domain Names for Project Services

See DNS Resolution to learn how to use Docker Labels to specify custom domain names for your project's services.

Sharing code into and across containers

The straightforward way to get code from your host into containers is to use an NFS volume mount. This allows you, for example, to mount the current directory (.) to a specific place inside a container (/var/www) with a simple volume mount specification in your docker-compose.yml file. See the Volume Mount documentation on volume mount specifications. For example:


If filesystem performance for builds or filesystem notifications for watches are what you need, check out the Filesystem Sync documentation to guide you through setup.

Persistent Data Storage

And finally we have a Persistent Data Volume, /data, that lives within the Docker Machine. Be sure to read about the Persistent Data Volume (/data) in the Key Concepts documentation. Often data may need to persist across container runs while needing some level of performance but not need to be shared directly with the host computer. Things like the /var/lib/mysql data directory are often in this category as you may want to export a DB to your host computer, but you very rarely want the raw MySQL data files. For these cases a volume mount from /data into your containers is what you need. For example:



Finally, you can customize the rig project run command with common or project specific scripts to provide a considerable upgrade to the developer experience. See Project Configuration for details on how to use an .outrigger.yml file in your project directory to have project specific configuration integrated into rig.