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What is Dokku?

Dokku is an extensible, open-source Platform-as -a -Service that runs on a single server of your choice.

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Dokku has proven to be a valuable tool for a variety of use cases. Users have found it particularly helpful for the easy management of …
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What is Dokku?

Dokku is an extensible, open-source Platform-as -a -Service that runs on a single server of your choice.

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Product Details

What is Dokku?

Dokku is an extensible, open source Platform as a Service that runs on a single server of your choice.

To start using Dokku, users need a system that meets the following minimum requirements:

  • A fresh installation of Ubuntu x64: Any currently supported release, Debian 8.2 x64 or CentOS 7 x64 (experimental) with the FQDN set
  • At least 1 GB of system memory

Users can optionally have a domain name pointed at the host's IP, though this is not necessary.

Dokku is designed for usage on a fresh VM installation, and should install all necessary dependencies if installing via the bootstrap method.

Dokku Video

Intro of Dokku: A docker-powered PaaS

Dokku Technical Details

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Reviews and Ratings


Community Insights

TrustRadius Insights are summaries of user sentiment data from TrustRadius reviews and, when necessary, 3rd-party data sources. Have feedback on this content? Let us know!

Dokku has proven to be a valuable tool for a variety of use cases. Users have found it particularly helpful for the easy management of small scale applications, scaling small services, and deploying multiple small web applications. Reviewers have mentioned that Dokku simplifies git-based deployments and the deployment of microsites. Customers have reported cost savings compared to other platforms, making Dokku a cost-effective solution for hosting pet projects and hobby projects. Users appreciate the ability to spin up multiple apps for a low cost and the ease of deployment with Dokku, which is beneficial for small teams without dedicated devops personnel.

One key advantage of Dokku is its integration with git and environment variables, which simplifies deployment and configuration. The git push feature allows for quick and efficient code uploads and testing. This makes Dokku productive for running Ruby on Rails applications on a cloud platform like DigitalOcean. While some users have experienced bugs and upgrade issues, overall, Dokku has been reliable and cost-effective for staging apps and deploying them quickly. It reduces the time spent on code deployment and streamlines the process, lessening the possibility of errors. Moreover, Dokku provides a professional feel to staging sites with custom URLs, making it useful for delivering small PaaS solutions.

Additionally, Dokku proves to be developer-friendly as it allows users to deploy apps without significant investment in dev-ops processes or tools. It can be easily managed by Linux sysadmins, providing flexibility in terms of administration. Users have also found it helpful for quick demos and sharing proof of concept work, as well as for running multiple apps in different languages. Overall, Dokku offers a range of capabilities that make it a versatile choice for various use cases in the development and deployment of web applications.

Straightforward and Easy Installation: Users found the installation process of Dokku on Ubuntu 16.04 to be very straightforward and easy, with multiple reviewers highlighting the simplicity and speed of installing Dokku. The minimal configuration required, along with just a virtual machine with root access, was praised by users as it made getting started with Dokku extremely simple.

Intuitive CLI Interface: The CLI interface of Dokku received high praise from users for its simplicity and ease of use. Multiple reviewers mentioned that they found the CLI interface intuitive and user-friendly, making tasks like creating, administrating, and deploying apps in Dokku a breeze.

Compatibility with Heroku Apps: Several users appreciated the compatibility of Dokku with Heroku apps, especially after Heroku discontinued its free tier. They liked that Dokku provided a similar deployment experience to Heroku, allowing for an easy transition between the two platforms.

Issues with Upgrades: Some users have experienced difficulties with upgrades, causing frustration and inconvenience. They have reported that the upgrade process is not as seamless as they would like, leading to issues during the transition.

Lack of Clear Documentation: Many reviewers have mentioned that the documentation for Dokku could be improved to provide clearer instructions and guidance. This lack of clarity has made it challenging for some users to troubleshoot issues effectively. They suggest that more detailed examples and tutorials would greatly enhance their experience.

Complexity of Code: The complexity of the code in Dokku has been a concern for several users, making it more difficult for them to customize or modify the platform according to their needs. Some users have expressed a desire for support for other programming languages like Golang and Ruby, which would offer them more flexibility in working with Dokku.

Users have made several recommendations based on their experiences with Dokku.

Users suggest using Dokku for small hobby apps or similar projects, as it is a great alternative to Heroku for a private push to deploy option. However, they caution against relying on Dokku for serious mission-critical applications unless there are experts available to address any issues that may arise.

To make the most out of Dokku, users recommend transitioning from using it as a complete deployment platform to a docker build platform. This allows for more sophisticated usage in the future and gives users greater control over their applications.

It is strongly advised by users to thoroughly read the documentation and examples provided by Dokku. Getting familiar with the platform will help users navigate its features and capabilities effectively. Additionally, if already familiar with Heroku or a similar service, users recommend trying out Dokku on a staging environment before full implementation.

These recommendations collectively highlight the benefits and limitations of Dokku, suggesting that it is well-suited for running small projects on a cloud server to cut costs and follow best practices. However, users emphasize that it may not be suitable for high-availability or horizontal scaling across hosts, urging users to consider its limitations carefully. Furthermore, Dokku is seen as a viable alternative to Heroku for small companies that do not plan on extensive scaling and have budget constraints.

Attribute Ratings


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Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I use Dokku as a platform to orchestrate the deployment of and connect services to multiple in-house applications. It is an incredibly versatile tool that doesn't require much configuration to get started with but allows countless options to address your specific needs. Its ability to restart stopped serviced and connect services like Redis to my apps is invaluable.
  • Dockerfile deployments are an incredibly simple and straightforward way to spin up applications.
  • The docker-options plugin allows endless direct configuration of options passed to different docker lifecycle stages.
  • Dokku might overreach on its assumptions about how you want to host your app, using its own VHOSTS plugin by default. This may be a pro or a con depending on what you want.
  • Proxy port configuration can be somewhat difficult, with Dokku resetting any pre-deployment configuration to "smart" defaults on the first deployment.
If you have your own in-house servers or have a cloud server with the freedom to configure any PaaS that you want, then Dokku is for you. So far, I have never run into a scenario where Dokku was not able to fit my needs, after deploying many different types of applications with varying frameworks, languages, and connected services. If you already have a PaaS available, however, Dokku may not be for you.
Platform-as-a-Service (10)
Platform management overhead
Workflow engine capability
Platform access control
Services-enabled integration
Development environment creation
Development environment replication
Issue monitoring and notification
Issue recovery
Upgrades and platform fixes
  • Since there's no investment besides a little time to set up, the return has been overwhelmingly positive.
  • Deploying a new app is incredibly quick and easy.
Dokku is essentially the same thing as Heroku, except maintained by you on the platform of your choice. If you have any experience using Heroku, then you will feel right at home using Dokku. Dokku is an entirely free to use PaaS, requiring only that you have a platform to deploy it on, making it far more versatile than Heroku in my opinion.
Dokku is incredibly well documented and also takes advantage of the documentation and community of Heroku, being essentially the same thing, but in the case that you encounter an actual bug or issue, it can take time for a fix to make it into a new version. Since you manage Dokku yourself, there is no support team to call for help.
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