Introduction to Docker Compose

Docker Compose is a tool that enables users to define and run multi-container Docker applications. With Docker Compose, you can use a YAML file to configure the application’s services, networks, and volumes, allowing you to run multiple containers that are interconnected and managed as a single unit.

Docker Compose was introduced in 2014 as a way to simplify the management of multi-container Docker applications. It has since become a popular tool in the Docker ecosystem, providing a simple and efficient way to orchestrate containers.

How Docker Compose Works

Docker Compose works by reading a YAML file that describes the application’s services, networks, and volumes. Each service is defined as a container, and the YAML file specifies how the containers should be configured and how they should communicate with one another.

When you run Docker Compose, it creates a network for the application and starts the containers defined in the YAML file. The containers are started in the order defined in the YAML file, and each container is started with its own set of environment variables, configuration files, and other resources.

Once the containers are running, Docker Compose provides a set of commands for managing the application, such as starting and stopping containers, scaling services, and viewing logs.

Using Docker Compose

To use Docker Compose, you first need to create a YAML file that describes your application. Here’s an example of a simple Docker Compose YAML file:

version: '3'
    image: nginx
      - "8000:80"
    image: postgres
      POSTGRES_PASSWORD: example

In this example, we have two services: “web” and “db”. The “web” service uses the nginx image and exposes port 8000 to the host. The “db” service uses the postgres image and sets the POSTGRES_PASSWORD environment variable.

To start the application, you can run the following command:

docker-compose up

This command will read the YAML file and start the containers defined in the file. You can then access the web service by opening a web browser and navigating to “http://localhost:8000”.


Docker Compose is a powerful tool for managing multi-container Docker applications. With Docker Compose, you can define your application as a set of interconnected containers, making it easier to manage and scale your application. By using a simple YAML file to configure your application, Docker Compose enables you to easily create, run, and manage complex container-based applications.