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Local Development Environment

To be productive, developers require local development environments which mirror their dev / staging / production counterparts.

Below is an example workflow for developers when getting started.

Docker Compose


The following local developer architecture is built to:

  • Mimic production
  • Enable Xdebug ONLY when required
  • Decoupled Web/CLI architecture
  • Frontend developers get their own image/toolchain

High Level

Config per OS

Not all "Docker for X" environments are equal e.g.

  • OSX has file performance issues and needs special configuration.
  • Windows requires different slash for paths.
  • Linux allows for us to run our services in the same network namespace as the host (e.g. localhost)

To fix this we have setup a hierarchy to managing the differences for each OS.

To manage this we recommend you setup a bash function:

function dc() {
  if [ -f docker-compose.yml ]; then
    FILES+="-f docker-compose.yml "
  if [[ "$OSTYPE" == "darwin"* ]]; then
    if [ -f docker-compose.osx.yml ]; then
      FILES+="-f docker-compose.osx.yml "
    if [[ "$OSTYPE" =~ "darwin19" ]] && [ -f docker-compose.catalina.yml ]; then
      FILES+="-f docker-compose.catalina.yml "
  elif [[ "$OSTYPE" =~ "linux"* ]]; then
    if [ -f docker-compose.linux.yml ]; then
      FILES+="-f docker-compose.linux.yml "

  bash -xc "docker-compose ${FILES} ${ARGS}"

# Helper commands.
# NOTE: We will use these later in the document.
alias dcu="dc up"
alias dcr="dc run"

Command Line Containers

Skpr decouples the web and CLI containers to provide a smaller attack surface for environments (see shell for more info).

To mimic this locally we have setup "run" services which can be used with the dcr alias from above.

Running a PHP command

dcr php-cli composer install

Running a NodeJS command

dcr frontend yarn install

Spinning up the environment

To spin up the environment run the following command:

$ dcu

The environment will be available via http://localhost:8080