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Collection of utilities that simplify the process of deploying webapps inside containers.

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See this project on GitHub. Also available via PyPI.


The docker-dna library is a collection of utilities that together simplify the process of deploying webapps inside containers, all the while making sure the process is efficient, customizable, and extensible.

Without docker-dna

The standard procedure for accomplishing the task of deploying webapps inside containers may look something like this:

  1. Copy the relevant files to your webserver
  2. Build and tag the container image
  3. Find an open port on your machine to use in the next step
  4. Run the container image you just built, exposing whatever port the front-end runs on
  5. Write the webserver configuration to proxy your domain endpoint to the port you just exposed
  6. Reload the webserver to host your front-end
  7. Run certbot to get an SSL certificate for your domain endpoint

This sounds tedious, and even if you were to script it, it'd be a lot of scripting to do and chances are it'd be hard to maintain if something goes wrong in the future (which, you know it will in this field of work).

With docker-dna

The process boils down to the following:

  1. Receive a git webhook, and checkout the referenced commit
  2. Call dna.build_image
  3. Figure out what domain(s) you want to deploy this app to
  4. Call dna.run_deploy

That's it! That handles your first deploy, second deploy, one hundredth deploy... you get the idea.

What you need

To use this library, you need to install docker, nginx, and certbot on your machine. Then, read the quickstart to see an example of how to get up and running with the docker-dna library!

You may also want to check out the dna.utils.Logger class for some logging utilities.


A rudimentary example of how the docker-dna library may be used. We will demonstrate the basic features of the app by creating a simple Flask app.

First, create a venv and activate it.

python3 -m venv env
source env/bin/activate

Install docker-dna and whatever other tools you need.

env/bin/pip install docker-dna flask gunicorn

Write a simple Flask app that accepts the URL to an image and deploys it.

from flask import Flask, jsonify
from dna import DNA

app = Flask(__name__)
dna = DNA("demo_dna")

def deploy(image, name):
    """Pulls the ``image`` and deploys it to a service called ``name``.
    Sets up a webserver configuration to forward ``name`` to
    the deployed app. Assumes the front-end runs on port 80.

    :param image: the name/url of the image to pull and deploy
    :type image: str
    :param name: the name to give this service
    :type name: str

    dna.pull_image(image, name)
    dna.run_deploy(name, image, port="80")
    dna.add_domain(name, f"{name}")

    return jsonify({
        "success": True,
        "url": f"{name}",

if __name__ == "__main__":"")

Run your app. Note that DNA requires elevated privileges as of now to interface with docker, nginx, and certbot, as all of these are privileged applications.

sudo env/bin/python

Deploy an empty nginx container.


Visit to see your shiny new nginx service!

For more complete sample implementations, see Sample Usages in the docs.


Guide coming soon, for now just use common sense! And the GitHub Flow.


This project is licensed under the Apache License 2.0. See LICENSE for more information.

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