OVH Guide

Dokku is a small yet powerful tool that provides a self-hosted Platform as a Service (PaaS). Basically Dokku lets you focus on your code. Deployment in different environments is as easy as "git push". RunAbove makes using Dokku even easier by providing a ready to use image.


To use Dokku on RunAbove, you need an SSH key, that's all.


The only thing you need to do to install and configure Dokku is to launch an instance using the Dokku image. If you provide an SSH key to your instance it will automatically be integrated to Dokku so you can push projects without bothering with adding keys to Git.

Pushing your first app:

Let's try your fresh Dokku with a small python web application based on the awesome Flask framework. Just clone the Github repository on your computer:

git clone
cd python-dokku-sample

Get the IP of your instance from the manager and set a remote repository pointing to your Dokku instance:

git remote add dokku dokku@<ip-of-your-instance>:python-dokku-sample

Now push the code to Dokku:

git push dokku master

You will see that Dokku is preparing a new environment, taking care of installing all the dependencies of the code for you. As it is a Python project dependencies are fetched using pip, for a Node.js application it would to the same with npm or gem for Ruby.

When the deployment is done you will see a message containing the link to access the app:

    -----> Deploying python-dokku-sample ...
    -----> Application deployed:

If you have a security group that filters incoming connections you have to allow the port used by Dokku. Follow the link with your browser and you will see the 'Hello Dokku!' showing that the application is running.

Going further with Dokku:

Adding SSH keys:

If when you push your code, Dokku asks for a password it means that your SSH key is not registered by Dokku. In this case, you must add the key you want to use. You can add as many keys as you want, allowing teams to use the same Dokku platform for their projects.

To register an SSH key use:

cat ~/.ssh/ | ssh admin@<ip-of-your-instance> sudo sshcommand acl-add dokku <name-of-the-key>

Command line tool:

Dokku can be managed from your computer with the command line. A convenient way of doing that is using SSH with a bash alias:

alias dokku="ssh -t dokku@<ip-of-your-instance>"

Now you can execute dokku commands, for example to get all the options:

dokku help

Deploying apps to a subdomain:

By default Dokku provides access to your application using a specific port. You can change this setting to deploy your projects in your own domain, for example app.domain.tld.

For that you have to add an A records to your domain zone. Go to the manager of your DNS zone and create a wildcard entry: *.domain.tld pointing to the IP of your instance.

You now have to tell dokku to use the virtual host feature by adding a config file. SSH to your instance as the user admin and create the file "/root/dokku/VHOST" containing your domain name:

ssh admin@<ip-of-your-instance>
sudo vim /home/dokku/VHOST

In the text editor just write the name of your domain, for example "domain.tld". Save it and you are done.

Next time you will push a project it will be accessible at .domain.tld, for example:

git push dokku master
    -----> Deploying python-dokku-sample ...
    -----> Application deployed:

Tip: if you name your remote repository as a fully qualified domain name, you can deploy to the root of your domain, or even multiple domains. Just be sure to point your DNS to the domains you use. For example:

git remote add dokku dokku@<ip-of-your-instance>:mydomain.tld
git push dokku master
     -----> Application deployed:

You now have a fully featured PaaS in your instance with Dokku. As Dokku continues to evolve, be sure to check their Github page to enjoy all the new functionalities.