VPS Proof of Concept for Docker and Traefik

This is a proof of concept for a VPS that includes ConfigServer Firewall (csf), Docker, Open SSH Server and Traefik as a reverse proxy to host multiple applications on the same Docker host.

The following notes document my experience while creating and configuring the VPS proof of concept local Virtual Machine with Ubuntu Server 16.04 on a Windows 10 host.

Virtual Machine

Since I am on my Windows 10 laptop for this, I used Hyper-V, an optional feature of Windows 10 Enterprise, Professional, or Education versions. Visit Install Hyper-V on Windows 10 | Microsoft Docs for more information on how to enable it. Virtual Machine creation from an iso image is fairly straight forward. More info at Create a Virtual Machine with Hyper-V | Microsoft Docs.

For installation, I downloaded the 64-bit Ubuntu Server 16.04.3 LTS (ubuntu-16.04.3-server-amd64.iso) bootable image from ubuntu.com/download/server.

  • Docker requires a 64-bit installation with version 3.10 or higher of the Linux kernel.

Create a Virtual Switch

Open Hyper-V Manger and select Virtual Switch Manager, and from there, select Create a Virtual Switch. For example,
Name: WiFi Virtual Switch
Connection type: External Network
Killer Wireless n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter

  • With Hyper-V, To get external internet/network access with your VM, you need to create an External Virtual Switch. This will use your networks DHCP server, bridge mode if you will.

SSH Server

Install and configure OpenSSH. Once OpenSSH is installed, the virtual machine can be run headless and administered using secure shell (ssh) just as we would a VPS.

For a VPS, it is recommended that a non-root user with sudo privileges is used instead of root. Therefore, create a new user and add them to the sudo group. Instructions are available in the sudo section on my Linux page. After that’s done, disallow root password login.


To install the latest version of Docker, add the GPG key for the official Docker Ubuntu repository as a trusted APT repository key.

curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu/gpg | sudo apt-key add -

Add the Docker repository to APT sources and update the package database.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) stable"

sudo apt-get update

Ensure that APT pulls from the correct repository.

apt-cache policy docker-ce

Install the latest version of Docker CE.

sudo apt-get install -y docker-ce

Docker should now be installed, the daemon started, and the process enabled to start on boot. Check that it’s running.

sudo systemctl status docker
systemctl status docker output

Docker Compose

To get the latest release, install Docker Compose from Docker’s GitHub repository. Visit https://github.com/docker/compose/releases to lookup the version number. Then use curl to output the download to /usr/local/bin/docker-compose. For example,

# check current release, update as needed
sudo curl -L https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.19.0/docker-compose-`uname -s`-`uname -m` -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

# make executable
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

# verify installation
docker-compose --version

Config Server Firewall (CSF)

Config Server Firewall contains a straight forward easy to understand configuration file. CSF also comes with a Login Failure Daemon that will alert you of large scale login attempts on ssh, mail and other servers. CSF also allows you to whitelist or blacklist IP addresses aside from the LFD real time monitoring and automatic IP blocking.

Disable the default firewall service.

sudo ufw disable

Since CSF is currently not available in the Ubuntu repositories, download it from the ConfigServer’s website into the home directory.

cd ~/

wget http://download.configserver.com/csf.tgz

Unpack the downloaded TAR archive.

tar -xvzf csf.tgz

Run the install script.

cd csf
sudo bash install.sh

Verify the installation,

sudo perl /usr/local/csf/bin/csftest.pl

If everything is fine, you should see the following output.

Testing ip_tables/iptable_filter...OK
Testing ipt_LOG...OK
Testing ipt_multiport/xt_multiport...OK
Testing ipt_REJECT...OK
Testing ipt_state/xt_state...OK
Testing ipt_limit/xt_limit...OK
Testing ipt_recent...OK
Testing xt_connlimit...OK
Testing ipt_owner/xt_owner...OK
Testing iptable_nat/ipt_REDIRECT...OK
Testing iptable_nat/ipt_DNAT...OK

RESULT: csf should function on this server

Optional cleanup: remove unpacked TAR files after the install has been verified.

cd ../
rm -rf csf

CSF Docker Configuration

Disable Docker daemon automatic iptable rules with an override at the ExecStart section of the main docker.service. This prevents the Docker daemon from configuring iptables.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/docker.service

Append --iptables=false to ExecStart=/usr/bin/dockerd -H fd://. For example,

ExecStart=/usr/bin/dockerd -H fd:// --iptables=false
  • If Docker gets an upgrade during apt-get dist-upgrade, this docker.service file may get overwritten and you will need update it to override ExecStart again.

For Docker iptables, create a csfpost.sh script that will be triggered after the ConfigServer firewall has been started or reloaded.

sudo nano /etc/csf/csfpost.sh

echo "[DOCKER] Setting up FW rules."

iptables -N DOCKER

# Masquerade outbound connections from containers
iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s ! -o docker0 -j MASQUERADE

# Accept established connections to the docker containers
iptables -t filter -A FORWARD -o docker0 -m conntrack --ctstate RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

# Allow docker containers to communicate with themselves & outside world
iptables -t filter -A FORWARD -i docker0 ! -o docker0 -j ACCEPT
iptables -t filter -A FORWARD -i docker0 -o docker0 -j ACCEPT

echo "[DOCKER] Done."

Make the script executable.

sudo chmod +x /etc/csf/csfpost.sh

Add an exception to allow container traffic through the firewall.

sudo nano /etc/csf/csf.allow
# The following IP addresses will be allowed through iptables # Docker

Reload the systemd daemon to pickup these changes, restart the docker daemon and reload the ConfigServer firewall.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

sudo systemctl restart docker

sudo csf -r

The next page covers basic auth for port specific password protection and Traefik Docker configuration.

Docker Laravel Dev Environment

This post documents building a local Laravel development environment with Docker. Included are examples for debugging Laravel’s PHP with Xdebug using the Visual Studio Code editor. Source Code available on GitHub.

Install Laravel

In this example, we will be using the Composer Dependency Manager for PHP to install Laravel. To check if Composer is installed globally and in your PATH, enter composer --version in the CLI, for example,

composer --version
Composer version 1.4.1 2017-03-10 09:29:45

Get Composer if you need to install it.

With Composer, use the create-project command and the laravel/laravel package name followed by the directory to create the project in. The optional third argument is for a version number. For example, to install Laravel version 5.5 into a local directory such as home/laravel/mysite on the host computer, open a CLI then execute the composer create-project command from the directory where you want to create your project. For example:

cd ~/laravel

composer create-project laravel/laravel mysite "5.5.*"


Once composer is finished creating the Laravel project, we are ready to create the docker containers to host it. The following examples require both Docker and Docker Compose. Head on over to Docker, select Get Docker and the platform of your choice to install Docker on your computer. This should install both Docker and Docker Compose. The examples in this post were written while using Docker Community Edition, Version 17.09.0-ce.

Start Docker as needed and test the installation. Open a CLI and issue these commands.

docker --version

docker-compose --version

For the Windows platform with IIS installed, if port 80 is conflicting, shut down the IIS web server. Open an admin command prompt and enter net stop was

PHP Container

This dockerfile builds from the official Docker Hub PHP image. At the time of this writing, php 7.1.10 was the latest non RC version available in the library. If you want to use a different version, change the php version as needed, such as FROM php:5.6.31-fpm.

Create the app.dockerfile in the root of the laravel project. For example, home/laravel/mysite/app.dockerfile

FROM php:7.1.10-fpm

# php-fpm default WORKDIR is /var/www/html
# change it to /var/www
WORKDIR /var/www

RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y \
    libmcrypt-dev \
    mysql-client --no-install-recommends \
    && docker-php-ext-install mcrypt pdo_mysql \
    && pecl install xdebug \
    && echo "zend_extension=$(find /usr/local/lib/php/extensions/ -name xdebug.so)\n" >> /usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/xdebug.ini \
    && echo "xdebug.remote_enable=1\n" >> /usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/xdebug.ini \
    && echo "xdebug.remote_autostart=1\n" >> /usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/xdebug.ini \
    && echo "xdebug.remote_connect_back=0\n" >> /usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/xdebug.ini \
    && echo "xdebug.remote_host=\n" >> /usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/xdebug.ini \
    && echo "xdebug.remote_port=9001\n" >> /usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/xdebug.ini \
    && echo "xdebug.idekey=REMOTE\n" >> /usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/xdebug.ini

For Mac platforms, change the app.dockerfile xdebug remote host IP, e.g., xdebug.remote_host=

Then create an alias for IP to your existing subnet mask as follows:

sudo ifconfig en0 alias

If you want to remove the alias, use sudo ifconfig en0 -alias

Nginx Container

Create a nginx server block configuration file for php and the Laravel project root.

server {
    listen 80;
    index index.php index.html;
    root /var/www/public;

    location / {
        try_files $uri /index.php?$args;

    location ~ \.php$ {
        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
        fastcgi_pass app:9000;
        fastcgi_index index.php;
        include fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $fastcgi_path_info;

This dockerfile builds from the official Docker Hub nginx image adding the nginx.conf Nginx server block configuration file to /etc/nginx/conf.d on the container.

FROM nginx:1.12

ADD nginx.conf /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf

The next page covers creating the docker-compose file, container build, create, start and stop. Xdebug and launch config for VS Code PHP debugging.

Docker Drupal Dev Environment

This post documents mounting a new Drupal Composer
project as a volume in a Docker container. Features include Drush, Drupal Console, mailhog and phpMyAdmin. A Docker-sync configuration is available for OS X.


With the release of Drupal 8.3, using Composer to manage Drupal projects has vastly improved and is becoming a best practice. See Getting Started at getcomposer.org to install Composer.

Drupal Composer Template

Using Composer and the Composer template for Drupal projects to create a new Drupal site.

Open a CLI and execute the composer create-project command from the directory where you want to create your project. For example,

composer create-project drupal-composer/drupal-project:8.x-dev mysitefolder --stability dev --no-interaction


The docker-compose.yml file from Docker4Drupal image stack is optimized for local development. Use curl to download the file into the root of your Drupal project. For example,


curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wodby/docker4drupal/master/docker-compose.yml -Outfile mysitefolder\docker-compose.yml


curl -o mysitefolder/docker-compose.yml  https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wodby/docker4drupal/master/docker-compose.yml

Update the docker-compose.yml file. Create a named volume for data persistence in the mariadb node.

      - mysql:/var/lib/mysql

  • Note that an ellipsis … in the code snippets are not a part of the code and are there only to denote code that is being skipped and not applicable to the example. View all of the docker-compose.yml updates on GitHub.

In the php node, comment out the vanilla Drupal image node and uncomment the image without Drupal. Additionally, change the volume to mount the relative local directory ./ to /var/www/html in the container.


    image: wodby/drupal-php:7.1-2.1.0
      - ./:/var/www/html

In the nginx node, change the volume to mount the relative local directory ./ to /var/www/html in the container.


      - ./:/var/www/html

For data persistence, in the volumes node at the bottom of the docker-compose.yml file, replace the unused codebase volume with mysql.



Run containers

From the site folder, e.g., mysitefolder, execute docker-compose

docker-compose up -d

Drupal Console

Test drive Drupal Console by connecting to the php container.

docker-compose exec --user=82 php sh

List all of the Drupal Console commands.
Disconnect from the session with Ctrl+D

drupal list

Source Code


Docker WordPress Dev Environment

This post documents setting up local development environments with Docker using the official WordPress Docker repository as a base image. Page two includes configurations for remote PHP debugging with Xdebug and VS Code.

Docker Compose

Aside from making the container configuration easier to understand, Docker Compose coordinates the creation, start and stop of the containers used together in the environment.

The environment has multiple sites served on various ports including at least one WordPress site, a phpmyadmin site and mysql. For virtual host names, nginx-proxy is being used for containers with virtual host environment properties set in their docker compose data. Additionally, the mysql db container is accessible from the host at

Create this docker compose yaml file in the projects root directory with the nginx-proxy configuration.

version: "2"
    image: jwilder/nginx-proxy
    container_name: nginx-proxy
      - "80:80"
      - /var/run/docker.sock:/tmp/docker.sock:ro

Create this docker compose yaml file for the WordPress stack. This includes the linked MariaDB database and phpMyAdmin containers from their official repositories. Xdebug is not included in the official WordPress image on Docker Hub and will not be included in this configuration since it is using unmodified images. Adding xdebug and rebuilding the image is covered on page two.

version: "2"
    image: mariadb
      - mysql:/var/lib/mysql
      - "8001:3306"
      - MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=secret
    image: phpmyadmin/phpmyadmin:latest
      - "8002:80"
      - db:mysql
      - MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=secret
      - VIRTUAL_HOST=phpmyadmin.app
      - VIRTUAL_PORT=8002
    image: wordpress
      - ./wordpress:/var/www/html
      - "8003:80"
      - db:mysql
      - VIRTUAL_HOST=wordpress.dev
      - VIRTUAL_PORT=8003

Update your systems hosts file.

# Docker (nginx-proxy) phpmyadmin.app wordpress.dev

Navigate to your project root in your CLI, such as Terminal on OS X, PowersShell or Cygwin on Windows.

Create the Containers

Create new nginx-proxy and WordPress containers using the up command with docker-compose.

docker-compose -f nginx-proxy.yml -f wp.yml up
  • The -f flags specify the compose files to use. Multiple compose files are combined into a single configuration. This multiple file solution is for demonstration purposes. Here is a single file example that can be run without a file flag.

Stop Containers

Stop the containers without removing them.

docker-compose -f wp.yml -f nginx-proxy.yml stop

Start Containers

Start the stopped containers. Include the nginx-proxy.yml first so when the WordPress containers are started the virtual hosts can be dynamically configured.

docker-compose -f nginx-proxy.yml -f wp.yml -f start
  • If you have restarted your computer and another process is using the nginx-proxy port, e.g., 80, you will need to halt that process before starting the container.

Shutdown Containers

Shutdown the environment using the down command. If your data is not stored in a volume, it will not persist since this will remove the containers.

docker-compose -f wp.yml -f nginx-proxy.yml down

The next page covers adding Xdebug and configuring VS Code for remote debugging.


This page is a collection of various Docker commands and resources. For more info, read the Docker Documentation. To learn what Docker is, the official Docker Overview is an excellent resource.


# list
docker ps -a
# stop all
docker stop $(docker ps -a -q)

# remove all
docker rm $(docker ps -a -q)

# logs
docker logs [CONTAINER ID]

# shell into
docker exec -it [CONTAINER ID] sh


# list
docker images -a

# remove image
docker rmi [IMAGE ID]

# remove dangling images
docker rmi $(docker images -q -f dangling=true)

# remove all images
docker rmi $(docker images -a -q)


# list
docker volume ls

# remove volume
docker volume rm [VOLUME NAME]

# remove all volumes
docker volume rm $(docker volume ls -q)

# list dangling volumes
docker volume ls -f dangling=true

# remove dangling volumes (1.13+)
docker volume prune

Docker Compose

# shell access to any container
docker-compose exec [SERVICE] sh

# using user www-data (82) for Nginx and PHP containers
docker-compose exec --user=82 php sh

Drupal Dev Environment

Drupal Composer project mounted as a volume in a Docker container. Features include Drush, Drupal Console, mailhog and phpMyAdmin. A Docker-sync configuration is available for OS X.

Docker Drupal Dev Environment – Drupal Composer

Laravel Dev Environment

Building a local Laravel development environment with Docker. Included are examples for debugging Laravel’s PHP with Xdebug using the Visual Studio Code editor. Source Code available on GitHub. Read More

WordPress Dev Environment

This example documents a local development environment for WordPress using Docker and Docker Compose. Aside from making the container configuration easier to understand, Docker Compose coordinates the creation, start and stop of the containers used together in this environment.

Docker WordPress Dev Environment – Xdebug with VS Code