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Building and Deploying Docker Containers Using GitLab CI Pipelines

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Building and Deploying Docker Containers Using GitLab CI Pipelines

Learn how to set up a GitLab CI pipeline to automate the building and deployment of Docker containers, saving you time and effort.

· DevOps Zone ·
Free Resource

Discover how you can reduce your Kubernetes installation from 22 steps to 1.

As part of migrating this blog to Docker containers to move to a different VPS provider (here, here and here), I found myself repeating a number of steps manually, which always a good indication that there's an opportunity to automate some or all of those steps.

Each time I made a change in the configuration or changed the content to be deployed, I found myself rebuilding the Docker image and either running locally, pushing to my test server, and eventually pushing to my prod VPS and running there.

I'm using a locally running GitLab for my version control, so to use its build pipeline features was a natural next step. I talked about setting up a GitLab runner previously here - this is what performs the work for your pipeline.

You configure your pipeline with a .gitlab-ci.yml file in the root of your repo. I defined 2 stages, build and deploy:

stages:
 - build
 - deploy

For my build stage, I have a single task which is to build my images using my docker-compose.yml:

build:
 stage: build
 script:
 - docker-compose build
 tags:
 - docker-test

For my deploy steps, I defined one for deploying to my test server, and one for deploying to my production VPS. This is the deploy to my locally running Docker server. It changes DOCKER_HOST to point to my test server, and then uses the docker-compose.yml again to bring down the running containers, and bring up the new containers with the updated images:

deploy-containers:
 stage: deploy
 script:
 - export DOCKER_HOST=tcp://192.x.x.x:2375
 - docker-compose down
 - docker-compose up -d
 tags:
 - docker-test

And one for my deploy to production. Note that this step is defined with 'when: manual' which tells GitLab the task is only run manually (when you click on the '>' run icon):

prod-deploy-containers:
 stage: deploy
 script:
 - pwd && ls -l
 - ./docker-compose-vps-down.sh
 - ./docker-compose-vps-up.sh
 when: manual
 tags:
 - docker-prod

Here's what the complete pipeline looks like in GitLab:


With this in place, now any changes committed to the repo result in a new image created and pushed to my test server automatically, and when I've completed testing the changes I can optionally deploy the changes to my prod VPS hosted server.

Download the Kubernetes cheatsheet to learn more about easy it is to run Kubernetes on any infrastructure with Mesosphere DC/OS

Topics:
docker ,gitlab ,gitlab runner ,automation ,devops ,tutorial ,containers

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