Deploying with Docker
Building a Docker (opens in a new tab) image is a common way to deploy all sorts of applications. However, doing so from a monorepo has several challenges.
TL;DR: In a monorepo, unrelated changes can make Docker do unnecessary work when deploying your app.
Let's imagine you have a monorepo that looks like this:
├── apps │ ├── docs │ │ ├── server.js │ │ └── package.json │ └── web │ └── package.json ├── package.json └── package-lock.json
You want to deploy
apps/docs using Docker, so you create a Dockerfile:
FROM node:16 WORKDIR /usr/src/app # Copy root package.json and lockfile COPY package.json ./ COPY package-lock.json ./ # Copy the docs package.json COPY apps/docs/package.json ./apps/docs/package.json RUN npm install # Copy app source COPY . . EXPOSE 8080 CMD [ "node", "apps/docs/server.js" ]
This will copy the root
package.json and the root lockfile to the docker image. Then, it'll install dependencies, copy the app source and start the app.
You should also create a
.dockerignore file to prevent node_modules from being copied in with the app's source.
The lockfile changes too often
Docker is pretty smart about how it deploys your apps. Just like Turbo, it tries to do as little work as possible (opens in a new tab).
In our Dockerfile's case, it will only run
npm install if the files it has in its image are different from the previous run. If not, it'll restore the
node_modules directory it had before.
This means that whenever
package-lock.json change, the docker image will run
This sounds great - until we realise something. The
package-lock.json is global for the monorepo. That means that if we install a new package inside
apps/web, we'll cause
apps/docs to redeploy.
In a large monorepo, this can result in a huge amount of lost time, as any change to a monorepo's lockfile cascades into tens or hundreds of deploys.
The solution is to prune the inputs to the Dockerfile to only what is strictly necessary. Turborepo provides a simple solution -
turbo prune --scope="docs" --docker
Running this command creates a pruned version of your monorepo inside an
./out directory. It only includes workspaces which
docs depends on.
Crucially, it also prunes the lockfile so that only the relevant
node_modules will be downloaded.
turbo prune puts all relevant files inside
./out. But to optimize caching with Docker, we ideally want to copy the files over in two stages.
First, we want to copy over only what we need to install the packages. When running
--docker, you'll find this inside
out ├── json │ ├── apps │ │ └── docs │ │ └── package.json │ └── package.json ├── full │ ├── apps │ │ └── docs │ │ ├── server.js │ │ └── package.json │ ├── package.json │ └── turbo.json └── package-lock.json
Afterwards, you can copy the files in
./out/full to add the source files.
Splitting up dependencies and source files in this way lets us only run
npm install when dependencies change - giving us a much larger speedup.
--docker, all pruned files are placed inside
with-docker example (opens in a new tab) goes into depth on how to utilise
prune to its full potential. Here's the Dockerfile, copied over for convenience.
FROM node:alpine AS builder RUN apk add --no-cache libc6-compat RUN apk update # Set working directory WORKDIR /app RUN yarn global add turbo COPY . . RUN turbo prune --scope=web --docker # Add lockfile and package.json's of isolated subworkspace FROM node:alpine AS installer RUN apk add --no-cache libc6-compat RUN apk update WORKDIR /app # First install the dependencies (as they change less often) COPY .gitignore .gitignore COPY --from=builder /app/out/json/ . COPY --from=builder /app/out/yarn.lock ./yarn.lock RUN yarn install # Build the project COPY --from=builder /app/out/full/ . RUN yarn turbo run build --filter=web... FROM node:alpine AS runner WORKDIR /app # Don't run production as root RUN addgroup --system --gid 1001 nodejs RUN adduser --system --uid 1001 nextjs USER nextjs COPY --from=installer /app/apps/web/next.config.js . COPY --from=installer /app/apps/web/package.json . # Automatically leverage output traces to reduce image size # https://nextjs.org/docs/advanced-features/output-file-tracing COPY --from=installer --chown=nextjs:nodejs /app/apps/web/.next/standalone ./ COPY --from=installer --chown=nextjs:nodejs /app/apps/web/.next/static ./apps/web/.next/static COPY --from=installer --chown=nextjs:nodejs /app/apps/web/public ./apps/web/public CMD node apps/web/server.js
To take advantage of remote caches during Docker builds, you will need to make sure your build container has credentials to access your Remote Cache.
There are many ways to take care of secrets in a Docker image. We will use a simple strategy here with multi-stage builds using secrets as build arguments that will get hidden for the final image.
Assuming you are using a Dockerfile similar to the one above, we will bring in some environment variables from build arguments right before
ARG TURBO_TEAM ENV TURBO_TEAM=$TURBO_TEAM ARG TURBO_TOKEN ENV TURBO_TOKEN=$TURBO_TOKEN RUN yarn turbo run build --filter=web...
turbo will now be able to hit your remote cache. To see a Turborepo cache hit for a non-cached Docker build image, run a command like this one from your project root:
docker build -f apps/web/Dockerfile . --build-arg TURBO_TEAM=“your-team-name” --build-arg TURBO_TOKEN=“your-token“ --no-cache