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Last pushed: 6 months ago
Short Description
A test / development sandbox for Kong, a scalable, open source API Layer, backed by NGINX.
Full Description


A work in progress. Use at your own discretion. A basic understanding of Docker, Compose, and Kong is required.

An unofficial Docker image (tooling) for Kong testing, and development.

Kong is a scalable, open source API Layer (also known as an API Gateway, or API Middleware)... Backed by the battle-tested NGINX with a focus on high performance.

This repository provides lightweight tooling for testing, and developing Kong.
It is intended to serve as an unofficial, easy-to-use, alternative to kong-vagrant for developing on Kong or on custom plugins.
Some manual labour however, is still required (e.g. Mounting directories, setting environment variables / flags, etc).

The mrsaints/kong-dev image contains all the necessary dependencies to run, test, and develop Kong (e.g. OpenResty, luarocks, Serf, and Kong). It runs on the latest (at the time of build) Kong source code.

It is a fork of openresty/openresty:alpine-fat.

Getting Started

To get started, clone this repository, and modify the docker-compose.yml file if you would like to mount your local Kong repository or your custom plugin source code.
Alternatively, you can clone the Mashape/kong-plugin boilerplate into this directory to begin working on your custom plugin. The Mashape/kong repository can also be cloned into this directory.

Once ready, run docker-compose run --rm --service-ports kong bash, and you can begin running commands like kong start --vv.

There is an entrypoint for Kong to wait for the database. To bypass it, pass a -W flag before your command, e.g. docker-compose run --rm --service-ports kong -W bash. You can even pass a --no-deps flag after run to launch Kong without the database

No restarts should be needed for local changes to be reflected (assuming the code is mounted). The default log level has also been set to DEBUG.

Developing Plugins

Once you have mounted your plugin source code, you can install it manually by including it in the LUA_ PATH (change kong-plugin accordingly):

export LUA_PATH="/kong-plugin/?.lua;/kong-plugin/?/init.lua;;"

Then, load it:


These environment variables are already included in the docker-compose.yml file. You can uncomment, and modify the lines before executing Compose commands.


Tests must execute Kong in daemon mode otherwise they will hang (i.e. KONG_NGINX_DAEMON=on, note the on).

To run tests for your custom plugin (assuming it is in /kong-plugin/spec):

export LUA_PATH="/kong-plugin/?.lua;/kong-plugin/?/init.lua;;"
bin/busted -o gtest -v --exclude-tags=ci /kong-plugin/spec/


Due to an unknown problem, possibly related to Serf / clustering, you may have to clear the cache manually when making changes (e.g. enabling or updating plugins), otherwise they may not be reflected:

curl -i -XDELETE http://localhost:8001/cache was built using these tooling.

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