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Dockerized Redmine

Update: Don't use this image. Instead use the official image

If you're like me, you like to keep your servers as clean as possible. However, in order to run Redmine, you need to install a lot of Ruby packages.

With this solution, you can put Redmine in a Docker container and keep your host server clean. In addition, it also simplifying and speeding up the deployment of Redmine.

The container contains a full-blown Redmine installation running on Ubuntu 14.04 (with Apache and Passenger).

Fetching the container

To fetch this pre-installed Redmine container:

$ docker pull vpetersson/redmine


$ docker pull vpetersson/redmine:[branch]

where [branch] is:

  • 2.5
  • 2.6
  • 3.1
  • 3.2

Preparing the host

Given that Docker containers are designed to be somewhat ephimeral, we don't want to store our persistant data inside the container. All we want is Redmine and the required dependencies. We will then utilize Docker's 'Volumes' support, and mount the relevant files outside of Docker (on the host system). This also allows us to easily upgrade between Redmine version (i.e. upgrading the Docker container) without losing any data.

In order to do this, we will need to create the following folders on your host server:

  • /usr/local/redmine-store/config
  • /usr/local/redmine-store/files
  • /usr/local/redmine-store/plugins (optional)
  • /usr/local/redmine-store/themes (optional)

You may place these folders somewhere else, just make sure you update the corresponding paths below.

With that done, you now need to create two files. First, we need to create the /usr/local/redmine-store/config/configuration.yml file. You'll find plenty of examples here. A real simple config file would only include the email configuration, and look something like this:

    delivery_method: :smtp
      enable_starttls_auto: true
      address: ""
      port: 587
      domain: "" # '' for Google Apps
      authentication: :plain
      user_name: ""
      password: "your_password"

Next, we need to configure the database connection. This is a bit trickier. While Redmine could use multiple back-ends, this container is configured to use MySQL.

Since we don't run the database in the same Docker container, we need to connect over TCP/IP, or alternatively use a socket and mount that into the container.

One 'gotcha' here is that you cannot connect to '' on the host server within a Docker container. Hence, if you're running MySQL on the same server, the easiest way is to use a socket.

If you're using a socket, then you're /usr/local/redmine-store/config/database.yml file would look something like this:

  adapter: mysql2
  database: redmine
  socket: /tmp/mysql.sock
  username: redmine
  password: something
  encoding: utf8

When using a socket, you also need to make sure to pass on the following to your Docker run command -v /path/to/mysql.sock:/tmp/mysql.sock.

If you're on the other hand connecting to a database on a different host, it would look look something like this (replace a.b.c.d with the IP of your server).

  adapter: mysql2
  database: redmine
  host: a.b.c.d
  port: 3306
  username: redmine
  password: something
  encoding: utf8

Running the container

On the first run, you need to run the container with the RUN_MIGRATION=True environment variable. This will trigger the migration to run

$ docker run --rm \
  -v /usr/local/redmine-store/config/database.yml:/usr/local/redmine/config/database.yml:ro \
  -v /usr/local/redmine-store/config/configuration.yml:/usr/local/redmine/config/configuration.yml:ro \
  -v /usr/local/redmine-store/files:/usr/local/redmine/files \
  -e "RUN_MIGRATION=True" \
  -i -t vpetersson/redmine:branch

Assuming the migration went well, you can now start the instance using:

$ docker run -d \
  -v /usr/local/redmine-store/config/database.yml:/usr/local/redmine/config/database.yml:ro \
  -v /usr/local/redmine-store/config/configuration.yml:/usr/local/redmine/config/configuration.yml:ro \
  -v /usr/local/redmine-store/files:/usr/local/redmine/files \
  -p 3000:3000 \
  --name redmine \
  -i -t vpetersson/redmine:branch

You should now be able to connect to redmine on on your host server. Since no SSL is used here, it is recommended that you use something like Nginx with SSL as a reverse proxy in front of Redmine.

You will also find some useful scripts here.

Optional variables

  • -e "ENABLE_GIT_USER=True"

Setting this variable will create a git-user and group in the VM. This is useful if you want to be able to read from a git repository on the host. The GID and UID is '3002'.

  • -e "RUN_MIGRATION=True"

This variable will trigger a migration to be run. This is useful for either the first time you start Redmine on an empty database, or if you've upgraded to a new version. Using this option for every start isn't recommended.

  • -e "INSTALL_BUNDLE=True"

Runs Bundle install before launching Redmine. This is useful for some plugins.


This is to enable the usage of a linked MySQL container. Please see more below.


How do I use this container with a linked MySQL/MariaDB container?

Good question! If you're a more seasoned Docker user, chances are you've placed MySQL/MariaDB inside a Docker container already.

Since Docker's built-in Link functionality relies on environment variables, we must be able to generate the database.yml file on-the-fly.

To solve this, there's a environment varialbe named 'ENABLE_LINKED_MYSQL'. If this one is exported and set to 'True' (well actually, it doesn't matter what you set it to, as long as it is set), a function will kick in during the launch procedure that automatically generates the database file.

This script relies on that you alias the link to 'mysql' (eg. mysql:mysql) and also export the following varialbes:


This also of course assumes that the database exists, and that the credentials work.

Also, please not that you should not mount a database.yml file from the host-system when using this approach.

How do I run plugins?

First, make sure you have a plugin folder on the host, such as /usr/local/redmine-store/plugins.

Next, mount the volume by adding:

-v /usr/local/redmine-store/plugins:/usr/local/redmine/plugins

You should now be able to install plugins into this folder on the host.

If your plugin requires additional rependencies, make sure to add -e "INSTALL_BUNDLE=True" when you run your upgrade.

How do I use themes?

In order to use themes with Redmine, you first need to download Redmine and copy in the default themes into /usr/local/redmine-store/themes. After you've done this, you can copy in your themes into this folder.

With that done, now append the following mount to Redmine:

-v /usr/local/redmine-store/themes:/usr/local/redmine/public/themes

Your themes should now show up in the theme section.

Recommended plugins

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