cli: NodeJS

docksal/cli service images ship with an LTS version of NodeJS installed in a persistent volume in /home/docker.

When updating the cli service image, either from an explicit image tag or through a Docksal upgrade, and the new image uses a different NodeJS version, it’s necessary to run fin project reset cli to update the version in the docker user’s profile inside the image.

Installing Alternate NodeJS Versions

If you require a different version of NodeJS, you have options.

Install via nvm (at runtime)

Install the needed version via nvm at runtime:

fin exec nvm install 10.12.0
# Set the node default version
fin exec nvm alias default 10.12.0

Alternatively, you can use .nvmrc to set the required NodeJS version for the project:

fin exec echo 10.12.0 > .nvmrc
fin exec nvm install

To automate this with your project, you can put the command into the project’s init script and have it happen every time you initialize the project with fin init.

Note, that as with any dependency installed at run-time, the image will not be immutable and is also internet connection dependent. Every time you reset/re-initialize the project stack and run fin init, that extra node version will be pulled down from the internet.

Extend the stock Docksal image

You can extend the stock Docksal image to add the desired version of NodeJS.

There is a full working example that demonstrates this very concept.

Running a NodeJS Service

You can use the cli container to run a NodeJS service.

Use the Override Command option to run a custom command at container start.

Bind your app to port 3000, which is exposed automatically in cli.

If you need to run both PHP and NodeJS applications/services in your project, then run multiple instances of the cli container with different service names. Starting from the default stack (DOCKSAL_STACK=default set in your projects docksal.env file), add a nodeapp (the name can be different) service which extends from the cli service:

      file: ${HOME}/.docksal/stacks/services.yml
      service: cli
      - io.docksal.virtual-host=nodeapp.${VIRTUAL_HOST}
      - io.docksal.virtual-port=3000
    command: ["bash", "-lc", "node nodeapp/index.js"]

The node nodeapp/index.js command above is an example and depends on how you run the NodeJS app in your project.
The important part above is the bash -lc preamble, which is required to initialize the NodeJS environment in cli.

io.docksal.virtual-host label tells the vhost-proxy system service which domain to route to this service.
io.docksal.virtual-port tells it which port on the destination container to route the domains to.

Apply new configuration with fin project start (fin p start).

Use http://nodeapp.<VIRTUAL_HOST>/ to access the NodeJS app.