How Does “docker-compose” Work in Docker?

The “docker-compose” is a popular built-in utility for running and sharing multi-container applications. This command works with compose file format. The compose file consists of instructions that define how one or more containers configure your application or service. Moreover, the docker-compose file is created with the YAML extension.

This write-up will illustrate how the “docker-compose” works in Docker.

How Does “docker-compose” Work in Docker?

docker-compose” works with the “docker-compose.yml” file. The compose file includes instructions for building and starting a Docker container to deploy an application.

To use “docker-compose” for project development, launch the Visual Studio Code editor, open the project directory, and follow the given instructions.

Step 1: Create “docker-compose.yml” File

First, create a simple “docker-compose.yml” file that will create a “golang:alpine” image to build and start the Docker container. For this purpose, paste the instructions into the file:

    build: .
      - "8080:8080"

Step 2: Create Program File

Next, create a “main.go” program file and paste the mentioned code in the file:

package main

import (

funchandler (w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
    fmt.Fprintf(w, "Hello! Welcome to LinuxHint Tutorial")
funcmain () {
    http.HandleFunc("/", handler)
    log.Fatal(http.ListenAndServe("", nil))

Step 3: Start Docker Compose

Now, start “docker-compose” to build and execute the container to deploy the “Golang” program:

> docker-compose up

Visit the “http:\\localhost:8080” in the browser:

It can be observed that we have successfully deployed the Golang program through “docker-compose”.

How to Run Docker Compose Containers in the Background?

Docker compose also supports different options to function differently. In order to run the container in the background, utilize the “–detach” or “-d” option:

> docker-compose up -d

How to Create a Container Only Without Starting it up?

Users can use the “docker-compose” command to construct a container without starting it. For this purpose, the “–no-start” option is used:

> docker-compose up --no-start

How to Recreate a Container Using Docker Compose?

To recreate a container rather than building a new one, use the “docker-compose” command with the “–force-recreate” option:

> docker-compose up --force-recreate

In order to start the container without recreating it, go through the provided command along with the “–no-recreate” option:

> docker-compose up -d --no-recreate

That was all about working of the “docker-compose” command in Docker.


The “docker-compose” command works with a compose format file. To use this command in Docker, first, create a new “docker-compose.yml” file. Then, utilize the “docker-compose up” command to run and build the container. The “docker-compose” command also uses different options to behave differently, such as “-d”, “–no-recreate”, “–force-recreate”, and “build”. This write-up has demonstrated how “docker-compose” works in Docker.

About the author

Rafia Zafar

I am graduated in computer science. I am a junior technical author here and passionate about Programming and learning new technologies. I have worked in JAVA, HTML 5, CSS3, Bootstrap, and PHP.