Using docker-compose build and push in Bitbucket Pipelines

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Tags: docker


A project I’m working on is divided into several different docker images. For automatic image builds and pushing to remote container registries, we are using Bitbucket Pipelines to define the process.

Additionally we want to tag the images with two different tags. One as the latest nightly, and one with the commit hash.

The file used to describe the pipelines is bitbucket-pipelines.yml and should be placed in the root of your repository.

Build and push

If I was building and pushing a single image, I would be using plain docker commands.

$ export COMMIT=$(git rev-parse --short HEAD)
$ docker build my-image:nightly -t my-image:$COMMIT
$ docker push my-image:nightly
$ docker push my-image:$COMMIT

When I have multiple images, I have to run the above thre commands for each of them. This is where docker-compose comes into the picture.

The build process using docker-compose is vastly simplified, but this also only allows for a single tag per image, per command.

However, since version 3 of the docker-compose file syntax I can use variable substition to help out in the process of tagging multiple images with the same tag:

version: "3"
    image: my-image:${IMAGE_TAG:-nightly}
    build: my-image/
    image: my-second-image:${IMAGE_TAG:-nightly}
    build: my-second-image/

Whenever I’m running docker-compose build without setting IMAGE_TAG in my environment, it will be tagged as nightly. This means that in order to tag both of these images with both tags, I can run the the same command for two different environments.

$ docker-compose build
$ IMAGE_TAG=$COMMIT docker-compose build

Since the images are already built with the first command, the second one will use the cache and skip the build process to simply just tag them.

Now I also want to push them to a remote repository. Since the remote container registry URL might change, I am introducing another variable into the compose file.

version: "3"
  image: ${IMAGE_NAME_PREFIX}my-image:${IMAGE_TAG:-nightly}
    build: my-image/
    image: ${IMAGE_NAME_PREFIX}my-second-image:${IMAGE_TAG:-nightly}
    build: my-second-image/

When IMAGE_NAME_PREFIX isn’t set, it will default to a blank string. This is very helpful as we can now build locally on the machine without cluttering the local docker image list with lots of remote tags, while they can still easily be tagged with a remote registry or registry username.

For local builds, we would still run docker-compose build as normal, but in the pipelines config we can load an environment variable and push remotely.

An example bitbucket-pipelines.yml for this solution now:

# A base image with `pip` installed, so we can install docker-compose
image: python:3.6

      - step:
          name: image-build-and-push
            - docker
            - docker
            - pip
            - pip install docker-compose
            - export
            - docker login -u $DOCKER_USERNAME -p $DOCKER_PASSWORD https://${CONTAINER_REGISTRY}
            - docker-compose build && docker-compose push
            - IMAGE_TAG=nightly docker-compose build && docker-compose push

In the pipelines settings I will set the CONTAINER_REGISTRY, DOCKER_USERNAME and DOCKER_PASSWORD environment variables and it will build whenever I push something to my develop branch. BITBUCKET_COMMIT is populated automatically and will contain the full length hash of the current git commit.


If you have any comments or feedback, please send me an e-mail. (stig at stigok dotcom).

Did you find any typos, incorrect information, or have something to add? Then please propose a change to this post.

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