Skip to main content

Run Ignite CLI in Docker

You can run Ignite CLI inside a Docker container without installing the Ignite CLI binary directly on your machine.

Running Ignite CLI in Docker can be useful for various reasons; isolating your test environment, running Ignite CLI on an unsupported operating system, or experimenting with a different version of Ignite CLI without installing it.

Docker containers are like virtual machines because they provide an isolated environment to programs that runs inside them. In this case, you can run Ignite CLI in an isolated environment.

Experimentation and file system impact is limited to the Docker instance. The host machine is not impacted by changes to the container.


Docker must be installed. See Get Started with Docker.

Ignite CLI Commands in Docker

After you scaffold and start a chain in your Docker container, all Ignite CLI commands are available. Just type the commands after docker run -ti ignitehq/cli. For example:

docker run -ti ignitehq/cli -h
docker run -ti ignitehq/cli scaffold chain
docker run -ti ignitehq/cli chain serve

Scaffolding a chain

When Docker is installed, you can build a blockchain with a single command.

Ignite CLI, and the chains you serve with Ignite CLI, persist some files. When using the CLI binary directly, those files are located in $HOME/.ignite and $HOME/.cache, but in the context of Docker it's better to use a directory different than $HOME, so we use $HOME/sdh. This folder should be created manually prior to the docker commands below, or else Docker creates it with the root user.

mkdir $HOME/sdh

To scaffold a blockchain planet in the /apps directory in the container, run this command in a terminal window:

docker run -ti -v $HOME/sdh:/home/tendermint -v $PWD:/apps ignitehq/cli:0.16.0 scaffold chain

Be patient, this command takes a minute or two to run because it does everything for you:

  • Creates a container that runs from the ignitehq/cli:0.16.0 image.

  • Executes the Ignite CLI binary inside the image.

  • -v $HOME/sdh:/home/tendermint maps the $HOME/sdh directory in your local computer (the host machine) to the home directory /home/tendermint inside the container.

  • -v $PWD:/apps maps the current directory in the terminal window on the host machine to the /apps directory in the container. You can optionally specify an absolute path instead of $PWD.

    Using -w and -v together provides file persistence on the host machine. The application source code on the Docker container is mirrored to the file system of the host machine.

    Note: The directory name for the -w and -v flags can be a name other then /app, but the same directory must be specified for both flags. If you omit -w and -v, the changes are made in the container only and are lost when that container is shut down.

Starting a blockchain

To start the blockchain node in the Docker container you just created, run this command:

docker run -ti -v $HOME/sdh:/home/tendermint -v $PWD:/apps -p 1317:1317 -p 26657:26657 ignitehq/cli:0.16.0 chain serve -p planet

This command does the following:

  • -v $HOME/sdh:/home/tendermint maps the $HOME/sdh directory in your local computer (the host machine) to the home directory /home/tendermint inside the container.
  • -v $PWD:/apps persists the scaffolded app in the container to the host machine at current working directory.
  • serve -p planet specifies to use the planet directory that contains the source code of the blockchain.
  • -p 1317:1317 maps the API server port (cosmos-sdk) to the host machine to forward port 1317 listening inside the container to port 1317 on the host machine.
  • -p 26657:26657 maps RPC server port 26657 (tendermint) on the host machine to port 26657 in Docker.
  • After the blockchain is started, open http://localhost:26657 to see the Tendermint API.
  • The -v flag specifies for the container to access the application's source code from the host machine so it can build and run it.


You can specify which version of Ignite CLI to install and run in your Docker container.

Latest version

  • By default, ignitehq/cli resolves to ignitehq/cli:latest.
  • The latest image tag is always the latest stable Ignite CLI release.

For example, if latest release is v0.15.1, the latest tag points to the 0.19.2 tag.

Specific version

You can specify to use a specific version of Ignite CLI. All available tags are in the ignitehq/cli image on Docker Hub.

For example:

  • Use ignitehq/cli:0.19.2 (without the v prefix) to use version 0.15.1.
  • Use ignitehq/cli:develop to use the develop branch so you can experiment with the next version.

To get the latest image, run docker pull.

docker pull ignitehq/cli:develop