How to get docker-compose to always re-create containers from fresh images?

My docker images are built on a Jenkins CI server and are pushed to our private Docker Registry. My goal is to provision environments with docker-compose which always start the originally built state of the images.

I am currently using docker-compose 1.3.2 as well as 1.4.0 on different machines but we also used older versions previously.

I always used the docker-compose pull && docker-compose up -d commands to fetch the fresh images from the registry and start them up. I believe my preferred behaviour was working as expected up to a certain point in time, but since then docker-compose up started to re-run previously stopped containers instead of starting the originally built images every time.

Is there a way to get rid of this behaviour? Could that way be one which is wired in the docker-compose.yml configuration file to not depend "not forgetting" something on the command line upon every invocation?

ps. Besides finding a way to achieve my goal, I would also love to know a bit more about the background of this behaviour. I think the basic idea of Docker is to build an immutable infrastructure. The current behaviour of docker-compose just seem to plain clash with this approach.. or do I miss some points here?


docker-compose up --force-recreate is one option, but if you're using it for CI, I would start the build with docker-compose rm -f to stop and remove the containers and volumes (then follow it with pull and up).

This is what I use:

docker-compose rm -f
docker-compose pull
docker-compose up --build -d
# Run some tests
docker-compose stop -t 1

The reason containers are recreated is to preserve any data volumes that might be used (and it also happens to make up a lot faster).

If you're doing CI you don't want that, so just removing everything should get you want you want.

Update: use up --build which was added in docker-compose 1.7

The only solution that worked for me was this command :

docker-compose build --no-cache

This will automatically pull fresh image from repo and won't use the cache version that is prebuild with any parameters you've been using before.

By current official documentation there is a short cut that stops and removes containers, networks, volumes, and images created by up, if they are already stopped or partially removed and so on, then it will do the trick too:

docker-compose down

Then if you have new changes on your images or Dockerfiles use:

docker-compose build --no-cache

Finally:docker-compose up

In one command: docker-compose down && docker-compose build --no-cache && docker-compose up

You can pass --force-recreate to docker compose up, which should use fresh containers.

I think the reasoning behind reusing containers is to preserve any changes during development. Note that Compose does something similar with volumes, which will also persist between container recreation (a recreated container will attach to its predecessor's volumes). This can be helpful, for example, if you have a Redis container used as a cache and you don't want to lose the cache each time you make a small change. At other times it's just confusing.

I don't believe there is any way you can force this from the Compose file.

Arguably it does clash with immutable infrastructure principles. The counter-argument is probably that you don't use Compose in production (yet). Also, I'm not sure I agree that immutable infra is the basic idea of Docker, although it's certainly a good use case/selling point.

$docker-compose build

If there is something new it will be rebuilt.

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