Spin-docker: A lightweight RESTful docker PaaS


Spin-docker is no longer under active development. If you need a Docker PaaS, I recommend looking at the dokku, Deis, or Flynn projects.

Spin-docker is a lightweight platform-as-a-service that runs on a RESTful API. Designed with simplicity in mind, spin-docker provides enough features to help you stand up your own Docker-powered PaaS in minutes.

Spin-docker was created by Andrew T. Baker as a side project this winter. It might not be the best Docker-based PaaS out there, but building it was a great learning experience. Check out my blog post about it: http://andrewtorkbaker.com/what-makes-a-good-side-project

Spin-docker is open source under the MIT license.

Example use

Spin-docker uses a RESTful API so you can easily start and stop docker containers with an HTTP request. Start a PostgreSQL database with:

$ curl http://localhost:8080/v1/containers -X POST -u admin:spindocker -d "image=atbaker/sd-postgres"

And you’ll receive back:

  "status": "running",
  "name": "/desperate_poincare",
  "active": "0",
  "ssh_port": "49153",
  "image": "atbaker/sd-postgres",
  "container_id": "0145c3630dccc5529ecd3a61d0e7f04236ef3e7a91d06b2985f50e9aa4dc266d",
  "uri": "/v1/containers/0145c3630dccc5529ecd3a61d0e7f04236ef3e7a91d06b2985f50e9aa4dc266d",
  "app_port": "49154"

The atbaker/sd-postgres docker image runs a PostgreSQL database using Phusion’s base docker image. Spin-docker images report their activity back to spin-docker so it can stop idle containers, but spin-docker is fully compatible with all docker images.

You can SSH into the container using Phusion’s insecure key (included in the spin-docker root directory):

$ ssh -i insecure_key root@ -p 49153
$ su postgres -c 'psql'

And of course you (or an app) can connect to the PostgreSQL database directly if you have the PostgreSQL client installed:

$ psql -U postgres -h -p 49154

And that’s it! Here are a few ideas for how spin-docker could help your organization:

  • Use the PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Django images available now to provide on-demand databases and webservers for developers and data scientists
  • Create a docker image for your own app and use spin-docker to provide on-demand demo servers for your teams
  • Jump start your next training or tutorial session by putting a sample environment in a docker image and using spin-docker to quickly expose those environments to your students

Or just play with spin-docker to learn more about how docker works! Using Vagrant and Ansible, you can deploy your own spin-docker server anywhere in minutes. Read Getting started with spin-docker for more information.