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Docker Tip #76: Where to Put Docker Compose Projects on a Server?

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So, you're thinking about deploying a Docker Compose project, but where does the docker-compose.yml file go on your file system?

Let’s say you have 1 or more Docker Compose projects that you plan to run on a VPS such as DigitalOcean, but really it could be anywhere.

There’s a lot of options. Should it go in /opt, /var/www, /srv, ~/ or somewhere else?

The answer is, it depends. This is really a Linux distribution specific question. For example I prefer using Ubuntu and Debian in production, and according to Debian’s Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS), one reasonable place for it to go would be in the /srv folder.

So if you had a project called todolist, you would end up with /srv/todolist and inside of there you could have your docker-compose.yml, .env file and even your application’s source code depending on how you plan to deploy it.

I like this strategy because it keeps things together and well organized. I would also put non-Dockerized projects in the /srv folder too because there’s nothing Docker specific about this decision. When in doubt, always think about what you would do without Docker first.

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