Ramblings of Daniel Graziotin



As of Docker for Mac v1.12.0, there is no need for using my Docker images anymore. Thanks for the support!


Out-of-the-box LAMP+phpMyAdmin Docker image that *just works* on Mac OS X. 
Including write support for mounted volumes (Website, MySQL).
No matter if using the official boot2docker or having Vagrant in the stack, as well.

osx-docker-lamp, which is known as dgraziotin/lamp in the Docker Hub, is a fork of tutumcloud/tutum-docker-lamp, which is an “Out-of-the-box LAMP image (PHP+MySQL) for Docker”.

osx-docker-lamp does what tutumcloud/tutum-docker-lamp, plus:

  • It is based on phusion/baseimage:latest instead of ubuntu:trusty.
  • It works flawlessy regardless of using boot2docker standalone or with Vagrant. You will need to set three enrironment varibles, though.
  • It fixes OS X related write permission errors for Apache
  • It lets you mount OS X folders with write support as volumes for
    • The website
    • The database
  • If CREATE_MYSQL_BASIC_USER_AND_DB="true", it creates a default database and user with permissions to that database
  • It provides phpMyAdmin at /phpmyadmin
  • It is documented for less advanced users (like me)


If using Vagrant, please see the extra steps in the next subsection.

If you need to create a custom image youruser/lamp, execute the following command from the osx-docker-lamp source folder:

docker build -t youruser/lamp .

If you wish, you can push your new image to the registry:

docker push youruser/lamp

Otherwise, you are free to use dgraziotin/lamp as it is provided. Remember first to pull it from the Docker Hub:

docker pull dgraziotin/lamp


If, for any reason, you would rather use Vagrant (I suggest using AntonioMeireles/boot2docker-vagrant-box), you need to add the following three variables when running your box:

VAGRANT_OSX_MODE="true" for enabling Vagrant-compatibility –DOCKER_USER_ID=$(id -u) for letting Vagrant use your host user ID for mounted folders –DOCKER_USER_GID=$(id -g) for letting Vagrant use your host user GID for mounted folders

See the Environment variables section for more options.

Running your LAMP docker image

If you start the image without supplying your code, e.g.,

docker run -t -i -p 80:80 -p 3306:3306 --name osxlamp dgraziotin/lamp

At http://[boot2docker ip, e.g.,] you should see an “Hello world!” page.

At http://[boot2docker ip]/phpmyadmin you should see a running phpMyAdmin instance.

Loading your custom PHP application

In order to replace the Hello World application that comes bundled with this docker image, my suggested layout is the following:

  • Project name folder
    • app subfolder
    • mysql subfolder (optional)

The app folder should contain the root of your PHP application.

Run the following code from within the Project name folder.

docker run -i -t -p "80:80" -p "3306:3306" -v ${PWD}/app:/app --name yourwebapp dgraziotin/lamp

Test your deployment:

http://[boot2docker ip]
http://[boot2docker ip]/phpmyadmin

If you wish to mount a MySQL folder locally, so that MySQL files are saved on your OS X machine, run the following instead:

docker run -i -t -p "80:80" -p "3306:3306" -v ${PWD}/mysql:/var/lib/mysql -v ${PWD}/app:/app --name yourwebapp dgraziotin/lamp

The MySQL database will thus become persistent at each subsequent run of your image.

Environment description

The /app folder

Apache is configured to serve the files from the /app folder, which is a symbolic link to /var/www/html. In osx-docker-lamp, the apache user www-data has full write permissions to the appfolder.


Apache is pretty much standard in this image. It is configured to serve the Web app at app as / and phpMyAdmin as /phpmyadmin. Mod rewrite is enabled.

Apache runs as user www-data and group staff. The write support works because the user www-data is configured to have the same user id as the one employed by boot2docker (1000).


The latest version of phpMyAdmin is grabbed from sourceforge and installed in the folder /var/www/phpmyadmin.

PhpMyAdmin can be reached from http://[boot2docker ip]/phpmyadmin. Only the users admin and user can access phpMyAdmin.

At your convenience, a not-so-random blowfish_secret is stored in phpMyAdmin configuration, which is at /var/www/phpmyadmin/config.inc.php


MySQL runs as user www-data, as well. This is not the best settings for production. However, this is needed for proving write support to mounted volumes under Mac OS X.

The three MySQL users

The bundled MySQL server has two users, that are root and admin, and an optional third user user.

The root account comes with an empty password, and it is for local connections (e.g., using some code). The root user cannot remotely access the database (and the container).

However, the first time that you run your container, a new user admin with all root privileges will be created in MySQL with a random password.

To get the password, check the logs of the container by running:

docker logs [name or id, e.g., mywebsite]

You will see an output like the following:

You can now connect to this MySQL Server using:

    mysql -uadmin -p47nnf4FweaKu -h<host> -P<port>

Please remember to change the above password as soon as possible!
MySQL user 'root' has no password but only allows local connections

In this case, 47nnf4FweaKu is the password allocated to the admin user.

Finally, an optional a user called user with password password can be created for your convenience either when:

  • The environment variable CREATE_MYSQL_BASIC_USER_AND_DB is true; or
  • Any of the MYSQL_USER_* variable (explained below) is true The user is called user and has as password password.

The user user has full privileges on a database called db, which is also created for your convenience. As with the admin user, the user user can access the MySQL server from any host (%). The user name, password, and database name can be changed using the the MYSQL_USER_*variables, explained below.

Environment variables

  • MYSQL_ADMIN_PASS="mypass" will use your given MySQL password for the admin user instead of the random one.
  • CREATE_MYSQL_BASIC_USER_AND_DB="true" will create the user user with db db and password password. Not needed if using one of the following three MYSQL_USER_* variables
  • MYSQL_USER_NAME="daniel" will use your given MySQL username instead of user
  • MYSQL_USER_DB="supercooldb" will use your given database name instead of db
  • MYSQL_USER_PASS="supersecretpassword" will use your given password instead of password
  • PHP_UPLOAD_MAX_FILESIZE="10M" will change PHP upload_max_filesize config value
  • PHP_POST_MAX_SIZE="10M" will change PHP post_max_size config value
  • VAGRANT_OSX_MODE="true" for enabling Vagrant-compatibility
  • DOCKER_USER_ID=$(id -u) for letting Vagrant use your host user ID for mounted folders
  • DOCKER_USER_GID=$(id -g) for letting Vagrant use your host user GID for mounted folders

Set these variables using the -e flag when invoking the docker client.

docker run -i -t -p "80:80" -p "3306:3306" -v ${PWD}/app:/app -e MYSQL_ADMIN_PASS="mypass" --name yourwebapp dgraziotin/lamp

Please note that the MySQL variables will not work if an existing MySQL volume is supplied.

Ramblings of Daniel Graziotin

About Author


Dr. Daniel Graziotin received his PhD in computer science, software engineering at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy. His research interests include human aspects in empirical software engineering with psychological measurements, Web engineering, and open science. He researches, publishes, and reviews for venues in software engineering, human-computer interaction, and psychology. Daniel is the founder of the psychoempirical software engineering discipline and guidelines. He is associate editor at the Journal of Open Research Software, academic editor at the Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) journal, and academic editor at the Open Communications in Computer Science journal. He is the local coordinator of the Italian Open science local group for the Open Knowledge Foundation. He is a member of ACM, SIGSOFT, and IEEE.