What is the difference between a Dockerfile and a docker-compose file?

A Dockerfile is a set of instructions about how a container for an application shall be built from the scratch using a base image. A docker-compose is a yaml script which comprises of how multiple docker containers grouped under a single subnet shall be built and run.

A docker-compose file runs on top of a Dockerfile and requires a path for the Dockerfile to be specified in the script for custom containers.

A Dockerfile is a set of instructions about how a container for an application shall be built from the scratch using a base image. A docker-compose is a yaml script which comprises of how multiple docker containers grouped under a single subnet shall be built and run.

A docker-compose file runs on top of a Dockerfile and requires a path for the Dockerfile to be specified in the script for custom containers.

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Sriram Mannava

I'm a full-stack developer and a software enthusiast who likes to play around with cloud and tech stack out of curiosity.

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