Development Environments

One of the advantages of using Okteto is the ability to configure development environments as code, side by side with your application.

Instead of having to keep a wiki with a never-ending list of tools, dependencies and scripts to install and run, you just have to clone your repository, deploy your application and run okteto up to start developing in seconds.

Getting started

At a high level, a development environment is a Docker container that contains:

  • One or more language runtimes (e.g python, ruby, node)
  • SDKs for your language runtime (e.g JDK, python-dev)
  • Binary dependencies (e.g. openssl, git)
  • Tools to manage and install dependencies (e.g. pip, bundler, yarn)
  • Tools to run your tests and analyze your code (e.g nosetest, pylint)
  • Your source code

When you run the okteto init command on a local repository, okteto will analyze your source code and will guess the main programming language you're using. Based on this, it will select a base development container configuration and create a default okteto.yml for you.

For example, if your repository is mostly golang, it will look like this:

name: dev
image: golang:alpine
volumes:
- /go/pkg/
- /root/.cache/go-build/
forward:
- 8080:8080

Out of the box, Okteto maintains pre-configured development images in this Github repository for the following languages:

  • dotnetcore
  • golang
  • java
  • node
  • php
  • python
  • ruby
  • rust

Create your own

The default development images are a great way to start. They use the latest official docker image for your language runtime and include the most common developer tools and a custom bash prompt. But they might not have everything you need. Your team might need to support a very specific version of your runtime, or you might need some extra tooling available.

Do the following to create your own development image:

  1. Create a Dockerfile.
  2. Pick a base image.
  3. Add your extra dependencies, tools and files.
  4. Build your image, tag it and push it to your docker registry.
  5. Update the image key in your okteto.yml with your new image.

Besides following Docker's best practices, we also recommend the following:

  • Create the docker image in CI, so it's clear how and when it was built.
  • Pin all your dependencies so there aren't any surprises.
  • Keep the Dockerfile in your repository, next to your code.
  • When using multi-stage builds, use your development image as the builder stage, so that you have the same tools and images in dev than in CI/CD.