Each resource defined in the dobi.yml provides one or more tasks. Each resource has a default action, which is usually the “create” or “build” action associated with that resource (build an image, run a container, etc).

Each resource also defines a remove task which can be used to remove anything that was created by the create action of the resource.

To run a task use the name of the resource, and optionally an action name.

# Run the test resource
dobi test

# Run the remove action for the builder resource
dobi builder:rm

Built-in Tasks


List all the configured resources with a description.

dobi list


Run the :rm action for every configured resource.

dobi autoclean

Image Tasks

image resources have the following tasks:

:build (default)

Build a Docker image from a Dockerfile. The image is tagged using the image field and the first tag from the list of tags in the image resource. If the tags field is not set, the value of {unique} will be used as the time. See Config Variables for more information about how to set the unique value.


For every image built by dobi a small file is created in the ./.dobi/images/ directory (relative to the directory which contains the dobi.yaml). This file is used to track the modified time of the image. This file is necessary because Docker does not store the “last built” time of an image, only the first time it was built. If the image is built again, and the build is completely cached, no new image id gets created, so the “created time” of the image is actually the original created time.

Without this file images often appear as stale, because the original created time of the image is earlier than the last attempted build. This will happen when a file in the image context is modified, but that modification doesn’t change the docker build cache (which is the case if the modified file is never added to the image using COPY or ADD). By saving the image id in a local file, and using the modified time of that file as the “last build time”, dobi is able to skip the build of an image in many cases.

If Docker adds a “last modified” time to the image data, dobi will be able to use that time instead of tracking the time itself.


Pull the image from a registry based on the pull policy. pull is the default action if the image resource does not have a context or dockerfile field defined.


Tag the image with all the tags in the tags field.

The :tag action always depends on the :build action for the image.


Push the image tags to a registry.

The :push action always depends on the :tag action for the image.



Remove all the image tags, and the image.

Job Tasks

job resources have the following tasks:

:run (default)

Run a process in a container.



Remove the container (if it exists), and remove the artifact (if one is defined).


Capture stdout of the job in an environment variable. The environment variable will be available to subsequent tasks.

Mount Tasks

mount resources have the following tasks:

:create (default)

Create the host directory to be bind mounted, if it doesn’t already exist.



Does nothing. This action exists because all resources have have a remove task.

Alias Tasks

alias resources have the following tasks:

:run (default)

Run all the tasks in the list of tasks.



Remove runs the remove task for all the resources in the task list in reverse order.

Compose Tasks

compose resources have the following tasks:

:up (default)

Up runs docker-compose up -d with the files and project name from the resource to create a new isolated environment. When the dobi task execution is complete the project is stopped with docker-compose stop. To keep the project running use :attach or :detach.


alias::rm, :remove

Down runs docker-compose down to remove all the containers and networks created by Compose.


Attach runs docker-compose up and attaches to the logs.


Detach runs docker-compose up -d and the project continues to run when dobi exits.