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Quickly Spin Up MySQL with Docker Compose

I’ve often needed to quickly spin up a local instance of MySQL. Docker Compose this makes it stupid easy. Rather than running a long, convoluted docker command, I can configure an image just the way I want it while maintaining the ability to turn it easily turn it on and off as needed.

Getting Set Up

Inside a new directory, create a data directory and docker-compose.yml file.

├── data
└── docker-compose.yml

Paste the following into your docker-compose.yml file:

version: '3'

    container_name: docker-local-mysql
    image: mysql:5.7.21
      - "./data:/var/lib/mysql"
    restart: always
      - 3306:3306

Managing a Container

To start the container, run docker-compose up. To stop & remove the container, run docker-compose down. For more information on the plethora of commands avaible to leverage your container, see here.

Persisting Data

Whenever MySQL modifies any data within the container, it will persist locally inside your ./data directory, even after you stop and restart everything. This is configured by the volumes: property in your docker-compose.yml file.

Running Commands Inside Container

To run any Bash commands inside the running container, use docker-compose exec db bash.

Connecting w/ SequelPro or Similar Tool

Use the following values to connect to the running container.


Username: root

Password: root

Port: 3306

Looking to Set Up Other DBs w/ Docker Compose?

I’ve put this Compose setup and a few others into a repository for easy access. At the time I’m writing this, it includes MySQL, Postgres, and Mongo. Feel free to use it as needed, as well as contrbute any other configurations you’ve found useful.

The End.

Boom. With a single command, you have a running, persistent, self-contained MySQL instance ready for your development needs. Have a helpful tip related to anything here? Share it!

Alex MacArthur is a software engineer working for Dave Ramsey in Nashville-ish, TN.
Soli Deo gloria.

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