Use Docker to configure, compile, and run.


The provided Dockerfile will build a Docker image that has CMake and gcc installed. The resulting container can then execute make commands.

The source and build directories are bind-mounted to this container, which allows your changes to be detected by the container without rebuilding the image. It also allows build results to persist on the host (with the permissions that you specify).


  • Docker v17.05+


Before you can run a Docker container, you need a Docker image. Either pull an image from DockerHub or build your own.

Pull Docker Image

Pull a pre-built Docker image from DockerHub:

$ docker pull kevinwmatthews/gcc-cmake:8-3.13.1

I like to tag the image with a name that is easy to remember:

$ docker tag kevinwmatthews/gcc-cmake:8-3.13.1 cmake

Build Docker Image

Build the Docker image that is the basis for containers:

# docker build --tag <image_name> <relative/path/to/dockerfile/dir>
$ docker build --tag gcc-cmake:8-3.13.1 Dockerfiles/

I like to tag the image for ease fo use at the command line:

$ docker tag gcc-cmake:8-3.13.1 cmake

For more information, see docker build --help.

The base docker-gcc image is fairly large, but all subsequent builds can reuse this image.

Run Docker Container

A docker image can be run simply using docker run <image_name>, but we want to customize several aspects of this container.

This can be done by hand each time the container is run, or use the provided helper script with an environment file.

Create a .env file:

$ cp example.env .env

Edit .env to be appropriate to your system. Note that Docker requires absolute paths.

Run the container using:

# ENV_FILE=<env_file> ./ <image_name>
$ ENV_FILE=.env ./ cmake

Any options that are passed to are passed directly to docker run, excepting --help.

Compile and Run

Once within the container, compile the source as usual.

Configure the project’s build system using:

# cmake <path/to/source>
$ cmake ../hello_world

Compile the project using:

$ make

Run the resulting executable using:

# ./bin/<your_executable>
$ ./bin/hello_world
Hello, World!

When finished, stop the container using:

$ exit