Skip to content


You can deploy your Mountaineer project using whatever container technology you'd like, on whatever hosting provider you'd like. Most hosts at this point mandate or highly encourage containerization of your dependencies with Docker - so we start there.

This page contains a reasonable default configuration to get you started. We make heavy use of multi-stage builds to cache dependencies and minimize the size of your final image that your webservers will have to pull down.


First, add the following to your .dockerignore file. This will prevent Docker from trying to copy over heavy artifacts that aren't needed for the build.


Image 1: Frontend Dependencies

Our first stage uses npm to fetch your frontend dependencies. This is an isolated context since it's the only place we need node / npm in the build pipeline.

FROM node:20-slim as node-dependencies

WORKDIR /usr/src/app

# We only require the dependency definitions
COPY {my_webapp}/views/package.json {my_webapp}/views/package-lock.json ./
RUN npm install

Image 2: Python Dependencies Base

Our build pipeline requires Poetry and a basic Python configuration in multiple stages. This initial stage sets up the Poetry CLI and a Python 3.11 environment. By default we make use of Docker's buildx to compile for linux/amd64 (Intel) since this is what most servers run on. It also lets us leverage our prebuild Mountaineer wheels.

FROM --platform=linux/amd64 python:3.11-slim as poetry-base

WORKDIR /usr/src/app

# You only need `nodejs` here if you are using the postcss plugin
RUN apt-get update \
    && apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends pipx nodejs

ENV PATH="/root/.local/bin:${PATH}"

RUN pipx install poetry

Image 3: Python Dependencies

Fetch Python dependencies and package them into a virtualenv.

FROM poetry-base as venv-dependencies

RUN pipx inject poetry poetry-plugin-bundle

# Only copy package requirements to cache them in docker layer
# We don't copy poetry.lock since this is tied to the specific architecture
# of our dev machines
COPY pyproject.toml ./

# Poetry requires a to be present in the project

# Copy the application code
COPY {my_webapp} ./{my_webapp}

# Gather dependencies and place into a new virtualenv
RUN poetry -vvv bundle venv --python=/usr/local/bin/python --only=main /venv

Image 4: Build Frontend to Javascript

Static frontend plugins, provided by Mountaineer.

FROM poetry-base as server-hooks-builder

COPY pyproject.toml ./

COPY {my_webapp} ./{my_webapp}
COPY --from=node-dependencies /usr/src/app/node_modules ./{my_webapp}/views/node_modules

# Mount the application CLI handlers and build the artifacts
RUN poetry install
RUN poetry run build

Image 5: Final Layer

Combines the raw python files, python dependencies, and the built frontend.

FROM --platform=linux/amd64 python:3.11-slim as final

# Create and switch to a new user
RUN useradd --create-home appuser
USER appuser

ENV PATH="/venv/bin:$PATH"

WORKDIR /usr/src/app

COPY --from=venv-dependencies /venv /venv
COPY --from=server-hooks-builder /usr/src/app/{my_webapp}/views /venv/lib/python3.11/site-packages/{my_webapp}/views

# Run the application
CMD ["/venv/bin/uvicorn", "{my_webapp}.main:app", "--host", "", "--port", "3000"]

Common Errors

If you see "required file not found" when you try to run this docker image, double check that your venv is pointing to the correct version of Python within the container:

$ ls -ls /venv/bin

4 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2209 Mar 29 00:26 activate
4 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1476 Mar 29 00:26 activate.csh
4 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3039 Mar 29 00:26
4 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2724 Mar 29 00:26
4 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1650 Mar 29 00:26 activate.ps1
4 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1337 Mar 29 00:26
4 -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  212 Mar 29 00:27 dotenv
4 -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  204 Mar 29 00:27 httpx
0 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root   25 Mar 29 00:26 python -> /usr/local/bin/python3.11
0 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root    6 Mar 29 00:26 python3 -> python
0 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root    6 Mar 29 00:26 python3.11 -> python
4 -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  207 Mar 29 00:27 tqdm
4 -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  211 Mar 29 00:27 uvicorn
4 -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  211 Mar 29 00:27 watchfiles
4 -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  217 Mar 29 00:27 watchmedo

The path python -> /usr/local/bin/python3.11 should be executable and run the interpreter:

$ /venv/bin/python --version

Python 3.11.8