Adding project folder except for Dockerfile

I am trying to run a small Rails app in a docker container. I am getting close, however I am struggling with my Dockerfile.

I have added the following command to my Dockerfile to recursively add all files in my project folder.

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  • ADD .

    After this, I run

    RUN bundle install --deployment

    However, because my ADD command also adds the Dockerfile, it means that my image cache breaks every time I edit my Dockerfile forcing me to rebundle.

    According to, I can use a .dockerignore file to ignore Dockerfile, but this causes the docker build command to fail with

    2014/09/17 22:12:46 Dockerfile was excluded by .dockerignore pattern 'Dockerfile'

    How can I easily add my project to my image, but exclude the Dockerfile, so I don’t break the docker image cache?

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  • 2 Solutions collect form web for “Adding project folder except for Dockerfile”

    Your clarification in a comment to the answer from @Kuhess, saying that the actual problem is “the invalidation of the docker image cache causing bundle install to run again”, is helpful in providing you an answer.

    I’ve been using a Dockerfile that looks like the following for my rails 4.1.* app. By ADDing Gemfile* first, then running bundle install, and only then ADDing the rest of the app, the bundle install step is cached unless one of the Gemfile* files changes.

    FROM ruby:2.1.3
    RUN adduser --disabled-password --home=/rails --gecos "" rails
    RUN gem install bundler --no-ri --no-rdoc
    RUN gem install -f rake --no-ri --no-rdoc
    RUN mkdir /myapp
    WORKDIR /myapp
    ADD Gemfile /myapp/Gemfile
    ADD Gemfile.lock /myapp/Gemfile.lock
    RUN bundle install
    ADD . /myapp
    RUN chown -R rails:rails /myapp
    USER rails
    EXPOSE 3000
    ENV RAILS_ENV production
    CMD bundle exec rails server -p 3000

    My Dockerfile is in the root dir of the app, but changes to it (or any other part of the app) do not cause the image cache for bundle install to break because they are added after it is RUN. The only thing that breaks it are changes to Gemfile*, which is correct.

    FYI, my .dockerignore file looks as follows:


    There is an issue for that on Github:

    Your main problem is the eviction of the cache because of the ADD and the modification of the Dockerfile. One of the maintainer explains that, for the moment, the .dockerignore file is not designed to deal with it:

    It — .dockerignore — skips some files when you upload your context from client to daemon and daemon needs Dockerfile for building image. So main idea(for now) of .dockerignore is skipping big dirs for faster context upload, not clean context. full comment on Github

    I am afraid that the image cache will break when you ADD Dockerfile while these lines are not modified.

    Maybe one way to deal with the cache is to place all the files you want to add in a different directory than the Dockerfile:

    ├── Dockerfile
    └── files_to_add/

    Then if you ADD files_to_add, the Dockerfile will not be included and the cache will not be evicted.

    But, I do not consider that this trick is a solution. I also want to have my Dockerfile next to other files at the root of my projects.

    Docker will be the best open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications.