Connect Docker Containers: Frontend to GraphQL Backend via Docker Compose on the same Host

Suppose I’m on a host machine with docker-compose running 2 containers/services:

  • backend graphql (ports: 8000:8000)
  • frontend react (ports: 8081:8081)

In the frontend container, where my react + apollo code lives, I need to set this const:

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  • // frontend container code
    export const APOLLO = {
        uri: '' // << not working, what to use here?

    However, the uri value is not able to connect successfully to the backend graphql endpoint. I’m receiving errors such as Error Network error: request to failed, reason: connect ECONNREFUSED

    The containers work fine on their own. I am able to navigate to,, to interact with them individually. I am also able to enter each container and reach the other via their service name-spaces with ping backend or ping frontend.

    However, when I do uri: 'http://backend:8000/graphql' or uri: 'http://backend/graphql' in my code, i get the error Error Network error: only absolute urls are supported.

    On docker inspect backend, I get the backend container’s IP address as: ''. Which i tried to plug into the uri as uri: '', but I get Error Network error: Network request failed with status 403 - "Forbidden"

    How should I connect backend docker container to the frontend within the code given these scenarios?


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  • One Solution collect form web for “Connect Docker Containers: Frontend to GraphQL Backend via Docker Compose on the same Host”

    Fixed it by running the servers locally instead of Docker and found that backend was rejecting frontend entry due to CORS headers not set. Whitelisted frontends’ ip and it worked. Tested again in Docker containers with the backend ip and connection was perfect.

    Hope this helps!

    Edit: Referring to the container name in the url hostname i.e. http://backend/graphql also works thanks to the docker network bridge setup by docker compose. This is a better solution than hardcoding the docker container ip above.

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