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How to Build a Docker Image for Your Next.js App

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July 24, 2023


July 24, 2023

Are you trying to create a Next.js application quickly? You can easily deploy and containerize your app using Docker, the ideal setup solution.

It ensures that your app works the same no matter where it is deployed by creating a bundle comprising your app code and its dependencies and configurations. Also, it enables you to focus on making the most successful app possible without being distracted by technology concerns.

This article will show you to build a Docker image for your Next.js application.

Ready? Let's get going!

What is Docker and Next.js?

Docker is a sophisticated development platform that enables users to create, deploy, and operate programs efficiently. With Docker's containerization technology, developers can bundle their programs into portable containers that can be deployed on various hosts. It can be on local or private network environments or with internet connections.

The Vercel team created Next.js, an open-source React framework. It offers a straightforward method for creating static websites and server-side generated web applications from a single codebase.

Developers may build complex web pages with Next.js that are highly performant and scalable without needing laborious settings or setup.

It is simpler for developers to manage their projects when Docker streamlines the creation of a Next.js application.

You may instantly start new instances of your application in any environment by running it in a containerized environment without being concerned about the platform or system compatibility issues.

Additionally, deploying various versions of your app without worrying about version conflicts or other compatibility issues is much simpler because all your app dependencies include within the same Docker image.

Features of Docker images

The following are the key features of Docker images that will help you to understand them better.

  • Docker images are templates made up of read-only layers known as intermediate layers that are built as a result of the Dockerfile instructions.
  • You can set container instances for these Docker images and use them to alter them before committing the changes to create new and customized images.
  • You can also use the Docker pull command to get pre-built images from Docker registries such as Dockerhub.
  • You can share your Docker images with our colleagues by pushing them to private registries. 
  • Docker images can also be backed up by converting them to tarball files and loading them back as images with the Docker load command.
  • Docker images are often only a few megabytes in size.

Advantages of using Docker image in your app

Developing and deploying applications using Docker images has various benefits, including:


Even if they contain information about dependencies, libraries, environment files, and so on, if you share them, they will execute on any platform. But remember that Docker containers are not portable. 

This is because when you create Docker containers and make changes inside them, the changes are lost once the container exits. To share these changes, you must first commit them to a new Docker image using the Docker Commit command.


Docker images provide a consistent and repeatable deployment environment. Packaging your program and its dependencies into a Docker image ensures it operates reliably across several deployments.


With Docker, you can quickly scale your application. Different instances of the same Docker image, also known as a container, can be run on a cluster of workstations or cloud instances. 

Due to its lightweight design and ability to isolate resources, Docker optimizes resource usage, allowing for effective scaling and hardware resource utilization.

Version control

Registry-based storage and version control are both possible for Docker images. You can handle several versions, keep track of changes, and work efficiently with other developers with this. Teams can use a single Docker image to maintain uniform environments across the development, testing, and production phases.


Docker containers separate applications and the host system, avoiding dependence conflicts and possible security flaws. With a different filesystem and runtime environment for each container, there is less chance of host system compromise or application interference.

These benefits make Docker images an effective tool for managing, deploying, and developing applications. They provide a stable, portable, and effective method of packaging and distributing software, streamlining the deployment procedure and ensuring consistent performance in various situations.


Before adding a Docker image to your Next.js application, it's crucial to grasp all the prerequisites. Make sure you satisfy the following requirements before beginning the process:

  • Understanding the fundamental ideas behind the Next.js framework, containerization, and Docker is essential.
  • Being proficient with Linux command line operations will make the Dockerization process more manageable and make it possible to manage your Next.js application effectively.

Below are the procedures to meet these requirements:

  • Node.js installation: Install Node.js on your PC after downloading it. The development of Next.js requires Node.js. The official Node.js website is where you may download the most recent version of the software. The installation guidelines for your operating system should be followed.
  • Docker installation: To install Docker on your operating system, go to the Docker website. On the Docker website, there are thorough installation guides for each platform.

How to build a Docker image for Next.js app?

To start building a Docker image, you should know how to create a Dockerfile in the project directory.  

To build a Docker image for a Next.js application, use this Dockerfile. 

Here two stage build process is used to optimize the Docker image.

Let’s move to the first stage.

1. Build Stage

The following processes are happening in the first stage.

1. We use an official Node.js runtime as the base image.

2. The working directory is set to /app

3. Copy the package.json file to the container

4. Install the application dependencies in the container

5.Copy the remaining application files to the container

6. Building the application

7. Setting the environment variable to production

8. Install only the production dependencies in the container

2. Runtime Stage

Let’s see what is happening in the second stage.

1. Using another base image

2. Setting the environment variables to the production

3. Setting the working directory to /app.

4. For better security, set a user to node.

5. Copy the package.json and package-lock.json files to the container.

6. Copying the built Next.js application from the build stage to the runtime stage.

7. Copying the .env file, public folder, and node_modules directory to the container.

8. Exposing Port 3000 to allow public access

9. Specifying the command to run when the container starts

We can generate smaller, more secure, and optimised Docker images by using a two stage build process, which improves the overall efficiency and performance of our Next.js application.

Execute the following command to run the application.

Deploying the application

Now that we've created a Docker image in our Next.js application, we can deploy it.

The first step is to use the docker run command to create a Docker container for our application. We can now run our application on any machine that has Docker installed.

We name the Docker image we created in the previous section and add any flags or parameters we desire. This will start a Docker container with our application already running.

We may now deploy our application after our container has been created. Deployment entails submitting our image to a Docker registry. This allows us to deploy our application on various platforms and environments. We can easily control the image's distribution and deployment to different hosting providers by pushing it to a Docker registry.


Now we know how to build a Docker image in a Next.js application. You can be sure that your application will function properly on various operating systems and hardware setups by following the instructions provided throughout this article.

Using a Docker image in a Next.js application has many benefits. Since the Docker containers are isolated from one another and from the system below, they provide users with better security and dependability, faster and easier deployment procedures, simpler maintenance duties, and maximum uptime.

While Docker helps in deployment and scalability, a frontend capable of being supplied and turned into a full-stack project is still necessary.

DhiWise is the best option if you're looking for a platform that will help you quickly build a production-ready full-stack React application.

Its React Builder meets all of your app development needs for creating a responsive front end. Furthermore, you have complete code ownership, allowing you to edit the source code in your choice IDE.

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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

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