Dockerizing a React Application: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dockerizing your React application can simplify deployment and ensure consistency across different environments. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of creating a Docker image for a React application using the latest React version (18).


  • Node.js and npm installed on your machine
  • Docker installed on your machine
  • Create a React App (or an existing React project)
  • IDE (Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ IDEA, etc.)

Step 1: Create a React Application

If you don't have an existing React application, you can create a new one using the Create React App.

Open your terminal and run the following commands:

npx create-react-app my-react-app
cd my-react-app

This will create a new React application in the my-react-app directory.

Step 2: Create a Production Build

Before we can dockerize the React application, we need to create a production build.

Run the following command:

npm run build

This command will generate a build directory containing the optimized production build of your React application.

Step 3: Create a Dockerfile

Create a file named Dockerfile in the root directory of your React project. This file will contain instructions for building the Docker image.

# Use an official Node runtime as a parent image
FROM node:18 as build

# Set the working directory

# Copy package.json and package-lock.json
COPY package*.json ./

# Install dependencies
RUN npm install

# Copy the rest of the application code
COPY . .

# Build the React application
RUN npm run build

# Use an official Nginx image to serve the React application
FROM nginx:latest

# Copy the build output to the Nginx HTML directory
COPY --from=build /app/build /usr/share/nginx/html

# Expose port 80

# Start Nginx server
CMD ["nginx", "-g", "daemon off;"]


  • FROM node:18 as build: Use the official Node.js image to build the React application.
  • WORKDIR /app: Set the working directory inside the container to /app.
  • COPY package*.json ./: Copy package.json and package-lock.json to the container.
  • RUN npm install: Install the project dependencies.
  • COPY . .: Copy the rest of the application code to the container.
  • RUN npm run build: Build the React application.
  • FROM nginx:latest: Use the official Nginx image to serve the built React application.
  • COPY --from=build /app/build /usr/share/nginx/html: Copy the build output to the Nginx HTML directory.
  • EXPOSE 80: Expose port 80 to the host.
  • CMD ["nginx", "-g", "daemon off;"]: Start the Nginx server.

Step 4: Build the Docker Image

Run the following command to build the Docker image:

docker build -t my-react-app .


  • docker build: The Docker command to build an image.
  • -t my-react-app: Tags the image with the name my-react-app.
  • .: Specifies the current directory as the build context.

Step 5: Run the Docker Container

Run the following command to start a Docker container from the image:

docker run -p 80:80 my-react-app


  • docker run: The Docker command to run a container.
  • -p 80:80: Maps port 80 of the container to port 80 on the host machine.
  • my-react-app: The name of the Docker image to run.

Step 6: Verify the Application

Open a web browser and navigate to http://localhost. You should see your React application running.

Additional Docker Commands

6.1 List Docker Images

To list all Docker images on your system, run:

docker images

6.2 List Running Containers

To list all running Docker containers, run:

docker ps

6.3 Stop a Running Container

To stop a running Docker container, run:

docker stop <container_id>

Replace <container_id> with the actual container ID obtained from the docker ps command.

6.4 Remove a Docker Container

To remove a Docker container, run:

docker rm <container_id>

Replace <container_id> with the actual container ID.

6.5 Remove a Docker Image

To remove a Docker image, run:

docker rmi my-react-app


In this guide, you have learned how to dockerize a React application using Docker. We covered:

  • Creating a production build of the React application.
  • Writing a Dockerfile to build and serve the React application using Nginx.
  • Building the Docker image.
  • Running the Docker container.
  • Verifying the application.

By following these steps, you can easily package your React application into a Docker container, providing a consistent and portable deployment environment.