Why I don’t like Dokku

by Jason Swett,

In the process of building and talking about Exosuit, my tool to make AWS-Rails deployment easier, the question has come up a couple times: “Have you heard about Dokku?”

I’ve seen Dokku but I don’t want to use it. There are two reasons. First, I don’t want to have to involve Docker. (More precisely, I don’t want to make my Exosuit users have to involve Docker.) Second, I find Dokku aesthetically repulsive. I’ll explain what I mean by “aesthetically repulsive”.

Here are the installation instructions from the Dokku docs:

$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/dokku/dokku/v0.18.3/bootstrap.sh
$ sudo DOKKU_TAG=v0.18.3 bash bootstrap.sh

Yuck. What’s all this raw.githubusercontent.com stuff? What’s DOKKU_TAG=v0.18.3 all about?

Obviously, I’m a reasonably smart guy (unless you ask my wife) and I could figure out what these details mean. And of course, these details don’t even really matter that much. If I just copy and paste the commands into my terminal, Dokku will get installed.

My objection the Dokku installation steps isn’t a technical objection. It’s an aesthetic objection. Compare Dokku’s installation commands with the installation command for Heroku CLI:

$ brew tap heroku/brew && brew install heroku

So much nicer. And that’s exactly why the installation steps for Exosuit look like this:

$ brew tap jasonswett/exosuit && brew install exosuit

So, yes, I’ve heard of Dokku, but I don’t want to use it. I realize that my objections to Dokku might seem silly/weird/crazy/stupid to some people. That’s fine. Exosuit is not for those people.

If you get what I’m trying to say with all this, no explanation is necessary, and if you don’t, no explanation will help.


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