Laravel Websockets Docker: A Complete Guide to Building Real-Time Applications

Websockets have revolutionized the way we build real-time applications, enabling developers to create highly interactive and responsive applications that can push data to clients in real-time. Laravel is a popular PHP framework that provides a robust set of tools for building web applications, and when combined with Docker, it becomes even more powerful.

What are Websockets?

Websockets are a protocol for bi-directional, real-time communication between a client and a server. Unlike traditional HTTP requests, where the client sends a request to the server and waits for a response, with websockets, the connection is kept open, allowing the server to push data to the client as soon as it becomes available.

Websockets are particularly useful for applications that require real-time updates, such as chat applications, collaborative document editing tools, and online games.

What is Laravel?

Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web application framework that follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. It provides a set of tools and libraries for building web applications, including routing, authentication, database management, and templating.

Laravel is known for its simplicity, elegance, and ease of use, making it a popular choice for developers of all levels of experience.

What is Docker?

Docker is a containerization platform that allows developers to package their applications and dependencies into a lightweight container that can be run on any system that supports Docker.

With Docker, developers can create a consistent environment for their applications, eliminating the need to worry about differences in operating systems, dependencies, and configurations.

Why use Laravel Websockets with Docker?

Combining Laravel Websockets with Docker provides several advantages:

  1. Portability: Docker containers can be run on any system that supports Docker, making it easy to deploy Laravel Websockets applications to different environments.
  2. Consistency: Docker provides a consistent environment for running Laravel Websockets applications, ensuring that they behave the same way across different systems.
  3. Scalability: Docker makes it easy to scale Laravel Websockets applications up or down, depending on demand.

How to Set Up Laravel Websockets with Docker

Setting up Laravel Websockets with Docker is a straightforward process that requires a few steps:

Step 1: Install Docker

The first step is to install Docker on your system. Docker provides installers for Windows, macOS, and Linux, which can be downloaded from the official Docker website.

Step 2: Set Up a Laravel Application

The next step is to set up a Laravel application. This can be done using the Laravel installer, which can be installed using Composer:

$ composer global require laravel/installer

Once the Laravel installer is installed, you can create a new Laravel project using the following command:

$ laravel new my-project

This will create a new Laravel project in a directory called my-project.

Step 3: Install Laravel Websockets

The next step is to install Laravel Websockets. This can be done using Composer:

$ composer require beyondcode/laravel-websockets

This will install Laravel Websockets and its dependencies.

Step 4: Create a Dockerfile

The next step is to create a Dockerfile, which defines the Docker image that will be used to run the Laravel Websockets application. Here is an example Dockerfile:

FROM php:7.4-cli-alpine

# Install dependenciesRUN apk add --update --no-cache --virtual .build-deps $PHPIZE_DEPS \&& apk add --update --no-cache libzip-dev zlib-dev \&& docker-php-ext-install zip \&& pecl install redis \&& docker-php-ext-enable redis \&& apk del .build-deps

# Set working directoryWORKDIR /app

# Copy application filesCOPY . /app

# Install composer dependenciesRUN curl -sS | php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer \&& composer install --no-interaction --no-scripts --no-dev --prefer-dist \&& composer dump-autoload --no-interaction --no-scripts --no-dev --optimize

# Expose portsEXPOSE 6001

# Start Laravel Websockets serverCMD php artisan websockets:serve

This Dockerfile starts with the official PHP 7.4 CLI Alpine image, installs the dependencies required by Laravel Websockets, sets the working directory to /app, copies the application files, installs the Composer dependencies, exposes port 6001, and starts the Laravel Websockets server.

Step 5: Build the Docker Image

The next step is to build the Docker image. This can be done using the following command:

$ docker build -t my-app .

This will build a Docker image with the tag my-app.

Step 6: Run the Docker Container

Finally, you can run the Docker container using the following command:

$ docker run -p 6001:6001 my-app

This will start the Laravel Websockets server and map port 6001 on the host to port 6001 in the container.


Laravel Websockets with Docker provides a powerful platform for building real-time applications. By combining Laravel’s robust set of tools with Docker’s containerization capabilities, developers can create highly scalable, portable, and consistent applications that can run on any system.


What is a Docker container?

A Docker container is a lightweight and portable executable package that contains everything needed to run an application, including code, libraries, dependencies, and configurations. Containers are isolated from each other and from the host system, providing a consistent and reproducible environment for running applications.

What is Composer?

Composer is a dependency manager for PHP that simplifies the process of installing and managing libraries and dependencies. It provides a centralized repository of packages that can be easily installed and updated using a simple command-line interface.

What is Redis?

Redis is an open-source, in-memory data structure store that can be used as a database, cache, and message broker. It provides fast and efficient data storage and retrieval capabilities, making it ideal for real-time applications that require high performance.