Max Schmitt

March 22 2024

Dokku: How to host Puppeteer + Node.js apps

I've been a long-time fan of Dokku. It's how I host most of my side projects on cheap Digital Ocean droplets.

Recently, I created an Online Invoice Generator for which I needed to generate PDF invoices. For the PDF generation, I use Puppeteer and hosting Puppeteer anywhere is always a bit tricky, since you basically need an environment that can install and run Chromium.

Here's how I got Puppeteer running on Dokku:

Dockerfile for Puppeteer on Dokku

Thanks to Dokku's support for Dockerfiles, you can deploy almost anything on Dokku.

Here's the Dockerfile I used to deploy my Node.js app with Puppeteer on Dokku:


# Use an official Node.js runtime as a parent image
FROM node:18
# Install puppeteer dependencies
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y \
gconf-service \
libasound2 \
libatk1.0-0 \
libc6 \
libcairo2 \
libcups2 \
libdbus-1-3 \
libexpat1 \
libfontconfig1 \
libgcc1 \
libgconf-2-4 \
libgdk-pixbuf2.0-0 \
libglib2.0-0 \
libgtk-3-0 \
libnspr4 \
libpango-1.0-0 \
libpangocairo-1.0-0 \
libstdc++6 \
libx11-6 \
libx11-xcb1 \
libxcb1 \
libxcomposite1 \
libxcursor1 \
libxdamage1 \
libxext6 \
libxfixes3 \
libxi6 \
libxrandr2 \
libxrender1 \
libxss1 \
libxtst6 \
ca-certificates \
fonts-liberation \
libappindicator1 \
libnss3 \
lsb-release \
xdg-utils \
# Copy over the project files
COPY . .
# Install dependencies
RUN npm install
# Run the app when the container launches
CMD ["node", "src/server/server.js"]

This Dockerfile is based on the official Node.js image and installs all the dependencies required by Puppeteer.

After adding that to your app's repository, you just need to configure your app on your Dokku server to use the Dockerfile deployment and you're good to go!