Docker Install

This version of the FlowForge platform is intended for running in the Docker Container management system. Typically suited for small/medium on premise deployments.


Docker Compose

FlowForge uses Docker Compose to install and manager the required components. Instructions on how to install Docker Compose on your system can be found here:

These instructions assume you are running Docker on a Linux or MacOS host system.


The orchestration uses an instance of Nginx to route requests to each Node-RED Project. To do this it needs each instance to have a unique hostname, to generate this the project name is prepended to a supplied domain.

To make this work you will need to configure a DNS server to map a wildcard domain entry to the IP address of the host running Docker. e.g *

The FlowForge Application will be hosted on

Note When testing locally you can add entries for each project to your /etc/hosts file but you must use the external IP address of the host machine, not the loopback address (

Installing FlowForge


Download the latest release tar.gz from the docker-compose project:

Unpack this and cd into the created directory.

tar zxf v0.x.0.tar.gz
cd docker-compose-0.x.0

Building Containers

To build the 2 required containers run ./

This will build and tag both flowforge/forge-docker and flowforge/node-red


This container holds the FlowForge App and the Docker Driver


This is a basic Node-RED image with the FlowForge Launcher and the required Node-RED plugins to talk to the FlowForge Platform. This is the basis for the initial Stack.

This is the container you can customise for your deployment.

Configuring FlowForge

Configuration details are stored in the etc/flowforge.yml file which is mapped into the flowforge/forge-docker container. You will need to edit this file to update the domain and base_url entries to match the DNS settings. Please note that once set, the domain and base_url values should not be changed as these values are used as part of the configuration stored in the database of each project. The ability to migrate domains is on the feature backlog.

You also need to update the VIRTUAL_HOST entry in the docker-compose.yml file to use the same domain as in the etc/flowforge.yml file.

For more details on the options available, see the configuration guide.

MQTT Broker

The only configuration needed will be to edit the VIRTUAL_HOST line in the flowforge-broker section of docker-compose.yml to set the correct domain name and make the same change to the public_url entry in the etc/flowforge.yml file.


    image: "iegomez/mosquitto-go-auth"
      - flowforge
    restart: always
      nofile: 2048
      - ""
      - "VIRTUAL_PORT=1884"
      - "./broker/mosquitto.conf:/etc/mosquitto/mosquitto.conf"


    url: mqtt://forge:1883
    public_url: ws://

SSL (optional)

If you want to serve the forge app and projects via SSL you will need to obtain wildcard SSL certs for the domain you are using eg *

Create a folder in the docker-compose-0.x.0 directory named certs, place your .crt and .key files in there, they should be named for the domain without the * eg & You also need to create a copy of the .crt and .key files named default.crt & default.key in the same folder. This is used for serving unknown hosts.

In the docker-compose.yml file,

  • uncomment the line
-   "443:443"
  • Add this line to the volumes section of the nginx proxy
- "./certs:/etc/nginx/certs"

If you wish to redirect all traffic to use HTTPS then add the following section to the nginx service on docker-compose.yml

      - "HTTPS_METHOD=redirect"

If you are running with the MQTT broker then you should adjust the public_url to start with wss:// rather than ws://

Running FlowForge

Once the containers have been built you can start FlowForge by running:

docker-compose up -d

This will also create a directory called db to hold the database files used to store project instance and user information.

First Run Setup

The first time you access the platform in your browser, it will take you through creating an administrator for the platform and other configuration options.

For more information, follow this guide.