DEV Community

Yusuff Jamal
Yusuff Jamal

Posted on

Deploying a Dockerized Flask App to Heroku

Alt Text

Photo by Andy Holmes

Welcome! This tutorial is going to be divided into 3 parts.

* Part 1 - Create A Basic Flask App
* Part 2 - Dockerize the Application
* Part 3 - Deploy the Application to Heroku


- Git/Github -
- Flask -
- Heroku -
- Your Fav Code Editor (VSCode or Atom)

Part 1 - Create A Basic Flask App

Our Flask App is going to be a basic “Hello World!” app.

Firstly, create the directory for our project

$ mkdir Flask-Docker-App

$ cd Flask-Docker-App

Then, we’d initialize Git

$ git init

Open your code editor and create 4 files.

- - Our main script
- .gitignore - A file that tells Git to ignore some files within your project
- - The ReadMe file for your project.
- requirements.txt - This specifies all the packages used in your project. 

Set up a virtual environment to use for our application:

$ python3 -m venv env
$ source env/bin/activate

When Flask is installed(see link above), it downloads other packages in order to make it work efficiently. In order to add these packages to our “requirements.txt” file. We do

$ python -m pip freeze > requirements.txt

Then, we’d add the following code to

from flask import Flask

app = Flask(__name__)

def hello():
  return "Hello World!"

if __name__ == '__main__':

Then, we’d run

$ python

The Flask App would be hosted on http://localhost:5000/. End the server by pressing “Ctrl + C”.

Congratulations! You’ve made your first “Hello World!” Flask App.

Part 2 - Dockerize the Application

For this section, you’d need Docker installed.

On your code editor, create a “Dockerfile”(no extensions)

Then, edit your “Dockerfile”

FROM python:3.8.1


COPY . /app

RUN pip install -r requirements.txt

ENTRYPOINT ["python"]

Before building your image, your file needs to be edited

if __name__ == '__main__': = True, host = '')

Then, Build the docker image

$ docker build -t <your username>/flask-docker .

And run it

$ docker run -it -p 2000:5000 <your username>/flask-docker

This allows you to test your app locally. It’s hosted on http://localhost:2000.

End the server by pressing “Ctrl + C”.

Part 3 - Deploy the Application to Heroku

Heroku needs to be installed (see link above). Create an heroku account, then run

$ heroku login

Once logged in, open your code editor and create an “heroku.yml” file. Then add this to the file

    web: Dockerfile

If your “Dockerfile” is within another folder

    web: <some-folder>/Dockerfile

Next, we create our heroku app

heroku create <app-name>

And add the remote branches

git remote add <branch-name> <app-link>

Heroku runs your app depending on the ports available. In several instances, It might not assign the port 5000 which means our app crashes. In order to fix this error, we’d add this to our “”

import os

# ----Remainder of Code----

if __name__ == '__main__':
  port = int(os.environ.get('PORT', 5000)) = '', port = port)

This tells our app to use the port assigned by heroku, if not, use 5000.

Then, we’d need to commit changes made so far. This is done by:

git add .

git commit -m "First Commit"

But, heroku needs to know your app is ran within a container. So, we type

$ heroku stack:set container

Finally, we’d push our changes

$ git push <branch-name> master


Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of this tutorial. I hope you learnt some new things about Docker and Heroku.

Top comments (0)