Installation: Docker

We publish Docker images to Docker Hub. These can be used to install HHVM in a containerized environment. If you are new to Docker follow their getting started guide to learn more. All of our images are available here (including one for this doc site). To get you started, here are a couple examples:

Running HHVM Scripts

docker pull hhvm/hhvm
docker run --tty --interactive hhvm/hhvm:latest /bin/bash -l
hhvm --version

Building a Docker Image for a Website

Start by creating the following files and folders in a directory:


FROM hhvm/hhvm-proxygen:latest

RUN rm -rf /var/www
ADD . /var/www




function main(): void {
  echo "Hello World!\n";

Now in a shell run:

docker build .
docker run -p <Replace With The Hash Identifying The Build>

You should now have a running web server hosting the index.php script visit http://localhost/ to check it out. To shut it down run:

docker ps
docker stop <The CONTAINER ID shown in the output from docker ps>

Checkout the setup for this docsite on github to see how this might scale.

Best Practices

The hhvm/hhvm-proxygen image serves /var/www/public, and defaults to /var/www/public/index.php for / and pages that don't exist. We strongly recommend only putting files that need to be directly accessible by external users in this directory - this usually means just index.php and static resources such as CSS, JavaScript, and images. The rest of your code can reside elsewhere in the image. It's fairly common for public/ to be a subdirectory of your project root - in which case, you can install your entire project to /var/www in the container, which is what we do above. For example, most of the source for this website is in src/, but we have a single index.php in public/ which initializes the stack using the code from src/ and vendor/.

This avoids issues such as:

  • exposing configuration files, which might contain credentials such as database passwords
  • accidentally exposing the source (with history) via .git or .hg directories
  • exposing scripts that shouldn't be executable remotely, e.g. the contents of your projects' bin/ directory
  • any of the above from your recursive dependencies in vendor/ even if your application code is safe
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