Kickstart Application Launcher

Kickstart is a bash script to evaluate .kick.yml and start development environment inside the container.


See for detailed documentation.


On your local workstation, will:

  • Start up the container setting env DEV_MODE=1 and giving you an interactive shell as user user inside the container.
  • Mount the project directory to /opt inside the container so every user has the same absolute path.
  • Expose ports 80,4000,4100,4200 on localhost so you can access the service with any browser at http://localhost (configured by project in .kickstartconfig or global in $HOME/.kickstartconfig)
  • Detect operating system and container service (OSx, Linux, WSL2)
  • Set the uid of user user inside the container according to your actual uid so there will no permission problems
  • Check for other running instances of the project (Choose between: Kill, Shell or Ignore)
  • Securely mount your ssh-key into the container, so you can use git within your container
  • Mount the bash history into the container
  • Mount cache directories for apt, npm, composer, pip into the container
  • Evaluate global $HOME/.kickcstartonfig file for additional mounts/ports/settings
  • Securely provide developer’s secrets from $HOME/.kickstart/secrets/<project>/<secret_name>to the container
  • Set environment variables according to .env-file
  • Detect and provide the hosts’s IP address to the container (for running debuggers, etc) as env DOCKER_HOST_IP
  • Start additional services from .kick-stack.yml in composer format
  • Setup interactive shell (colors, screen-size, adjustments for osX, non-interactive shells)
  • Run commands defined in .kick.yml-file in the project folder (if using kickstart-flavor-containers)
  • Inform you about updates of and provide auto-download updates by calling ./ --upgrade
  • Provide access to skeleton projects that can be defined in a central git repository

On testing stage will:

  • Execute the tests the same way they will be executed in CI/CD environment. So you can debug on localhost instead of pushing over any over again.

On CI/CD pipeline will:

  • Ensure no ssh-keys or secrets are copied inside the container.
  • Auto-detect gitlab-ci, github-actions, jenkins build environment and determine TAG and BRANCH
  • Set permissions according to the build environment
  • Build the container running docker build and tagging with the correct tags
  • Logging into the registry accoring to the build environment
  • Pushing to a registry defined inside the build environment

On Deploy-stage:

  • Autodetect docker-swarm, kubernetes by environment inside build environment
  • HTTP-PUSH to hooks urls

A bash script to start and manage your develompment containers.

Quick Start

Change into your project directory.

Run the container defined in .kick.yml:


Run a command defined in .kick.yml-command: section:

kickstart :[command]

List available skeletons:

kickstart skel list

Install skeleton:

kickstart skel install <name>

Upgrade to newest kickstart version:

kickstart upgrade

Run a ci-build (build and push using gitlab-ci-runner):

kickstart ci-build

Documents index

Project setup: Kickstart

Copy’n’Paste installer script: (execute as user in your project-directory)

sudo curl -o /usr/bin/kickstart "" && sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/kickstart

The script will save to systems /usr/bin directory and set the executalbe bit.

Run kickstart:


Kickstart will create an empty .kick.yml file in the current directory. You might want to edit at least the from:-Line.

.kick.yml - Kickstart configuration file. (Full Docs)

version: 1
from: "infracamp/kickstart-flavor-ubuntu"

..more options..

Run kickstart - the container should start.

To select a special flavor select

version: 1
from: "infracamp/kickstart-flavor-gaia"

Available Flavors

See for full list and links to their documentation.

Writing config-files


  template: "config.php.dist"
  target: "config.php"

Will read config.dist.php file, which will be parsed copied into config.php.



The configuration will be loaded from environment variables.

Development and Deploy Tool: kick

You can define commands and run it inside the container.

version: 1
from: "infracamp/kickstart-flavor-gaia"

        - "echo 'Build called'"
        - "echo 'Run called'"
        - "echo 'doing something'"
  • Will work from any directory
  • All paths relative to .kickstart.yml
  • Run commands: kick do_something

Starting a stack of helper services

Kickstart will search for a file .kick-stack.yml in the project main directory. If this file exists, it will be deployed as docker stack.

Make sure, all services you want to access from within your container are attached to the external network project_name

Assume our project_name is my_proj_1 and we want to provide a mysql service

version: "3"
    image: mysql
      - my_proj_1

    external: true

The mysql service will be availabe as my_proj_1_mysqld.

System-wide config file

Kickstart will read the user-config from:


Available Options:

KICKSTART_DOCKER_RUN_OPTS=""        # Optional parameters passed to the docker run command
KICKSTART_PORTS="80:4200;25:25"     # Change the Port-Mappings
KICKSTART_WIN_PATH=                 # If running on windows - map bash 


Secrets can be added either via the command kickstart secrets add <secretname> or via Environment variables (used for ci-builds). All variables names KICKSECRET_name will be mounted to /run/secrets/name.

Project-wide config file




By default, kickstart will configure debuggers to send data to So this ip should be added to your pc’s networks.

Start one or more containers. If you are not using kickstart, make sure you specify a name with the parameter --name.

Create, if not already exisitng a project-wide .kickstartconfig file. Add a Line:

KICKSTART_DOCKER_RUN_OPTS="--link otherContainerName"

Building containers

You can build ready-to-deploy containers with kickstart. Just add a Dockerfile to your Project-Folder

FROM nfra/kickstart-flavor-php:8.0


ADD / /opt
RUN ["bash", "-c",  "chown -R user /opt"]
RUN ["/kickstart/container/", "build"]

ENTRYPOINT ["/kickstart/container/", "standalone"]

Interval: A kick interval will be triggered every second (synchronous).

To save cpu-time you could add this to your .kick.yml

      - "sleep 300"

Building tagged containers with gitlab-ci

Add a tag to the master branch and add the gitlab-ci config

  stage: build
    - ./ ci-build
    - master
    - /^v.*$/

This will create a latest tag on every push and a latest and vx.x.x tagged docker image on tagged builds.

Version files

Kickstart maintains a VERSION file in the projects root directory. To prevent merge issues, the file is filled with fixed mock data during development and only written if the parameter --write-version is present. (This is always the case in ci-build mode).

The VERSION file is made for fast reading with static lines:

# This is an autogenerated Version file (from kickstart): 
Fri, 19 Feb 2021 12:33:13 +0100
Sun, 14 Feb 2021 13:08:41 +0100
developer name
  • Index0 (Line 1): Notice about the format
  • Index1 (Line 2): The commit number (count of all commits)
  • Index2 (Line 3): The Build date (current date)
  • Index3 (Line 4): The Commit Date
  • Index4 (Line 5): The Commit ID
  • Index5 (Line 6): The Commit author’s name

Building own flavors

Feel free to build your own flavors.

Some rules:

  • Each flavor should reside in an separate repository
  • It must build the tags latest (stable release) and testing (current master branch build)
  • It must provide tests
  • And should provide easy to use documentation
  • It should build using public build service (free of charge!)

Flavor names derive from greek mystical names click