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Configuring Crafter on Docker for Local Development Tools

Sometimes you’ll need to have the Authoring site repositories in your docker container available in the host filesystem, specially if you want to update the files from your IDE. To support access to your sites via a local IDE, we need to mount the Authoring site repositories directory to a host directory.


Performance may be slow when using WSL2 (Windows Subsystem for Linux 2) and a mounted Authoring site repositories directory to a host directory

Here are the steps:


This will only work on an Authoring install with no existing data. To clear the current data, run the same command you’ve been using to start up the environment, but replace the up part for down -v, e.g.

docker-compose down -v

  1. Check the site directory is a shared drive

    Make sure the drive with the directory that will contain the sites is a shared drive by clicking on Docker Desktop Preferences -> Resources -> File Sharing)

    Docker Desktop - File Sharing

  2. Edit the docker-compose.yml file

    Navigate to the authoring directory and open the docker-compose.yml file in an editor and edit the crafter_data volume like in the highlighted section below (assume C is the shared drive, and replace the /host/path/to/sites for the actual host path):

      image: craftercms/authoring_tomcat:3.1.17 # craftercms version flag
        - elasticsearch
        - deployer
        - 8080:8080
      image: craftercms/deployer:3.1.17 # craftercms version flag
        - elasticsearch
        - 9191:9191
        name: crafter_authoring_data_elasticsearch
        name: crafter_authoring_logs_elasticsearch
        driver: local
          o: bind
          type: none
          device: C:/host/path/to/sites
         name: crafter_authoring_data
        name: crafter_authoring_logs
        name: crafter_authoring_temp

  3. Start Authoring.

    Go to the Authoring browser URL and create a site. In the image below, site mysite was created using the website editorial blueprint:

    Docker Desktop - File Sharing

  4. Access your site files from your host directory

    You should now be able to see the files in your host directory and use any IDE for editing the files in the site.

    Let’s take a look at an example of modifying a file in your host directory then verifying that the changes are reflected in your site. In your browser, open the Sidebar, then navigate to scripts -> pages then right click on home.groovy and select edit.

    Docker Desktop - unedited script file in browser

    We’ll now edit the same home.groovy file from the host directory using any of your favorite IDE. For our example, the files in the site were put in a project in IntelliJ IDEA, and some text was added to the comments

    Docker Desktop - Edited script file on host

    After making your edits, remember to commit your changes by using git so Studio is aware of the changes made.

    To commit your changes , head to /host/path/to/sites/mysite/sandbox and git add your edited file like this

    git add scripts/pages/home.groovy

    And once you are done, commit them with the following command:

    git commit -m "<the commit’s description>"

    You can also use any Git client. Now, it will be available in your site in the Docker container. Remember that whenever you edit directly in the filesystem instead of through Studio, you need to commit your changes to ensure they are properly reflected.

    Finally, let’s check the home.groovy file from Studio to verify that changes we made from the host are reflected on Studio, by opening the file in Studio again:

    Docker Desktop - Edited script file from host in Studio