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Dev Containers

Why use Depot with Dev Containers?

Dev Containers are becoming a popular way to leverage a container as a fully featured development environment directly integrated with Visual Studio Code. You can open any folder inside a container and use the full power of VS Code inside.

With Depot, you can build your Dev Containers on demand with instant shared caching across your entire team.

How to use Depot with Dev Containers

First, you will need to make sure you have installed the depot CLI and configured a project.

Connect to your Depot project from the depot CLI

Once the CLI is installed, you can configure your environment:

  1. Run depot login to login to your Depot account
  2. Change into the root of your project directory
  3. Run depot init to link your project to your repository; this will create a depot.json directory in the current directory

Note: You can also connect depot to your project by passing the DEPOT_PROJECT_ID environment variable

Configure Docker to use Depot

Dev Containers uses the docker buildx build command internally to build the container image. You can configure Depot as a plugin for the Docker CLI and Buildx with the following command:

depot configure-docker

The configure-docker command is a one-time operation that routes any docker build or docker buildx build commands to Depot builders.

Build your Dev Container

There are multiple options for building your Dev Container:

  1. You can open an existing folder in VS Code in a container, see these docs
  2. You can open a Git repo or Pull Request in an isolated container, see these docs
  3. You can also build your Dev container directly using the devcontainer CLI:
devcontainer build --workspace-folder .
[4 ms] @devcontainers/cli 0.50.0. Node.js v20.3.1. darwin 22.5.0 arm64.
[1878 ms] Start: Run: docker buildx build --load --build-arg BUILDKIT_INLINE_CACHE=1 -f /var/folders/w9/8yw9qm955bqcdwphh62w6fvr0000gn/T/devcontainercli/container-features/0.50.0-1690365763237/Dockerfile-with-features -t vsc-example-241be831c2682292f834c48f737ab308a1e901188127c5444a37dd0c0a339c90 --target dev_containers_target_stage --build-arg _DEV_CONTAINERS_BASE_IMAGE=dev_container_auto_added_stage_label /Users/user1/projects/proj/example
[+] Building 3.5s (19/19) FINISHED
 => [depot] build: https://depot.dev/orgs/orgid/projects/projectid/builds/9hh2rh7zkq                                                0.0s
 => [depot] launching arm64 builder                                                                                                                                       0.5s
 => [depot] connecting to arm64 builder                                                                                                                                   0.4s
 => [internal] load .dockerignore                                                                                                                                         0.4s
 => => transferring context: 116B                                                                                                                                         0.3s
 => [internal] load build definition from Dockerfile-with-features                                                                                                        0.3s
 => => transferring dockerfile: 601B                                                                                                                                      0.3s
 => [internal] load metadata for docker.io/library/node:16-alpine                                                                                                         0.4s
 => [build 1/5] FROM docker.io/library/node:16-alpine@sha256:6c381d5dc2a11dcdb693f0301e8587e43f440c90cdb8933eaaaabb905d44cdb9                                             0.0s

You should see something similar to the above in your VS Code or devcontainer build logs. You can see that the docker buildx build command is called, and then you see log lines for [depot] ... that confirm your Docker image build is routed to Depot builders.