I have 3 separate repositories, which contains API, web app, and Admin projects. All 3 runs on a Digital Ocean docker machine, and I deploy the 3 using docker-compose (I want to keep things simple).

Every time a push to master with a tag happen, GithubActions build each separate project and publish a docker image (with the corresponding tag), and then I manually launch docker compose up -d. The docker compose file point to the latest version of each image, so it get automatically reloaded and launched.

Is there a better way to automatically reload the docker compose from GitHub Actions? I ideally want that each time a repository build an image and push it to the registry, the docker compose automatically reload.

1 Answer 1


You can utilize watchtower to restart the specified containers each time new image of that container is avaialble.

Watchtower : with watchtower you can update the running version of your containerized app simply by pushing a new image to the Docker Hub or your own image registry. Watchtower will pull down your new image, gracefully shut down your existing container and restart it with the same options that were used when it was deployed initially. Run the watchtower container with the following command:

$ docker run -d \
    --name watchtower \
    -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \

docker-compose integration example:

    command: --label-enable --cleanup --interval 300
    image: containrrr/watchtower
      - "com.centurylinklabs.watchtower.enable=true"
    network_mode: none
    restart: always
      - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock

        - watchtower
      env_file: .mariadb.env
      image: mariadb:10
        - "com.centurylinklabs.watchtower.enable=true"
        - default
        - 3306:3306
      restart: always
        - ./data/volumes/mariadb:/var/lib/mysql

To check the logs of the updation you can execute docker-compose logs watchtower

docker-compose integration reference: https://chriswiegman.com/2019/12/keeping-docker-containers-updated/

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