Build, test and deploy .NET apps with Vagrant and Docker

On a resent project at work we build a cross-platform chat-application with Xamarin and SignalR.
The SignalR-hub was to find it's home on a Linux-server, given ASP.NETs new found love for other platforms than Windows and IIS.
We had limited time and the back-end guys were developing the hub in Visual Studio. To help them make sure the code they wrote would be Mono-compatible (and easy to deploy for testing), I turned to my two favorite pieces of open source technology: Vagrant and Docker.

The code

First, I wrote a simple Dockerfile based on the latest Mono-baseimage that adds the code and runs xbuild in the build-process. When the container is run without parameters, it deploys the server.

FROM mono:latest
ADD SignalRServer SignalRServer
RUN xbuild /SignalRServer/SignalRServer.sln


CMD mono /SignalRServer/SignalRServer.LocalWebServer/bin/Debug/SignalRServer.LocalWebServer.exe

To automate this process, a simple script...

# /bin/bash
sudo docker build -t dirc/signalrhub /vagrant/
sudo docker run -p 8080:8080 -td dirc/signalrhub

...before we finally spin up a VM via this Vagrantfile and vagrant up.

# -*- mode: ruby -*-
# vi: set ft=ruby : do |config| = "virtualUbuntu64"
  config.vm.box_url = ""

  config.vm.provision :shell, :inline => "sudo apt-get update"
  config.vm.provision :shell, :inline => "sudo apt-get install curl -y"
  config.vm.provision :shell, :inline => "curl -s | sudo sh > /dev/null 2>&1"
  config.vm.provision :shell, :inline => "/vagrant/buildAndDeploySignalRHub"
  config.vm.forward_port 8080, 8080


  Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |virtualbox|
  virtualbox.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--memory", "1024"]

Thats it! With a simple vagrant up we get an Ubuntu VM, Docker installed, the code compiled and the hub deployed, and is available at http://localhost:8080.
When the Hub is finished the Docker-container can easily be moved to the production server. If the Windows-guys uses code that breaks the Mono-compability, it is easily discovered.