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Dokku vs Heroku: What are the differences?

Developers describe Dokku as "Docker powered mini-Heroku in around 100 lines of Bash". Docker powered mini-Heroku. The smallest PaaS implementation you've ever seen. On the other hand, Heroku is detailed as "Build, deliver, monitor and scale web apps and APIs with a trail blazing developer experience". Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.

Dokku and Heroku can be categorized as "Platform as a Service" tools.

"Simple" is the primary reason why developers consider Dokku over the competitors, whereas "Easy deployment" was stated as the key factor in picking Heroku.

Dokku is an open source tool with 17.6K GitHub stars and 1.44K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Dokku's open source repository on GitHub.

StackShare, Heroku, and SendGrid are some of the popular companies that use Heroku, whereas Dokku is used by MAK IT, Hostr, and Vufuzi. Heroku has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1496 company stacks & 937 developers stacks; compared to Dokku, which is listed in 24 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Dokku?

Docker powered mini-Heroku. The smallest PaaS implementation you've ever seen.

What is Heroku?

Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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    What are some alternatives to Dokku and Heroku?
    Flynn
    Flynn lets you deploy apps with git push and containers. Developers can deploy any app to any cluster in seconds.
    Docker
    The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
    Kubernetes
    Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
    Rancher
    Rancher is an open source container management platform that includes full distributions of Kubernetes, Apache Mesos and Docker Swarm, and makes it simple to operate container clusters on any cloud or infrastructure platform.
    Google App Engine
    Google has a reputation for highly reliable, high performance infrastructure. With App Engine you can take advantage of the 10 years of knowledge Google has in running massively scalable, performance driven systems. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow.
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    What tools integrate with Dokku?
    What tools integrate with Heroku?
      No integrations found
      Decisions about Dokku and Heroku
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      Interest over time
      Reviews of Dokku and Heroku
      Review ofHerokuHeroku

      I use Heroku, for almost any project of mine. Their free plan is awesome for testing, solo developers or your startup and its almost impossible to not cover you somehow. Adding an add on is a simple command away and I find it easy to use it both on my Windows PC or my Linux laptop. Their documentation, covers almost everything. In particular I have used Heroku for Spring, Django and AngularJS. I even find it easier to run my project on my local dev with foreman start, than ./manage.py runserver (for my django projects). There is no place like Heroku for the developer!

      Review ofHerokuHeroku

      Can't beat the simplicity of deploying and managing apps, the pricing is a bit high, but you are paying for those streamlined tools. However, after several experiences of tracing issues back to Heroku's stack, not having visibility into what they are doing has prompted moving two applications off of it and on to other more transparent cloud solutions. Heroku is amazing for what it is, hosting for early stage products.

      Review ofHerokuHeroku

      I've been using Heroku for 3 years now, they have grown super fast and each time they're improving their services. What I really like the most is how easily you can show to your client the advances on you project, it would take you maximum 15 minutes to configure two environments (Staging/Production). It is simply essential and fantastic!

      Review ofHerokuHeroku

      I liked how easy this was to use and that I could create some proof of concepts without have to pay. The downside for NodeJS is remote debugging. Pretty much have to depend on logging where Azure allows remote debugging with Node Inspector.

      Review ofHerokuHeroku

      Using Heroku takes away all the pains associated with managing compute and backing services. It may require a little extra optimisation and tweaks, but these constraints often make your app better anyway.

      How developers use Dokku and Heroku
      Avatar of StackShare
      StackShare uses HerokuHeroku

      Not having to deal with servers is a huge win for us. There are certainly trade-offs (having to wait if the platform is down as opposed to being able to fix the issue), but we’re happy being on Heroku right now. Being able to focus 100% of our technical efforts on application code is immensely helpful.

      Two dynos seems to be the sweet spot for our application. We can handle traffic spikes and get pretty consistent performance otherwise.

      We have a total of four apps on Heroku: Legacy Leanstack, StackShare Prod, StackShare Staging, StackShare Dev. Protip: if you’re setting up multiple environments based on your prod environment, just run heroku fork app name. Super useful, it copies over your db, add-ons, and settings.

      We have a develop branch on GitHub that we push to dev to test out, then if everything is cool we push it to staging and eventually prod. Hotfixes of course go straight to staging and then prod usually.

      Avatar of StackShare
      StackShare uses HerokuHeroku

      We keep the Metrics tab open while we load test, and hit refresh to see what’s going on: heroku metric

      I would expect the graphs to expand with some sort of detail, but that’s not the case. So these metrics aren’t very useful. The logs are far more useful, so we just keep the tail open while we test.

      Avatar of Tim Lucas
      Tim Lucas uses HerokuHeroku

      Heroku runs the web and background worker processes. Auto-deployments are triggered via GitHub commits and wait for the Buildkite test build to pass. Heroku pipelines with beta release phase execution (for automatically running database migrations) allowed for easy manual testing of big new releases. Web and worker logs are sent to Papertrail.

      Avatar of Jeff Flynn
      Jeff Flynn uses HerokuHeroku

      As much as I love AWS EC, I prefer Heroku for apps like this. Heroku has grown up around Rails and Ruby, massive set of add-ons that are usually one-click setup, and I once had to perform an emergency app scale-up a that I completed in seconds from my mobile phone whilst riding the Bangkok subway. Doesn't get much easier than that.

      Avatar of Matt Welke
      Matt Welke uses HerokuHeroku

      Used for proofs of concept and personal projects where I want to remain in a free tier (as opposed to a service like DigitalOcean), and application state must outlive an HTTP request/response cycle.

      Heroku Postgres sometimes used as a free tier PostgreSQL managed database linked to non-Heroku apps, for example AWS Lambda.

      Avatar of danlangford
      danlangford uses DokkuDokku

      Make deployments to the server as simple as Heroku.

      Avatar of Micrantha
      Micrantha uses DokkuDokku

      good for having a low footprint

      Avatar of Ryan Jennings
      Ryan Jennings uses DokkuDokku

      paas on digital ocean

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