Welcome to the AzerothCore Docker guide!
Installing AzerothCore using Docker is a simplified procedure that has several benefits:
The only requirements are git and Docker.
Before going further, make sure you have
docker compose installed in your system by typing in a terminal:
docker compose version
You should see a similar output:
Docker version 20.10.5, build 55c4c88 Docker Compose version 2.10.2
Note for Windows users: you can use git-bash (the shell included in git) as a terminal.
You need to clone the AzerothCore repository (or use your own fork):
git clone https://github.com/azerothcore/azerothcore-wotlk.git
Now go into the main directory using
cd azerothcore-wotlk. All commands will have to be run inside this folder.
Inside your terminal (if you use Windows, use git bash), run the following commands inside the azerothcore-wotlk folder
IMPORTANT: the following procedure uses our acore.sh dashboard, however, these commands are a shortcut of the docker compose ones.
you can check the docker compose commands used in background by running
./acore.sh docker --help and read the description of each command
1) Compile AzerothCore:
./acore.sh docker build
It will build docker images and compile the core automatically! This may take a while. Meanwhile you can go and drink a glass of wine
NOTE For dev: if you are working with code and you need a fast way to compile your binaries, the command above can be a bit overkill for you because you probably do not need to rebuild images. Therefore, we suggest to use one of the following solution instead:
./acore.sh docker dev:buildit only builds the dev image and compiles the sources.
2) Download the client data:
./acore.sh docker client-data
IMPORTANT: This command should be executed only at the first installation and when there's a new version of the client-data available
3) Run the containers
./acore.sh docker start:app
Congratulations! Now you have an up and running azerothcore server! Continue to the next step to create an account
If you need to run this in background, you can use the following command to run the docker compose detached mode:
./acore.sh docker start:app:d
4) Access the worldserver console
Open a new terminal and run the following command
docker compose ps
find the name of worldserver
azerothcore-wotlk_ac-authserver_1 ./acore.sh run-authserver Up 0.0.0.0:3724->3724/tcp,:::3724->3724/tcp azerothcore-wotlk_ac-database_1 docker-entrypoint.sh mysqld Up (healthy) 0.0.0.0:3306->3306/tcp,:::3306->3306/tcp, 33060/tcp azerothcore-wotlk_ac-worldserver_1 ./acore.sh run-worldserver Up 0.0.0.0:7878->7878/tcp,:::7878->7878/tcp, 0.0.0.0:8085->8085/tcp,:::8085->8085/tcp
and then attach the worldserver. E.g.
docker attach azerothcore-wotlk_ac-worldserver_1
If you got error message
the input device is not a TTY. If you are using mintty, try prefixing the command with 'winpty'
This command will automatically attach your terminal to the worldserver console.
Now you can run the
account create <user> <password> command to create your first in-game account.
IMPORTANT: To detach: press
ctrl+q. Do NOT try to detach using
ctrl+c or you will kill your worldserver process!
5) Access database and update realmlist
To access your MySQL database we recommend clients like HeidiSQL (for Windows/Linux+Wine) or SequelPro (for macOS). Use
root as user and
127.0.0.1 as default host.
The default password of the root DB user will be
Unless your server installation is on the same network as your client, you might want to update the
realmlist address in the
acore_auth database with your server public IP address :
USE acore_auth; SELECT * FROM realmlist; UPDATE realmlist SET address='<SERVER PUBLIC IP ADDRESS>';
First of all, you just need to use the
git tool to update your repository by running the following common command:
git pull origin master : this will download latest commits from the azerothcore repository
Then you can just run the following command:
./acore.sh docker build: to rebuild the images and generate new binaries.
NOTE: We do not update so often the client data, but when it happens you can run the following command:
./acore.sh docker client-data: it will download the new version of the client data if there's a new version available
Running the server with GDB allows you to generate a crashdump if the server crashes. The crashdump file is useful for developers to understand which lines are failing and possibly fix it.
Keep in mind that you should compile your code with one of the following compilation types: Debug or RelWithDebInfo, otherwise GDB won't work properly
To enable GDB the steps are the following:
config.shfile under the
/conf/directory of the azerothcore-wotlk repository
AC_RESTARTER_WITHGDB=true. It will configure the restarter used by our docker services to use GDB instead of the binaries directly
If the server crashes, you will find the crashdump file (
gdb.txt) within the
Within our docker compose you can find the
This service is used for our build and db operations, but it can also be used
by you to develop with the VSCode Remote Docker extension
A dev-container lets you use a Docker container as a full-featured development environment. The .devcontainer folder in our project contains files to tell VS Code how to access (or create) a development container with all the needed tools. This container will run the AzerothCore with all the software and the configurations needed for working with our codebase and debugging the server.
Inside the azerothcore repo there's a pre-configured
devcontainer.json that can be opened by using the VSCode command palette.
To setup the Dev-Container follow these steps:
>Remote-Containers: Reopen in Container
IMPORTANT: The dev-container also contains a pre-configured debugger action that allows you to use breakpoints and debug your worldserver.
NOTE: Keep in mind that you should compile your code with the Debug mode, otherwise the debugger won't work properly
Once inside the VSCode dev-container you can go to the debug session and use the
Linux/Docker debug action as you can see in this image:
It will run a worldserver in debug mode and then you can start placing breakpoints in your code to debug it.
For more info about how to debug in vscode you can refer to the official guide
To create a second realm we suggest you to take a look at the example available within the http://github.com/azerothcore/acore-docker repository.
To add a module simply place the module directory inside of the
After adding a module you'll have to rebuild azerothcore:
./acore.sh docker build
If the added module makes use of configurations files you'll have to place them in the
azerothcore-wotlk/env/docker/etc/modules directory. If this modules directory doesn't exist, you'll have to manually create it yourself.
After rebuilding you can (re)start the containers again.
By default they are located in
You can copy the file
.env and place it in the root folder of the project, then edit it according to your needs.
.env file you can configure:
You can check all the configurations available in the
docker compose up will automatically locate the
.env with your custom settings.
docker compose start --profile app start will start your existing app containers in detached mode.
docker compose stop will stop your containers, but it won't remove them.
docker compose --profile app up builds, (re)creates, and starts your app services.
docker compose down --remove-orphans command will stop your containers, but it also removes the stopped containers as well as any networks that were created.
docker compose down --rmi all -v --remove-orphans : command will stop, remove, and delete EVERYTHING. Including the volumes with the associated database ⚠️
It's very important to run Docker without using sudo or the root user when possible. To do that you must setup your current user to be part of the docker group. Please, follow the official guide to configure it: Post-installation steps for Linux
For simplicity, we run all the containers of the
azerothcore-wotlk repo as root user to avoid permission issues while running them.
However, it means that you need to reset the user permissions of the files created by the containers on your host, you can easily do it by running this command
sudo chown -R $(id -u):$(id -g) .
If you want to run your containers with a different user instead, you need to create an
.env file in the root directory and set the following variables:
DOCKER_USER=acore DOCKER_USER_ID=1000 DOCKER_GROUP_ID=1000
The USER_ID and the GROUP_ID must be aligned with the user of your host
Warning Once you've deleted your database files they are unrecoverable unless you have a backup.
To remove your database files you firstly want to make sure that your containers have been stopped and removed by typing:
docker compose down.
After stopping and removing your containers you can proceed to remove the volume by typing:
docker volume rm azerothcore-wotlk_ac-database
Note If you've changed your folder name from the default
azerothcore-wotlk the volume name will be slightly different. To find the new volume name you can use the command
docker volume ls. The volume should be labelled something along the lines of
NOTE: If you are not experimenting any particular issues with I/O performance, we suggest to NOT use this configuration
The osxfs and the NTFS are well known to have performance limitations with docker binded volumes, we optimized the docker compose by using volumes and the "delegated/cached" strategy when possible, but that's not enough for some configurations.
Windows users: we suggest to use the WSL2 to clone our repo and work with docker. It has similar performance to a native linux environment
Mac users: unfortunately there is not something similar to WSL2 on Mac, however, only the
ac-dev-server uses binded src volumes that can cause such slowness.
If you still want to use the
ac-dev-server under Mac, consider to try the acore-docker one. It uses named volumes
that are way faster than the binded ones.
The total amount of RAM when running all AzerothCore docker containers is less than 2 GB with no players online.
This is an example of a fresh, empty AzerothCore server running with Docker on macOS:
When used on GNU/Linux system, the amount of memory used by Docker is even less.
Using Docker will have the same benefits as using virtual machines, but with much less overhead:
AzerothCore running on macOS with Docker
AzerothCore running on Windows 10 with Docker
If you want to be an administrator of an AzerothCore production server, it helps if you master the basics of Docker usage.