Using an Existing Docker Container with Wing Pro

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Creating the Project

Note: Wing's debugger and Python Shell will not work with any of the alpine Docker images. Most other Docker images for Python, including the offiical python images do work.

To create a new project that uses an existing Docker container, use New Project in the Project menu, select your source directory (or choose to create a new one), and press Next. On the second page, select Create New Environment and choose Docker from the drop down menu of environment types. Finally, select With Existing Container and enter at least the container image and host-to-container file mapping. The configuration options are:


Select the style of configuration to use: Either an existing already-built Docker image ID, or an existing Dockerfile.

Image ID

Enter the name of the Docker image to use. When Configuration is set to Use Image ID this selects from those images that have already been built by Docker. When Configuration is instead Specify Configuration this should be the image name defined with FROM ... AS in the Dockerfile or any valid image name to use for the configuration if AS is not used. Existing images are listed in the drop down to the right of the entry field.

File Mappings

You must enter at least one file mapping. Each mapping is a pair of directories, one on the local host and the other on the container. This is the mapping set up for the selected container image with the -v command line option for docker run or using COPY in the Dockerfile.

Mapping Type

This specifies whether the file mappings are made by using -v with docker run or with COPY in the Dockerfile. In general it's easier to use -v because the container does not need to be rebuilt and restarted when host-side files change.

Even when the mapping type is set to use COPY, Wing will establish an internally defined dynamic mapping with -v, in order to make the debugger and other IDE functionality available on the container.

Python Executable

This selects the Python to run on the container. In most cases this is the default, which python3 if it exists or otherwise python.

Connect Hostname

This is the host name that the container uses to make a TCP/IP connection to the host system. In most cases, this is host.docker.internal. On Linux, where host networking mode is used, set this to instead (see Networking on Linux Hosts below for details).

How It Works

Wing takes the configuration values you enter in the New Project dialog and configures a new Wing project as follows:

1) A new container configuration is created and set as the Python Executable to use in Project Properties.

  • The mapped directories are added to the project.
  • The Python Shell is restarted using Python running in the container.

If you didn't create a new source directory along with your project then you will need to save the project file with Save Project in the Project menu. Otherwise, it is saved automatically into the new source directory.

Now Wing will run debug processes, unit tests, and the Python Shell on an instance of the selected container image. OS Commands can optionally run commands on the container or on the local host. This is selected by toggling the Run in Container option in the OS Command configuration.

Note that each debug process, each unit test run, and each instance of the Python Shell creates its own independent instance of the container.