Deploying a Single Container

Get your container online ASAP by deploying a single container quickly into an environment.

Cycle provides a completely UI based form to deploy individual containers. It provides a quick and easy way to get a container online without much configuration. Once the container is created, you will be able to modify any part of it's configuration to a fine degree. To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Describe the container, and provide initial information about the deployment.
  2. Select or import a new image.
  3. Configure Public Access including hostname.
  4. Verify everything is correct and deploy.

Step 1: Describe the container and it's state settings

Container Name

The name of a container is for user purposes only, and doesn't affect any other aspect of the container. However, on this form, Cycle will automatically prefill the hostname of the container with a formatted version of the name for convenience. You are free to change the hostname without affecting the name.


Choose Stateful or Stateless for your container. A Stateful container is a container that has a persistent volume, or the volume will hold state between restarts. A Stateless container can have a volume, but that volume will be cleared between starts.

A full description of Stateful and Stateless can be found here.

Initial Instances

The instance slider tells Cycle exactly how many copies of the container you want to run when it starts. Based on the deployment strategy you set, Cycle will automatically balance the instances across your cloud.

Deployment Strategy

Choose a deployment strategy for the image. Each time an instance of the image is created Cycle will follow the deployment strategy when choosing a server to start the container on.

Platform Default

The platform default is currently Resource Density, but by choosing Platform Default you are saying that you would like Cycle to decide what the deployment strategy will be going forward.

Resource Density

The Resource Density deployment strategy looks at the servers and deploys instances based on the resource usage of servers that match tag constraints.

High Availability

The High Availability deployment strategy will spread out the instances as much as possible across the infrastructure.

First Available

The First Available deployment strategy will deploy the instances to the server that is available first.

Set tags

If you want to be descriptive about which servers this container will be deployed to use tags.

Any Tags - Instances will deploy to any server with at least one of the tags listed.

All Tags - Instances will only be deployed to a server that has every tag listed here.

Step 2: Select an Image

Possibly the most important part of deploying a container is selecting which container to deploy. Using the image selector, you can choose from a previously imported image, or import a new one on the spot from various sources, including Docker Hub.

  1. Choose how you want to select your image, either an existing image, or import a new one. If you choose existing, skip to step 4.
  2. Cycle does not store your credentials for your private registry or repository. You will need to provide them every time you import that image.
    Using the tabs on the left, select the source you wish to import from. At this time, you can import from either Docker Hub, or a private Docker Registry.

    Docker Hub

    Typing in the "Image Name" box will automatically search as you type, returning images along with their description and rating. Select your image from the list (or enter a custom one), then set the tag in the tag field. By default Cycle will import the 'latest' tag. You may also provide custom authorization by selecting the "Use Auth" checkbox. Enter your username and password into the respective fields.

    Docker Registry

    If you choose to import from a Docker Registry, the process is the same, except in the URL field you will need to enter the custom url the registry is hosted on. For example, if your image name, you would enter into the URL field. It's recommended to host your own Docker Registry on Cycle for extra security instead of using the public Docker Hub option.

    Want to set up your own registry? Check out this guide on setting up a private Docker registry on Cycle.
  3. Wait for the image to import. When complete, a dropdown menu will become clickable that says "Select Image".
  4. Select your image from the list. If you just imported it, it will be selected for you automatically.

Configure Volumes

Some container images may specify volumes (persistent data storage). Cycle will automatically detect these and ask you to configure them.

Volumes are created for each instance, so if you configure a 1GB volume for your container, but deploy 3 instances of that container to a box, they will each have a 1GB maximum for storage.
  • Path - The path is automatically determined by the image, and cannot be changed.
  • Max Size - Containers will grow to the max size set. Since this is a limit and not an allocation, it is possible that the volume won't have enough data to grow to the max size.

Step 3: Configure The Network


The hostname is the string that all other containers within the same environment can refer to it by. It must be lowercase, and only contain letters, numbers, and hyphens.

Public Network

There are three types of network privilege a container can have:

  • Disabled - Public internet access is completely disabled for this container. It may only communicate with other containers within the same environment. This is ideal for sensitive things, such as databases.
  • Egress Only - The container may initiate connections over the internet, but all incoming connections will be blocked. This is ideal for things that require fetching data from the web, but do not need to respond to inbound requests, such as web scrapers.
  • Enabled - The container is able to both start and accept connections over the internet. This is a must for websites, APIs, and other services where clients may not be known ahead of time.

Step 4: Finalize

Verify everything is correct in the deployment summary box on the right, then click the "Create Container" button, located on the bottom right side of the form. All of these options will be fully configurable after creation as well, so if you make a mistake you can easily correct it before starting the container.

Advanced Options

TLS/SSL Certificates

Cycle has an option to create a TLS certificate for your containers via the DNS manager. To create a TLS cert using the DNS manager simply create a linked record and click the box under Enable TLS. More information about DNS records can be found here.

The Advanced Options section of the container create wizard shows the ability for Cycle to install the above mentioned certs directly onto your container. This will move TLS decryption onto your container.

The container does not need public internet enabled to create the DNS record or cert.

Choosing the checkbox under enable will install all four options to the default location /var/run/cycle/tls/file. If you wish to change which files are copied to your container and the path they are copied to, simply click customize next to the files you want and fill in the path you wish to install the certs to.

Step 4: Finalize

Verify everything is correct in the deployment summary box on the right, then click the "Create Container" button, located on the bottom right side of the form. All of these options will be fully configurable after creation as well, so if you make a mistake you can easily correct it before starting the container.

Need Help?

If you've got questions about the platform or need some help getting started, our team is more than happy to assist. Whether you're new to containers or just new to Cycle, reach out to us via livechat by clicking the blue circle in the bottom right corner. Join our Slack channel, and get help from the dev team or other members of the community, and check out our Roadmap to see what's planned for the future!