Issue with nestjs starting - error sh: 1: nest: not found

The dockerised nestjs application runs without error on my local laptop - MacBook. Following a suggestion I created and installed nestjs using the suggestion:

my dockerfile:

FROM node:16.13.1

COPY package.json .

RUN npm install
COPY . .

CMD npm run start:dev


  • Scripts section: "start:dev": "nest start --watch",
  • Dependencies section: "@nestjs/cli": "^10.1.0"

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October 25, 2023
Accepted Answer


It would be helpful if you could provide more information about the error or issue you’re encountering when running the Dockerized application. Based on the Dockerfile and package.json provided, your setup looks generally correct, but there could be multiple reasons for issues.

Here are a few things to check and consider:

  1. Docker Compose File: Make sure you have a docker-compose.yml file to define how your application should run in Docker. This file specifies the services, networks, and volumes needed for your application. It’s not clear from the information you provided whether you have a docker-compose.yml file, so make sure it’s correctly configured.

  2. Docker Build: Ensure that you have built your Docker image correctly. You can do this by running the following command in the directory containing your Dockerfile:

  1. docker build -t your-app-name .

Replace your-app-name with a suitable name for your Docker image.

  1. Environment Variables: Check if your NestJS application relies on any environment variables. You should pass these variables to your Docker container using the -e flag when running it with docker run, or by defining them in your Docker Compose file under the environment section.

  2. Docker Compose Configuration: Make sure your docker-compose.yml file specifies the correct image to use. Here’s an example of what the service section in your docker-compose.yml might look like:

version: '3' services:   app:     image: your-app-name     ports:       - "3000:3000"     volumes:       - ./app:/app

This assumes that your app runs on port 3000. Adjust the port and volumes as needed.

  1. Network Configuration: Ensure that your NestJS application is binding to the correct host and port inside the Docker container. For example, if your application listens on within the container, it should be accessible at http://localhost:3000 on your host machine.

  2. Docker Compose Build and Run: After creating your Docker image, use docker-compose to build and run your application:

  1. docker-compose up --build

The --build flag ensures that it rebuilds the Docker image as necessary. The application should start, and you should see the logs in the terminal.

If you encounter specific errors or issues, please provide more details, and I can help you further troubleshoot. Additionally, it may be helpful to check the Docker logs for your running container to identify any potential issues:

  1. docker logs container-name

Replace container-name with the actual name or ID of your running container.

You can also check our tutorial on how to build a node.js app with Docker

Hope that this helps!

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