Next.js, Tailwind & Docker

Want to use Tailwind CSS with your Next.js site? Here’s how to get that set up. Also how to wrap the whole project in a Docker image.

🚀 TL;DR The code for this project can be found here.

Create a Next.js Project

Create a new project. Accept all of the default responses (most importantly accept the option to use Tailwind).

npx create-next-app@latest next-tailwind

Change to the newly created directory.

cd next-tailwind/

Install Packages

Now install some packages, most notably tailwindcss.

npm install tailwindcss postcss autoprefixer

Initialise & Configure Tailwind

Next we need to initialiase Tailwind.

npx tailwindcss init -p

That will add two new files: tailwind.config.js and postcss.config.js. Edit tailwind.config.js.

/** @type {import('tailwindcss').Config} */
module.exports = {
  purge: ['./pages/**/*.{js,ts,jsx,tsx}', './components/**/*.{js,ts,jsx,tsx}'],
  darkMode: false,
  theme: {
    extend: {},
  variants: {
    extend: {},
  plugins: [],

That tells Tailwind which files it needs to monitor for CSS directives.

Now create styles/globals.css. This will include the basic Tailwind components. You can also add any custom CSS in here.

@tailwind base;
@tailwind components;
@tailwind utilities;

Add Content

Now we need to add a page to the site. Edit app/page.tsx. This file should contain some boilerplate content. Replace that with the following.

import Image from "next/image";

export default function Home() {
  return (
    <div className="flex justify-center items-center h-screen">
      <h1 className="text-4xl font-bold">
        Hello, Next.js with Tailwind!

Test on Host

Launch the app directly on your host machine.

npm run dev

Visit the site at If you look in the <head> of the document (you’ll need to use Developer Tools in your browser to do this) you’ll see a link to a dynamically generated CSS file.


Cool. Next we’ll wrap this all up in a Docker image. Here’s the Dockerfile.

FROM node:alpine

WORKDIR /usr/src/app

COPY package*.json ./

RUN npm install

COPY . .

RUN npm run build

CMD ["npm", "start"]

Build the Docker image.

docker build -t next-tailwind .

And finally create a running container.

docker run --rm -p 3000:3000 next-tailwind

Head back to to see the site now served from the Docker container.

🐳 See this for a similar approach using Gatsby.