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Experimental Configurations

Rancher Desktop on macOS

Rancher Desktop is another quickly-maturing Docker Desktop alternative for macOS. You can install it for many target platforms from the release page.

Rancher Desktop integration currently has no automated testing for DDEV integration.

  • By default, Rancher Desktop will provide a version of the Docker client if you don’t have one on your machine.
  • Rancher changes over the “default” context in Docker, so you’ll want to turn off Docker Desktop if you’re using it.
  • Rancher Desktop does not provide bind mounts, so use ddev config global --no-bind-mounts which also turns on Mutagen.
  • Use a name, ddev config --additional-fqdns=rancher for example, because the resolution of * seems to make it not work.
  • Rancher Desktop does not seem to currently work with mkcert and https, so turn those off with mkcert -uninstall && rm -r "$(mkcert -CAROOT)". This does no harm and can be undone with just mkcert -install again.

Traefik Router

DDEV’s router plays an important role in its container architecture, receiving most HTTP and HTTPS traffic for requests like * and delivering them to the relevant project’s web container.

ddev-router has been based on a forked, poorly-documented nginx reverse proxy. Versions after DDEV v1.21.3 add a new router based on the popular Traefik Proxy, available as an experimental feature until it becomes the default in a future release. Run the following to enable it:

ddev poweroff && ddev config global --use-traefik

Most DDEV projects will work fine out of the box, with the benefit of vastly more configuration options and ways to work with the router. (This will likely lead to more features in the future, and we’d love your feedback if you’re trying this out now!)

Traefik Configuration

You can fully customize the router’s Traefik configuration.

All Traefik configuration uses the file provider, not the docker provider. Even though the Traefik daemon itself is running inside the ddev-router container, it uses mounted files for configuration, rather than listening to the Docker socket.


Like other DDEV configuration, any file with #ddev-generated will be overwritten unless you choose to “take over” it yourself. You can do this by removing the #ddev-generated line. DDEV will stop making changes to that file and you’ll be responsible for updating it.

Global Traefik Configuration

Global configuration is automatically generated in the ~/.ddev/traefik directory:

  • static_config.yaml is the base configuration.
  • certs/default_cert.* files are the default DDEV-generated certificates.
  • config/default_config.yaml contains global dynamic configuration, including pointers to the default certificates.

Project Traefik Configuration

Project configuration is automatically generated in the project’s .ddev/traefik directory.

  • The certs directory contains the <projectname>.crt and <projectname>.key certificate generated for the project.
  • The config/<projectname>.yaml file contains the configuration for the project, including information about routers, services, and certificates.

Debugging Traefik Routing

Traefik provides a dynamic description of its configuration you can visit at http://localhost:9999. When things seem to be going wrong, run ddev poweroff and then start your project again by running ddev start. Examine the router’s logs to see what the Traefik daemon is doing (or failing at) by running docker logs ddev-router or docker logs -f ddev-router.

Last update: December 29, 2022