'Using Browsersync via a Gulp Task with DDEV-local

I am using DDEV as my local hosting environment, and many of my projects implement front end automation via Gulp. Browsersync is a major component to our front end set-up, and requires ports to be exposed by the DDEV container to the host machine. The problem at hand is two fold, what is the best way to expose a port to the host machine from the container, and what is the best set-up for a Browser-Sync Gulp task in a DDEV environment?

Solution 1:[1]

Exposing the Necessary Ports

Part one of this situation requires using a Docker Compose file to expose your container's port to the hose machine. Based on this Answer you need to create a docker-compose.browsersync.yaml file in your .ddev directory.

An example of that file for Browser-Sync would be as follows:

# Override the web container's standard HTTP_EXPOSE and HTTPS_EXPOSE
# This is to expose the browsersync port.
version: '3.6'
    # ports are a list of exposed *container* ports
      - '3000'

We expose Port 3000 here because it is the default for Browser-Sync, but could be updated to reflect the needs of your projects.

Note: After adding this file to your .ddev directory you should restart your ddev project.

For more information on defining new services with docker compose, read the DDEV docs.

Setting-Up Browser-Sync in Gulp

This assumes you have a working gulpfile.js ready to do with your other required packages included already. If you're not fully familiar with Browser-Sync and Gulp, please refer to their docs for full details.

const browserSync = require('browser-sync').create();

* Set 'url' (the host and proxy hostnames) to match the canonical url of your ddev project.
* Do not include the http/s protocol in the url. The ddev-router will route the
* host machine's request to the appropriate protocol.
* ex: yoursite.ddev.site
const url = 'yoursite.ddev.site';

* This function only includes the most basic browser-sync settings needed
* to get a watch server running. Please refer to the browser-sync docs for other
* available options.
const startServer = function (done) {
    // Initialize BrowserSync
        proxy: url,
        host: url,
        port: 3000,

exports.startServer = startServer;

You can test this using gulp startServer after initial set-up. Gulp will output a http as the External URL for testing. However thanks to the ddev-router it can be accessed via http or https.

Solution 2:[2]

Exposing Port 3000 for HTTP & HTTPS for BrowserSync

piggy-backing on the answer from @TXChetG and the answer from @Mario Hernandez

create a file called "docker-compose.browsersync.yaml" inside your hidden /.ddev/ config folder with code below, tabbed properly (which is very important), then run the command "ddev restart"

# Override the web container standard HTTP_EXPOSE and HTTPS_EXPOSE
# This is to expose the browsersync port.
version: '3.6'
    # ports are a list of exposed *container* ports
      - '3000'

Solution 3:[3]

If you are a mac user and browsersync still doesn't work with the above solution, you might need to update your /etc/hosts file as I had to.

You can check more details in this answer.

Solution 4:[4]

I was unable to run browsersync from within the container. I updated my local system and ran browsersync locally

I used Stephen's solution elsewhere on this page (https://stackoverflow.com/a/70190271/18779 for quick reference).

I am running a Mac so I also did the following:

  • Upgrade homebrew
  • Use brew to install nvm
  • Use nvm to install node 12 (I had to try a few versions to eliminate errors. 12 worked for me.
  • Use npm to rebuild node-sass. I got sass errors before I did this.
  • run browsersync. I am using Drupal and Radix subtheme so, for me, that was cd [subtheme dir] and npm run watch


This article follows the attribution requirements of Stack Overflow and is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Source: Stack Overflow

Solution Source
Solution 1
Solution 2
Solution 3 dcolazin
Solution 4 zkent