Individual Containers

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This section describes how to configure Wing when you are using individually managed containers for your project. In this case, each Wing project specifies a single container as the default location in which to run Python code launched by the IDE. Additional containers may also be configured in the project and used for specific files or actions, for example to debug a client and server running on separate containers, or as a way to run unit tests on a different container instance.

Configuration Overview

For Docker, Wing provides special support for project creation from the New Project dialog, either to set up a new Wing project for an existing Docker container, or to create a new Docker container at the same time as the Wing project. This is described in detail in Using Wing Pro with Docker and is easier than proceeding with manual configuration.

For other types of containers, configuration must be done manually, as described below.

Manual Configuration

Projects that use a container do so by selecting Container for the Python Executable in Project Properties and then configuring a container.

A container configuration consists of:

Identifier is a unique name used by Wing to refer to this container configuration. It does not have to be the same as the container system's identification for the container.

Type selects the container system to use for the container. The available types are supported through the container plugin API.

Configuration selects the style of configuration use for this container. This may either use an existing already-build image ID, or specify a container system configuration file or directory to use for the container. This field is hidden for container systems that don't use configuration files.

Image ID selects the container image ID to use for the container. When Configuration was set to Use Image ID then this specifies the image ID to use. When Configuration was set to Specify Configuraton then it should match the image ID set by that configuration, if any. In other cases it may be any image name to use when creating the container image for this project. The drop down to the right allows selecting from the list of known valid image IDs, either all image IDs found on the system or those defined in the selected container system configuration.

File Mappings lists the directories that exist both on the host system and the container, so that Wing knows which files that are being debugged or tested are identical to local files. Wing automatically adds its own support directory to this list when the container is launched, inb order to mount it on the container at /wingpro8.

Establish Mappings controls whether or not Wing sets up the given file mappings when the container is launched. When enabled, Wing establishes the mappings with file sharing to the container. When disabled, Wing uses the File Mappings given above only to determine which files on the container match local files, and assumes that files are mapped or copied by the container system configuration and build process. Even when this is disabled, Wing will establish an internally defined dynamic file mapping that makes the debugger and other IDE functionality available on the container.

Python Executable specifies the Python that should be run on the container. The default is to use python3 or python found on the PATH on the container.

Build selects how to rebuild the container image for this container configuration. This may either use the container system confuration selected with Configuration above, or a specified build script. This field is hidden for container systems that don't use configuration files and a build process.

Connect Hostname is the hostname or IP address that can be used on the container to establish a TCP/IP connection back to the host system where Wing is running. This capability is used to set up remote inspection of the container, and to run unit tests, debug processes, the Python Shell, and OS commands on the container. Docker version 18.03 or later running on Windows and macOS defines host.docker.internal for this purpose. In other cases, the IP address of the host system may need to be determined manually. This field is hidden for container systems that support automatically determining the container instance IP address.

Port Forwarding identifies network ports that should be forwarded from the host system to the container. This is used to allow access to network services, such as a web server, that are running on the container. Containers may also specify port mappings at build time, but in some cases (such as with Docker Desktop on macOS) this is not possible. Note that services running on the container must listen on all interfaces ( and not localhost ( in order for port forwarding from the host to container to work properly.

Inherit Project Environment tells Wing to set environment variables defined in Project Properties into the container environment. This is off by default since in most cases containers define their own environment. When any environment variables are defined in Project Properties, Wing will prompt to explain how these will be treated in the container. This prompt can be disabled from the dialog or with the Project > Containers > Show Environment Warning preference.

All container configurations are made available in the container-manager accessed with Containers in the Project menu.

Container Instance Management

When individual containers are configured like this, a single instance of each container is started and reused to run all debug processes, unit tests, the Python Shell, commands run on the container by OS Commands, and processes used to inspect Python and files on that container. If the container instance terminates unexpectedly, it is restarted automatically as needed.

The instance may also be restarted automatically when Wing's container configuration is changed or when the image used for the container is rebuilt or changes. The action taken in these two cases can be controlled with the following preferences on the Project > Containers preferences page:

Warn Before Container Configuration controls whether Wing warns before it allows any changes to a container configuration for an actively running container.

Notify Container Configuration Change controls whether Wing notifies that a container instance has been restarted as a result of a change to the container configuration in Wing Pro.

When Container Image Changes selects the action to take when Wing detects that a running container instance's image has been rebuilt. The options are to automatically restart the container instance, to leave the instance running with the old image, or to display a dialog to prompt for action.

Whenever a container instance restarts, for any reason, all debug processes, unit tests, and other commands running on the container will be terminated and the Python Shell will be restarted.

Multiple Containers

Although Wing expects a single container to be specified as the main Python Executable in Project Properties, and this is used to determine Python version and environment for your project, it is possible to define several containers in a project and use them to launch specific files, unit tests, OS Commands, or the Python Shell.

This is done by creating multiple container configurations from Containers in the Project menu, and then defining one or more launch configurations that reference the containers through their Python Executable property. Launch configurations can be created from Launch Configurations in the Project menu and may then be used in:

File Properties, accessed by context menu from the editor or Project tool, can select a particular launch configuration to use for an individual file. This is done by setting Environment under the Debug/Execute tab to Use Selected Launch Configuration and choosing the desired launch configuration. The file is then executed and debugged on the selected container. Note that this does require that the file is mapped onto the container in one of the mappings specified in the container configuration's File Mappings field.

Unit Tests may be run on a selected container by setting the Environment under the Testing tab in Project Properties, or in a file's File Properties, to affect only the environment used when running unit tests.

OS Commands may be run on a different container by setting the Execution Context under the Environment tab for Command Line style OS commands, by setting the File Properties on the file used for Python File style OS commands, or selecting a launch configuration for Named Entry Point style OS commands.

Python Shell processes may be configured to run on a particular container by selecting a launch configuration under Use Environment in the Python Shell's Options menu.

The same technique may be used to cause files, unit tests, OS Commands, or the Python Shell to be launched on the local host rather than in any container, by selecting a launch configuration with Python Executable set to Default or a specified Command Line or Activated Env.

Container-Only Files

For files that are stored only on the container, such as the Python standard libraries and the contents of site-packages, Wing launches a container instance, fetches the files, analyzes them, and displays them read-only.