From July 2023 Compose V1 stopped receiving updates. It's also no longer available in new releases of Docker Desktop.

Compose V2 is included with all currently supported versions of Docker Desktop. For more information, see Migrate to Compose V2.

Docker's documentation refers to and describes Compose V2 functionality.

This section contains information on the three key ways you can use multiple Compose files in your Compose application.

Using multiple Compose files lets you customize a Compose application for different environments or workflows. This is useful for large applications that may use dozens of containers, with ownership distributed across multiple teams.

For example, if your organization or team uses a monorepo, each team may have their own “local” Compose file to run a subset of the application. They then need to rely on other teams to provide a reference Compose file that defines the expected way to run their own subset. Complexity moves from the code in to the infrastructure and the configuration file.

Docker Compose provides three ways to manage this complexity when working with multiple Compose files. Depending on your project's needs, you can: