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A Start to Finish Guide to Docker With Java, Part 2

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A Start to Finish Guide to Docker With Java, Part 2

In the final part of this two-part series, we continue to learn all the things you need to get started with Docker, such managing applications and images.

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Learn how to migrate and modernize stateless applications and run them in a Kubernetes cluster.

Welcome back! If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here.

Managing Docker Applications

Starting and Stopping Docker Containers

Docker ps shows us what is running:

$ docker ps
IMAGE                       STATUS              PORTS                    NAMES
spring-boot-app:latest      Up 2 minutes>8080/tcp   eloquent_varaham

The application is still up. It's running in a container named eloquent_varaham.

We use the container name to control it. Let's stop is:

$ docker stop eloquent_varaham

When you check docker ps, it's gone:

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND

And if you try to open the index page again, it fails.

But the container is still there. Let's look again:

$ docker ps -a
IMAGE                    STATUS                       PORTS          NAMES
spring-boot-app:latest   Exited (143) 2 minutes ago                  eloquent_varaham

Adding -a shows us stopped containers.

We can restart an existing container instead of creating a new one:

$ docker restart eloquent_varaham
$ docker ps -a
IMAGE                    STATUS              PORTS                    NAMES
spring-boot-app:latest   Up 22 seconds>8080/tcp   eloquent_varaham

The container is running again and you can open access the web app.

But you can stop and remove and container too:

$ docker stop eloquent_varaham
$ docker rm eloquent_varaham
$ docker ps -a
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE              PORTS               NAMES

Docker rm removes a container, but it must be stopped first.

Looking Inside Containers

Start a new container. Not the different port mapping argument:

$ docker run -d  -p 8081:8080 spring-boot-app:latest
$ docker ps
IMAGE                    COMMAND                  PORTS                    NAMES
spring-boot-app:latest   "/usr/bin/java -jar ...">8080/tcp   sad_swartz

It's running again, in a container named sad_swartz. Point your browser at port 8081 to load the page. You can remap container ports to different host ports on the command line.

Now take a look at the container logs:

$ docker logs sad_swartz

  .   ____          _            __ _ _
 /\\ / ___'_ __ _ _(_)_ __  __ _ \ \ \ \
( ( )\___ | '_ | '_| | '_ \/ _` | \ \ \ \
 \\/  ___)| |_)| | | | | || (_| |  ) ) ) )
  '  |____| .__|_| |_|_| |_\__, | / / / /
 :: Spring Boot ::        (v2.0.1.RELEASE)

2018-06-10 02:36:53.032  INFO 1 --- [           main] c.s.Application        
   : Starting Application

Docker logs displays the container's output.

You can also attach a shell to our container:

$ docker exec -it sad_swartz sh
/ # ps
    1 root       0:52 /usr/bin/java -jar -Dspring.profiles.active=default /app.war
   46 root       0:00 sh
   50 root       0:00 ps
/ # ls
app.war  dev      home     media    proc     run      srv      tmp      var
bin      etc      lib      mnt      root     sbin     sys      usr
/ #

Docker's exec option executes a program inside a container. Since the Alpine image is minimalist, you need to use sh. You can only execute commands that are already in the image.

The -it flags allow us to interact with the shell.

Building a Better Image

All state, including the filesystem, lives only for the lifetime of the container. When you rm the container, you destroy the state also.

If you want to preserve data, it needs to be stored outside of the container. Let's demonstrate this by mapping the application log to a directory on the host system.

First, add a logback configuration to the application:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <include resource="org/springframework/boot/logging/logback/base.xml"/>
    <appender name="FILE" class="ch.qos.logback.core.FileAppender">
            <pattern>%-7d{yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss:SSS} %m%n</pattern>

    <root level="INFO">
        <appender-ref ref="FILE" />

Then modify your Dockerfile to use it:

FROM openjdk:8-jre-alpine

COPY spring-boot-app-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.war /app.war

COPY logback.xml /logback.xml

CMD ["/usr/bin/java", "-jar", "-Dspring.profiles.active=default", 
  "-Dlogging.config=/logback.xml", "/app.war"]

You're copying the logback.xml into the image, and adding the logging configuration to the command line.

The logging configuration places the application logs in /var/log/Application/.

Rebuild the image:

$ docker build -t spring-boot-app:latest .
Sending build context to Docker daemon  131.1MB
Step 1/4 : FROM openjdk:8-jre-alpine
 ---> c529fb7782f9
Step 2/4 : COPY target/spring-boot-app-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.war /app.war
 ---> Using cache
 ---> d19bfa9fdfa7
Step 3/4 : COPY src/main/resources/logback.xml /logback.xml
 ---> Using cache
 ---> d62f97d9900d
Step 4/4 : CMD ["/usr/bin/java", "-jar", "-Dspring.profiles.active=default", 
  "-Dlogging.config=/logback.xml", "/app.war"]
 ---> Using cache
 ---> fb9139a8c8b8
Successfully built fb9139a8c8b8
Successfully tagged spring-boot-app:latest

Docker didn't download the openjdk:8-jre-alpine image since docker has it cached locally.

Look at the build command. You specify an image tag with -t. This is the same tag that you pass to docker run. You provide the working directory last.

Now, you need to map the directory to a directory on the host when you run our container:

$ docker run -d -v /var/log/app:/var/log/Application/ 
  -p 8080:8080 spring-boot-app:latest

The -v option maps /var/log/app on our host system to /var/log/Application/ in the container.

When you run this command, you can see a log file created in the mapped directory.

You've been letting dockerassign names to your containers. You can override this with -name:

$ docker run -d --name bootapp -v /var/log/app:/var/log/Application/ 
  -p 8080:8080 spring-boot-app:latest
$ docker ps
IMAGE                    STATUS         PORTS                    NAMES
spring-boot-app:latest   Up 2 seconds>8080/tcp   bootapp

Adding Packages

When you looked at your image's history, you saw the command for adding the jre to Alpine. You can add packages to Alpine in your Dockerfile, too. Let's add bash to the container.

First, add the APK command to our Dockerfile:

# Alpine Linux with OpenJDK JRE
FROM openjdk:8-jre-alpine
RUN apk add --no-cache bash

# Copy WAR
COPY spring-boot-app-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.war /app.war

# copy fat WAR
COPY logback.xml /logback.xml

# runs application
CMD ["/usr/bin/java", "-jar", "-Dspring.profiles.active=default", 
  "-Dlogging.config=/logback.xml", "/app.war"]

Then build the image with the same directives as before:

$ docker build -t spring-boot-app:latest .
Sending build context to Docker daemon     40MB
Step 1/5 : FROM openjdk:8-jre-alpine
 ---> c529fb7782f9
Step 2/5 : RUN apk add --no-cache bash
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 3b0c475c9bd0
Step 3/5 : COPY spring-boot-ops.war /app.war
 ---> c03bd6c6ace5
Step 4/5 : COPY logback.xml /logback.xml
 ---> b2f899ebec17
Step 5/5 : CMD ["/usr/bin/java", "-jar", "-Dspring.profiles.active=default", 
  "-Dlogging.config=/logback.xml", "/app.war"]
 ---> Running in 3df30746d7a8
Removing intermediate container 3df30746d7a8
 ---> cbbfb596a092
Successfully built cbbfb596a092
Successfully tagged spring-boot-app:latest

The output is a little different this time. You can see where bash was installed in step two.

Finally, after you run the container, you can shell in with bash:

$ docker exec -it bootapp bash
bash-4.4# ls
app.war      etc          logback.xml  proc         sbin         tmp
bin          home         media        root         srv          usr
dev          lib          mnt          run          sys          var

Passing Command Line Variables

So far, you've been running the Spring Boot application with the active profile set to default. You may want to build a single jar with different profiles and then select the correct one at runtime. Let's modify our image to accept the active profile as a command line argument.

First, create a shell script in the docker directory that runs the web application:


java -Dspring.profiles.active=$1 -Dlogging.config=/logback.xml -jar /app.war

This script accepts a single argument and uses it as the name of the active profile.

Then, modify your Dockerfile to use this script to run the application:

# Alpine Linux with OpenJDK JRE
FROM openjdk:8-jre-alpine
RUN apk add --no-cache bash

# copy fat WAR
COPY spring-boot-app-1.0.0-SNAPSHOT.war /app.war

# copy fat WAR
COPY logback.xml /logback.xml

COPY run.sh /run.sh

ENTRYPOINT ["/run.sh"]

Dockerfile offers two mechanisms for starting a container; the ENTRYPOINT and the CMDSimply put, the ENTRYPOINT is the program that is executed to start the container and CMD is the argument passed to that program.

The default  ENTRYPOINT is/bin/sh -c. Until now, you were passing your Java command array to a shell.

Now, the dockerfile is copying the script to the image and then defining as the image's ENTRYPOINTThere is no CMD.

Build this image and then run it with dev as the final argument on the command line:

$ docker run -d --name bootapp -v /var/log/app:/var/log/Application/ 
  -p 8080:8080 spring-boot-app:latest dev

And then take a look at the logs for the active profile:

$ grep profiles /var/log/webapp/application.log
2018-06-11 00:33:50:016 The following profiles are active: dev

You can see that the profile setting was passed into the JVM.

Publishing Images

We've only used the image on your development system. Eventually, you'll want to distribute it to clients or production systems. This is done with a registry, where images are pushed with a name and tag and then pulled when they are run as containers. You saw this in action at the start of this tutorial when docker pulled the hello-world image for you.

The first step is to create an account on Docker Cloud. Go and create an account there if you don't already have one.

Next, log in to the Docker registry on our development system:

$ docker login
Username: baeldung
Login Succeeded

Next, tag the image. The format for tags is username/repository:tag. Tags and repository names are effectively freeform.

Tag the image and then list the images on your system to see the tag:

$ docker tag spring-boot-app baeldung/spring-boot-app:.0.0.1
$ docker image ls
REPOSITORY                         TAG               IMAGE ID        CREATED             SIZE
spring-boot-app                    latest            f20d5002c78e    24 minutes ago      132MB
baeldung/spring-boot-app   1.00              f20d5002c78e    24 minutes ago      132MB
openjdk                            8-jre-alpine      c529fb7782f9    4 days ago          82MB

Note that the new image tag and the original image have the same image ID and size. Tags don't create new copies of images. They're pointers.

Now you can push the image to Docker Hub:

$ docker push baeldung/spring-boot-app:.0.0.1
The push refers to repository [docker.io/baeldung/spring-boot-app]
8bfb0f145ab3: Pushed
2e0170d39ba4: Pushed
789b0cedce1e: Pushed
f58f29c8ecaa: Pushed
cabb207275ad: Mounted from library/openjdk
a8cc3712c14a: Mounted from library/openjdk
cd7100a72410: Mounted from library/openjdk
1.00: digest: sha256:4c00fe46080f1e94d6de90717f1086f03cea06f7984cb8d6ea5dbc525e3ecf27 size: 1784

docker push accepts a tag name and pushes it to the default repository, which is Docker Hub.

Now, if you visit your account area on hub.docker.com, you can see the new repository, the image, and the tag.

Now you can pull the image down and run it on any system:

$ docker run -d --name bootapp -v /var/log/app:/var/log/Application/ 
  -p 8080:8080 ericgoebelbecker/spring-boot-app:.0.0.1 dev 
Unable to find image 'baeldung/spring-boot-ops:1.00' locally
1.00: Pulling from baeldung/spring-boot-ops
b0568b191983: Pull complete
55a7da9473ae: Pull complete
422d2e7f1272: Pull complete
3292695f8261: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:4c00fe46080f1e94d6de90717f1086f03cea06f7984cb8d6ea5dbc525e3ecf27 
Status: Downloaded newer image for baeldung/spring-boot-app:.0.0.1

This is the output of run on a different system from the one I built on. Similar to the way you ran hello-world, you passed the image tag to docker run. And since the image was not available locally, Docker pulled it from Docker Hub, assembled it, and ran it.


Docker is a robust platform for building, managing, and running containerized applications. In this tutorial, we installed the tools, packaged a Spring Boot application, looked at how we can manage containers and images, and then added some improvements to our application.

Finally, we published our image to Docker Hub, where it can be downloaded and run on any Docker-enabled host.

Now that you understand the basics keep experimenting and see how you can use Docker to package and distribute your Java applications.

As always, the source code for this tutorial is available over on GitHub.

Join us in exploring application and infrastructure changes required for running scalable, observable, and portable apps on Kubernetes.

cloud ,docker ,java ,docker images ,docker application

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