Fabric8 Documentation

Docker Containers

Fabric8 can use docker to create new containers; allowing you to reuse the power of docker.

Docker has all the benefits of virtualisation but without any of the I/O, CPU or memory performance costs. It basically re-uses a single host Linux installation and lets you run separate docker containers in what appears to be a sandboxed virtual machine; when in reality it's using various Linux technologies like lightweight containers, namespaces, process groups and copy-on-write file systems to simulate virtualiastion.

So Docker makes it super easy to distribute containers and create them quickly.


To be able to try Docker with Fabric8 you need to install docker on the machine you are running a fabric8 container.

The DOCKER_HOST environment variable should point to the URL to connect to docker. From docker 1.0 or later this is usually something like:

export DOCKER_HOST=tcp://$(boot2docker ip 2>/dev/null):2375

e.g. on a Mac the value of DOCKER_HOST is often something like tcp:// Fabric8 uses the DOCKER_HOST environment variable to know where the Docker Remote API is located.

TLS is enabled on the docker service in boot2docker 1.3 and later. This means setting additional environment variables. This can be easily done by running:

$(boot2docker shellinit)

in your current shell.

If running on Linux, please refer to docker documentation on how to bind Docker to a host/port or a Unix socket.

Security Warning

Binding the Docker service to a public-facing network interface is a major security risk. Anyone with access to the Docker Remote API effectively has complete control of the Docker host.

Once installed you should be able to run commands like:

docker ps

The default docker container image for fabric8 is fabric8/fabric8

To locally install the main 3 docker images for fabric8 type this:

docker pull fabric8/fabric8
docker pull fabric8/fabric8-java
docker pull fabric8/fabric8-tomcat

In addition it is useful to set these 2 environment variables:

export FABRIC8_PROFILES=docker

The FABRIC8_GLOBAL_RESOLVER environment variable ensures that the IP resolver will be used; which is useful if you are not using linux and so are using Docker via some virtualisation (e.g. on OS X or Windows) where you often cannot communicate with your host machine's host name from inside the docker container.

The FABRIC8_PROFILES environment variable just enables the docker profile on startup; so you can create docker containers via the web console and can use the docker web tooling (based on dockerui).

Using Fabric8 and Docker

Fabric8 lets you create containers using the docker container provider; which under the covers uses the Docker Remote API to create/start/stop/kill containers.

You need to be careful to ensure that any docker container can connect to the IP/host names you are using to create your ZooKeeper cluster.

So create a fabric using the following command (feel free to use a different username / password and different IP address for the current machine ;):

fabric:create --new-user admin --new-user-password admin --wait-for-provisioning --resolver manualip -m --profile docker

Note that the docker profile needs to be added to the container you'll use to create new docker containers (which would be the root container if you are using your laptop).

Now when you try to create a container in the web console (hawtio) it will by default choose the docker container provider. You just need to choose a container name and one or more profiles and away you go.

Once you've created a container, it should appear if you type the following on the command line:

docker ps

Other than that; the container should appear like any other container (e.g. like a child/ssh/openshift/cloud container).

Docker image for Java containers

Fabric8 uses fabric8/fabric8-java image to create dockerized Java containers. You can start an empty Java container using the following shell command:

docker run -P -i -t fabric8/fabric8-java /bin/bash

After the application is deployed into the Dockerized Java container, the latter contains the main jar of that application together with all its transitive dependencies. Mentioned jars are kept in the /home/fabric8/lib directory. Application is started using the /home/fabric8/startup.sh script.

how to ssh into a docker container

If your docker based container doesn't start up you probably want to ssh into it and have a look around. Luckily the fabric8/fabric8 container comes with sshd enabled by default.

If you type:

docker ps

you should see the port mappings for each docker container. For example you may see something like this in the PORTS section....>22/tcp

This means that from outside the docker container; you need to use port 49001 to access port 22 inside the container. Note this number changes for each container; outside of each docker container there are different ports that forward to the 22 port.

So if the port number is 49001 then you can type something like this:

ssh [email protected] -p 49001

As Paulo mentioned you may find this alias useful to avoid ssh warnings when it notices you are connecting to the same ip address that has a fingerprints different than the last time

alias sshf="ssh -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no -o PreferredAuthentications=password [email protected]"
sshf -p 49001

how to check container logs as they start

You can also ssh into the docker container and use a regular tail as follows (see above for the sshf alias)

sshf -p 49001 tail -f fabric8/data/log/karaf.log

If things are not working - or if you wanna check the logs before the containers are active (and so before you can use the web console), a neat trick is; from the host VM (which on OS X or Windows may be the boot2docker VM) do this:

# if not on linux
boot2docker ssh

sudo bash
cd /var/lib/docker/containers
ls -al
tail -f $container/$container-json.log

you can then tail the log output of the given container log (which is json which includes each output line).

How to use a different docker container image

When you create a profile; you can include a io.fabric8.docker.provider.properties file like this one which can specify the docker container image to create via the image property.

You can also override the default value of fabric8/fabric8, for example to use fabric8:fabric8 if you wish to use a local build of the container, and putting that value in the io.fabric8.docker.provider.properties file inside the docker profile which is used by default if there is no io.fabric8.docker.provider.properties file in any of the profiles being created.

You can also use the FABRIC8_DOCKER_DEFAULT_IMAGE environment variable if you prefer to change this outside of the configuration.

Some docker hints and tips

If a docker container is stopped; its still around until you remove it. So remember you can type

docker ps -a

to see them all.

To start/stop/kill/rm all containers you can use a command line this (replace "docker stop" with "docker kill" or "docker kill" as required):

docker stop $(docker ps -a -q)