Spring Boot Micro Services In Docker

Building a RESTful Web Service with Spring Boot Actuator is a great example of building a very simple micro service using Spring Boot Actuator. In this article we will go on to package that service into a Docker container.

Firstly we need to clone the source code from the original article:

$ git clone https://github.com/spring-guides/gs-actuator-service.git
$ cd gs-actuator-service/complete/

Build it using gradle:

$ ./gradlew clean assemble

Or with maven:

$ mvn package -DskipTests=true

We need to create a Dockerfile that we will use to build a docker image of the service as follows:

FROM java:8
COPY target/gs-actuator-service-0.1.0.jar /
ENTRYPOINT ["java", \
           "-Djava.security.egd=file:/dev/urandom", \
           "-jar", \
           "gs-actuator-service-0.1.0.jar", \

A couple of notes on the Dockerfile:

  • We are using the official Java 8 docker image as our base and copying our jar into the root directory of the image. If you used gradle instead of maven replace target/gs-actuator-service-0.1.0.jar with build/libs/gs-actuator-service-0.1.0.jar
  • We are using /dev/urandom as explained by this article to avoid issues in slow Tomcat startup when there is insufficient entropy (also the reason why we skipped the tests when building above)
  • We expose the service on port 80. When managing more than a couple of containers it is much simpler to just use standard ports.

Using your favourite editor put the Dockerfile in the complete directory, and build a docker image as follows:

docker build -t gsa .

Our image has been created an has been tagged as ‘gsa’:

$ docker images
gsa        latest 6acbba251766 4 seconds ago 683.1 MB

We can run the image using docker run as follows:

docker run --name gsa -d gsa

We can find the IP address being used by the gsa container by running docker inspect:

$ docker inspect \
    --format={{.NetworkSettings.IPAddress}} gsa

In this case our ‘gsa’ container has been given as its IP address. We can make a HTTP request for /hello-world from our new service with the following:


Be sure to replace IP address, with the output that your docker host gives you on docker inspect.

In response you will get something like:

{"id":1,"content":"Hello, Stranger!"}

Congratulations! You now have a Spring Boot Actuator Micro Service running inside a Docker container.

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