do I run Jenkins as a docker container? In this guide we are going to explore how to achieve that using docker and simplifying the process using docker compose.
Docker is a set of platform as a service products that use OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers. Containers are isolated from one another and bundle their own software, libraries and configuration files; they can communicate with each other through well-defined channels.
Docker Compose is a tool for defining and running multi-container Docker applications. With Compose, you use a YAML file to configure your application’s services. Then, with a single command, you create and start all the services from your configuration. Docker Compose file provides a way to document and configure all of the application’s service dependencies (databases, queues, caches, web service APIs, etc). Using the Compose command line tool you can create and start one or more containers for each dependency with a single command
Docker runs processes in isolated containers. A container is a process which runs on a host. The host may be local or remote. When an operator executes
docker run, the container process that runs is isolated in that it has its own file system, its own networking, and its own isolated process tree separate from the host.
To follow along, ensure that you have the following:
- Docker installed locally or in the host server that you are using
- Access to docker and ability to run docker commands that create containers
- Internet access to download docker images
Table of content
- Running using
- Running using
- Accessing the jenkins UI
1. Running using
docker run command
So I want to run the latest version of Jenkins as a container in a detached mode, while mounting the Jenkins home path so the data can persist restarts.
docker run -d \ --name my-jenkins \ -p 8099:8080 \ --restart=on-failure:10 \ -v ~/apps/jenkins:/var/jenkins_home \ jenkins/jenkins:latest
This is an explanation of the above used flags:
-dinstructs docker to run the container in a detached mode. If this command is not used, the container will be run as a blocking process in the current terminal session.
--namegives the container a meaningful name. If it is not used a random name will be used.
-pthis is used to mount the container ports to the host. In our case, the container port
8080is mapped to the localhost
--restartargument is used to instruct docker to restart the container if it fails for any reason. The value supplied
on-failure:10means that the container will only be restarted if there is a failure and that it will only happen 10 times before docker gives up.
-vis used to map container paths to local path. Containers are ephemeral services that don’t persist state. When a container stops or restarts all the data will be lost. Mounting a volume this way ensures that the data is saved in the local path that can be re-used when the container restarts. In our case, we are mounting Jenkins home
/var/jenkins_homewhere Jenkins data is stored to local path
- Lastly, the
jenkins/jenkins:latestdefines the image to be used. We are using the
jenkins/jenkinsimage, fetching the latest tag. If you have a specific version of jenkins that you want to use you can specify it with
This is the output of the above command in my terminal:
❯ docker run -d \ --name my-jenkins \ -p 8099:8080 \ --restart=on-failure:10 \ -v ~/apps/jenkins:/var/jenkins_home \ jenkins/jenkins:latest Unable to find image 'jenkins/jenkins:latest' locally latest: Pulling from jenkins/jenkins 955615a668ce: Pull complete cd7e184186ab: Pull complete 0fb38fc696f5: Pull complete b3586488ea64: Pull complete 671c689e6abc: Pull complete 37ba6b191a9b: Pull complete 2f8e68e4f802: Pull complete 814bd5b7da6c: Pull complete 9d9ec91cbbba: Pull complete cd9bf0229526: Pull complete 5b0ef807075b: Pull complete 3631bbdd3b86: Pull complete a2871ddb67d1: Pull complete 9c69392dbfe4: Pull complete 70c625a6825d: Pull complete 5dc6266a42a7: Pull complete 38a2ace6a021: Pull complete Digest: sha256:67494cdb3f078e9194320cf861d7449b7f2fe55d73861710f42d4650e3df2c98 Status: Downloaded newer image for jenkins/jenkins:latest 40a7a23b2fa16d467dd8c1987edb20408977fedcba8108a9426df7ee4e5f643b
Now that the container is running, let us check the processes:
❯ docker ps CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS PORTS NAMES 2b3b69e01102 jenkins/jenkins:latest "/sbin/tini -- /usr/…" 8 seconds ago Up 8 seconds 50000/tcp, 0.0.0.0:8099->8080/tcp, :::8099->8080/tcp my-jenkins
Logging in and running commands:
➜ docker exec -it my-jenkins /bin/bash [email protected]:/$ cat /var/jenkins_home/secrets/initialAdminPassword 102dc64be5b84383adaf28709c04e3f9 [email protected]:/$
➜ docker exec -it my-jenkins cat /var/jenkins_home/secrets/initialAdminPassword 102dc64be5b84383adaf28709c04e3f9
Tail follow logs:
docker logs 2b3b69e01102 -f
First, stop the container:
➜ docker stop my-jenkins my-jenkins
Then remove the stopped container:
➜ docker rm my-jenkins my-jenkins
2. Running using
This docker-compose yaml code achieves the same functionality in a codified way. This is advantageous as you can check it in a source code management system.
Save it as
version: '3.9' services: jenkins: restart: on-failure:10 image: jenkins/jenkins:latest container_name: my-jenkins ports: - 8099:8080 volumes: - ~/apps/jenkins:/var/jenkins_home
➜ docker-compose up -d Creating my-jenkins ... done
This will bring up the Jenkins container in a detached mode.
Check docker processes:
❯ docker-compose ps Name Command State Ports --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- my-jenkins /sbin/tini -- /usr/local/b ... Up 50000/tcp, 0.0.0.0:8099->8080/tcp,:::8099->8080/tcp
To execute commands, use the
exec. Example how to get the default password:
➜ docker-compose exec jenkins /bin/bash [email protected]:/$ cat /var/jenkins_home/secrets/initialAdminPassword 62ac442a3d334221a60cb5b2157a6149 [email protected]:/$
➜ docker-compose exec jenkins cat /var/jenkins_home/secrets/initialAdminPassword 62ac442a3d334221a60cb5b2157a6149
Tail follow logs:
docker-compose logs -f
Stop the containers:
❯ docker-compose stop Stopping my-jenkins ... done
Then remove them, you will be prompted to confirm:
➜ docker-compose rm Going to remove my-jenkins Are you sure? [yN] y Removing my-jenkins ... done
3. Accessing the Jenkins UI
Now that we have our Jenkins running, we can access it in the UI using the server or local IP and the port that we mounted (in our case 8099).
Once the server is up, use the command to get the password and click Continue.
docker-compose exec jenkins cat /var/jenkins_home/secrets/initialAdminPassword
You should be able to set up and use your Jenkins now.
Up to this point, we managed to set up Jenkins using docker while persisting the data in a locally mounted volume.
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