Building a sample IBM Integration Bus image using Docker

You can build a sample IBM® Integration Bus Docker image.

About this task

To run IBM Integration Bus in a Docker container, you must first build a base image containing an installation of IBM Integration Bus, by following the steps described in this topic. You can, alternatively, download an image of the IBM Integration Bus for Developers edition from and run this in a Docker container.

A Dockerfile is a set of instructions for building a Docker image. Images can be stored in local or remote registries, and are used to create a running Docker container. To build the image, Docker executes the instructions in the Dockerfile. Each instruction causes a new image layer to be created. Docker best practice guidelines recommend that you keep the number of Dockerfile instructions to a minimum, because the number of layers in an image might be limited. The guidelines, which are available at, suggest that you “find the balance between readability (and thus long-term maintainability) of the Dockerfile and minimizing the number of layers it uses. Be strategic and cautious about the number of layers you use.”

The FROM instruction takes advantage of the layering capability in Docker images; for example, an IBM Integration Bus image could be built on top of an Ubuntu image. You could also build IBM Integration Bus images that build on top of images containing IBM MQ.

The following GitHub repository contains a Dockerfile and some scripts that show one way in which you can build an IBM Integration Bus Docker image:


The following steps show how to build a sample base image, using scripts that are hosted on GitHub:

  1. Build the image using standard Docker commands against the supplied Dockerfile.
    For example:
    docker build -t iibv10image .
    This command creates an image called iibv10image, which occupies approximately 1.15GB of space (including the size of the underlying Ubuntu base image) in your local Docker registry, as shown in the following example:
    REPOSITORY     TAG       IMAGE ID        CREATED          SIZE
    iibv10image    latest    b8403ecfcd0d    2 seconds ago    1.15GB
    ubuntu         14.04     132b7427a3b4    3 weeks ago      188MB

    The built image contains a full installation of IBM Integration Bus for Developers at the latest fix pack level.

  2. After building a Docker image from the supplied files, you can run a container that will create and start an integration node, to which you can deploy integration solutions. To run a container from this image, complete the following steps:
    1. Accept the terms of the IBM Integration Bus for Developers license, by specifying the environment variable LICENSE equal to accept when running the image.
      You can also view the license terms by setting this variable to view. Failure to set the variable will result in the termination of the container with a usage statement. You can view the license in a different language by setting the LANG environment variable.
    2. Optional: In addition to accepting the license, you can specify an integration node name using the NODENAME environment variable.
    3. Configure the ports for integration node administration and integration server HTTP traffic.
      By default, the Dockerfile exposes port 4414 for integration node administration, and port 7800 for integration server HTTP traffic. This means that you can run with the -P flag to auto-map these ports to ports on your host. Alternatively, you can use -p to expose and map any ports of your choice.
      For example, the following command runs a container that creates and starts an integration node called MYNODE, and exposes ports 4414 and 7800 on random ports on the host machine:
      docker run --name myNode -e LICENSE=accept -e NODENAME=MYNODE -P iibv10image
      You can now use the following command to see which ports have been mapped, and then connect to the web user interface for the integration node in the usual way:
      docker port <container name>
  3. You can now run IBM Integration Bus administration commands by using either of the following methods:
    • Run the commands directly in a container, by attaching a Bash session to your container and executing your commands in the usual way:
      docker exec -it <container name> /bin/bash

      At this point you will be in a shell inside the container and can source mqsiprofile and run your commands.

    • Use Docker exec to run a non-interactive Bash session that runs any of the IBM Integration Bus commands. For example:
      docker exec <container name> /bin/bash -c mqsilist 
  4. Optional: This image also configures syslog, so, when you run a container, your node will output messages to /var/log/syslog, inside the container. You can access this by attaching a Bash session (as described above) or by using the docker exec.
    For example:
    docker exec <container name> tail -f /var/log/syslog
  5. Verify that your container is running correctly, by completing the following steps:
    1. Run the container, ensuring that you expose port 4414 to the host.
    2. Run the mqsilist command to display the status of your integration node, and check that it is listed as running.
    3. Access the syslog and check that there are no errors.
    4. Connect a browser to your host on the port that you exposed in step 1. The IBM Integration Bus web user interface is displayed.