Dockerizing a Spring Boot Application: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dockerizing your Spring Boot application can provide numerous benefits, including consistent deployment environments, ease of scaling, and simplified dependency management. This guide will walk you through the process of creating a Docker image for your Spring Boot application and running it in a Docker container.


  • JDK 17 or later
  • Maven or Gradle
  • Docker installed on your machine
  • IDE (IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, etc.)

Step 1: Set Up a Spring Boot Project

Use Spring Initializr to create a new project with the following configuration:

  • Project: Maven Project
  • Language: Java
  • Spring Boot: 3.2.x
  • Dependencies: Spring Web

Download and unzip the project, then open it in your IDE.

Example Spring Boot Application

Create a simple Spring Boot application that includes a REST controller.

1.1 Application Class

package com.example.demo;

import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;

public class DemoApplication {

    public static void main(String[] args) {, args);

1.2 REST Controller

Create a REST controller class named HelloController in the com.example.demo.controller package.

package com.example.demo.controller;

import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.GetMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;

public class HelloController {

    public String hello() {
        return "Hello, Docker!";

1.3 Maven Configuration

Ensure that your pom.xml is configured correctly. The default configuration provided by Spring Initializr should suffice.

    <!-- Additional dependencies can be added here -->


Step 2: Create a Dockerfile

A Dockerfile is a script that contains instructions to assemble a Docker image.

2.1 Create a Dockerfile

Create a file named Dockerfile in the root directory of your project.

# Use the official OpenJDK base image
FROM openjdk:17-jdk-alpine

# Set the working directory inside the container

# Copy the built jar file into the container
COPY target/demo-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.jar app.jar

# Expose port 8080

# Run the application
ENTRYPOINT ["java", "-jar", "app.jar"]


  • FROM openjdk:17-jdk-alpine: Uses the official OpenJDK base image with JDK 17.
  • WORKDIR /app: Sets the working directory inside the container to /app.
  • COPY target/demo-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.jar app.jar: Copies the built jar file from the target directory into the container.
  • EXPOSE 8080: Exposes port 8080 to the host.
  • ENTRYPOINT ["java", "-jar", "app.jar"]: Specifies the command to run the application.

Step 3: Build the Spring Boot Application

3.1 Build the Jar File

Run the following command to build the jar file of your Spring Boot application:

./mvnw clean package

This command will generate a jar file in the target directory, for example, target/demo-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.jar.

Step 4: Build the Docker Image

4.1 Build the Docker Image

Run the following command to build the Docker image:

docker build -t demo-app .


  • docker build: The Docker command to build an image.
  • -t demo-app: Tags the image with the name demo-app.
  • .: Specifies the current directory as the build context.

Step 5: Run the Docker Container

5.1 Run the Docker Container

Run the following command to start a Docker container from the image:

docker run -p 8080:8080 demo-app


  • docker run: The Docker command to run a container.
  • -p 8080:8080: Maps port 8080 of the container to port 8080 on the host machine.
  • demo-app: The name of the Docker image to run.

Step 6: Test the Application

6.1 Access the Application

Open a web browser or a tool like Postman and navigate to the following URL:


You should see the message "Hello, Docker!" returned from the HelloController.

Step 7: Additional Docker Commands

7.1 List Docker Images

To list all Docker images on your system, run:

docker images

7.2 List Running Containers

To list all running Docker containers, run:

docker ps

7.3 Stop a Running Container

To stop a running Docker container, run:

docker stop <container_id>

Replace <container_id> with the actual container ID obtained from the docker ps command.

7.4 Remove a Docker Container

To remove a Docker container, run:

docker rm <container_id>

Replace <container_id> with the actual container ID.

7.5 Remove a Docker Image

To remove a Docker image, run:

docker rmi demo-app


In this guide, you have learned how to dockerize a Spring Boot application. We covered:

  • Setting up a Spring Boot project.
  • Creating a Dockerfile.
  • Building the Spring Boot application.
  • Building the Docker image.
  • Running the Docker container.
  • Testing the application.

By following these steps, you can easily package your Spring Boot application into a Docker container, providing a consistent and portable deployment environment.