There may not be such thing as a ready-made, one-fits-all Magnolia container image; yet there is a common pattern.

This is what we summarize in a few steps, in this cookbook. It is not perfect admittedly, but fairly straightforward.

Magnolia Docker cookbook
  • Pick an image to start FROM 
    • A good choice is a tomcat image. It has the least setup hassle.
    • Alternatively AdoptOpenJDK images are gaining popularity
      —they exist in various versions and OS/distros (alpine (warning), debian, ubuntu, ubi (redhat), windows);
      • Then provision tomcat or alternative app server
        —be it via package-managers, plain download or COPY --from 
    • Lastly, distroless images might be an option too, in case no package manager nor shell is required; beware managing native dependencies can become challenging.
  • Configure Magnolia environment, best via tomcat's setenv.sh  & CATALINA_OPTS 
    • set magnolia.properties as system properties e.g. -Dmagnolia.repositories.home , -Dmagnolia.resources.dir 
    • set JVM options, such as memory settings, also as CATALINA_OPTS
  • Consider Docker volumes for the repository (Jackrabbit index), light-modules, content-importer if needed 
  • Provision JDBC drivers if you are using an external DB
  • Include your Magnolia webapp war 
    • include project-specific config (publishing key-pairs, receivers config)

Upcoming plans

While Magnolia currently does not offer/support any official Docker image, we intend to improve Magnolia developer & DevOps experience with Docker:

  • first off, provide official guidelines and documentation; this cookbook is a start (smile), likely also for composing an author/public setup

    • clarify the existing, non-supported, Magnolia Docker artifacts on GitHub and Docker Hub

  • consider a default image suitable for light development

  • facilitate externalized configuration (whether YAML and/or properties files, shouldn't matter)

  • we do not foresee publishing a large array of Magnolia ✕ OS/JDK version/vendor combinations (rather few build arguments instead), which is why a cookbook matters.


The cookbook certainly misses few tips and tricks, pitfalls, etc. Do let us know in the comments so we can improve!

Known issues

  • DX Core on alpine doesn't work currently: native libs required for AI-based functionality are incompatible. CE should work.