Docker is a powerful platform for developing, shipping, and running applications in containers. Spring Boot, a popular framework for building Java applications, pairs exceptionally well with Docker. Containerizing your Spring Boot application allows for consistent and reproducible deployments. In this guide, we'll explore how to containerize a Spring Boot application using Docker, complete with sample code and detailed explanations.


Before you start, make sure you have the following prerequisites:

  • A Spring Boot application (if you don't have one, follow the "Building a Spring Boot Web Application" guide)
  • Docker installed on your development machine. You can download it from the Docker Desktop website.
  • An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like Spring Tool Suite, IntelliJ IDEA, or Visual Studio Code

Why Containerize Your Spring Boot App?

Containerization offers several advantages for Spring Boot applications:

  • Consistency: Containers encapsulate your application and its dependencies, ensuring consistency across different environments.
  • Portability: Containers can run on any system that supports Docker, making it easy to move your application between development, testing, and production environments.
  • Isolation: Containers provide isolation, preventing conflicts between different applications or services running on the same host.
  • Scalability: Containers can be easily scaled up or down to handle changes in traffic or demand.

Creating a Dockerfile

To containerize your Spring Boot application, you need to create a Dockerfile. Here's a sample Dockerfile for a Spring Boot app:

# Use an official OpenJDK runtime as a parent image
FROM openjdk:11-jre-slim
# Set the working directory to /app
# Copy the current directory contents into the container at /app
COPY . /app
# Make port 8080 available to the world outside this container
# Define environment variable
ENV NAME SpringBootApp
# Run the JAR file
CMD ["java", "-jar", "your-app.jar"]

This Dockerfile uses the official OpenJDK image as the base, copies your Spring Boot application into the container, exposes port 8080, sets an environment variable, and specifies the command to run your application.

Building and Running Your Docker Image

To build and run your Docker image, follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal and navigate to the directory containing your Dockerfile and Spring Boot JAR file.
  2. Run the following commands:
    • docker build -t your-app . (Builds your Docker image)
    • docker run -p 8080:8080 your-app (Runs your containerized Spring Boot app)
  3. Your Spring Boot application should now be accessible at http://localhost:8080.


Containerizing your Spring Boot application with Docker is a smart choice for ensuring consistency, portability, and scalability. This guide introduced the benefits of containerization, how to create a Dockerfile, and the steps to build and run your Docker image. As you explore this approach further, you'll find it streamlines the deployment and management of your Spring Boot applications.