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Version: 2.0.x

Tutorial: How to Deploy a ZIO Application Using Docker?


Docker is a tool that allows us to package, ship, and run our applications in an isolated environment called a container. Using Docker, we can simplify the deployment process by isolating our applications in their own container and abstracting them from the host environment.

In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to build a Docker image for our ZIO application and then how to deploy it. Instead of writing the Dockerfile from scratch, we will use the sbt-native-packager to build our Docker image.

Running The Examples

In this quickstart, we developed a web service containing 4 different HTTP Applications. Now in this article, we want to dockerize this web application.

To access the code examples, you can clone the ZIO Quickstarts project:

$ git clone 
$ cd zio-quickstarts/zio-quickstart-restful-webservice-dockerize


Before we can dockerize our web service, we need to download and install Docker. So we assume that the reader has already installed Docker.

Adding SBT Native Packager Plugin

The sbt-native-packager is an sbt plugin that enables us an easy way to package the application as a docker image and deploy that as a docker container.

First, we need to add the plugin to our project/plugins.sbt file:

addSbtPlugin("com.github.sbt" % "sbt-native-packager" % "1.9.9")

Now it's time to enable the JavaAppPackaging and DockerPlugin plugins. So we need to add the following lines in the build.sbt file:


Building The Docker Image

The DockerPlugin plugin of sbt-native-packager is responsible for configuring and building the docker image. We can run the following command to build the docker image:

$ sbt docker:publishLocal

After the docker image is built, we can run the docker images command to see the list of images that are currently available in the local docker registry:

$ docker images
zio-quickstart-restful-webservice 0.1.0 c9ae81ee8fa6 17 hours ago 558MB

Note that, to see the generated Dockerfile we can use the docker:stage command:

$ sbt docker:stage

The Dockerfile will be generated in the target/docker/stage directory.

Deploying The Docker Image

Now we can create a new container from this image by using the docker run command:

$ docker run -p 80:800 zio-quickstart-restful-webservice:0.1.0

Using the -p flag, we can specify the port that the container will listen to. As the web service is running on port 8080, we bind this port to the host port 80. Therefore, we can access the web service from the host machine through the port 80:

$ curl -i "http://localhost/greet?name=Jane&name=John"
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
content-type: text/plain
content-length: 20

Hello Jane and John!

Configuring The Docker Image

By default, the sbt-native-packager plugin will build the docker image using some predefined settings. So without any configuration we can use the sbt docker:publish or sbt docker:publishLocal commands to build and publish the docker image to the remote or local docker registry.

However, it is possible to configure the docker image, and it has lots of options to configure. We can find the list of available options in the sbt-native-packager documentation.

Exposing Container Ports

For example, when we build a docker image, we can specify which ports the container will listen to, by using the EXPOSE instruction in the Dockerfile. In the similar way, we can expose the ports using sbt-native-packager, by using the dockerExposedPorts setting in the build.sbt file:

dockerExposedPorts := Seq(8080)

Now, when we build the docker image and create a container from it, the new container has the port 8080 exposed. So when we run the docker ps command, we can see that the new container has the port 8080 exposed under the PORTS column:

$ docker ps
29982b053379 zio-quickstart-restful-webservice:0.1.0 "/opt/docker/bin/zio…" 3 seconds ago Up 2 seconds 8080/tcp bold_liskov

Publishing The Docker Image to a Remote Registry

In a CI/CD pipeline, we might want to publish the docker image to a remote registry other than the local registry. We can do this by configuring the dockerUsername and dockerRepository settings in the build.sbt file:

dockerUsername := sys.props.get("docker.username")
dockerRepository := sys.props.get("docker.registry")

Now, we can use the following command to publish the docker image to the remote registry:

$ export DOCKER_USERNAME=<username>  // e.g: johndoe
$ export DOCKER_REGISTRY=<registry> // e.g:
$ sbt -Ddocker.username=$NAMESPACE -Ddocker.registry=$DOCKER_REGISTRY docker:publish


In this tutorial, we learned how to build a docker image using sbt-native-packager, and how to deploy the docker image to the local or remote Docker registry.

All the source code associated with this article is available on the ZIO Quickstart on Github.