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  • Writer's pictureSuraj Dhakre

Easiest Way To Run Jenkins With Docker


Jenkins and Docker are two powerful tools that can greatly enhance the development and deployment process. Jenkins is an open-source automation server that allows developers to automate various tasks such as building, testing, and deploying software. Docker, on the other hand, is a containerization platform that allows developers to package their applications and dependencies into lightweight, portable containers. When used together, Jenkins and Docker can provide numerous benefits for developers and organizations. This article will explore the benefits of running Jenkins with Docker, provide a step-by-step guide to installing and configuring both tools, discuss best practices for running Jenkins with Docker, and troubleshoot common issues that may arise.

Benefits of running Jenkins with Docker

Running Jenkins with Docker offers several advantages over traditional methods of deployment. Increased flexibility and scalability: Docker allows you to easily scale your Jenkins infrastructure by spinning up additional containers as needed. This means you can quickly add more build agents or increase the capacity of your Jenkins server to handle larger workloads. Additionally, Docker enables you to run Jenkins on any machine that supports Docker, regardless of the underlying operating system. Improved portability and consistency: Docker containers are self-contained units that include all the dependencies required to run an application. This means you can package your Jenkins environment into a container and easily move it between different machines or environments without worrying about compatibility issues. It also ensures that your Jenkins environment remains consistent across different deployments, reducing the risk of configuration errors. Simplified deployment and management: Docker simplifies the process of deploying and managing Jenkins instances. With Docker, you can create a containerized version of Jenkins with all the necessary plugins and configurations pre-installed. This makes it easy to spin up new instances of Jenkins or replicate existing ones. Additionally, Docker provides tools for managing containers, such as Docker Compose, which allows you to define and manage multi-container applications.

Step-by-step guide to installing Docker and Jenkins

Before you can start running Jenkins with Docker, you need to install both tools on your machine. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started: 1. Installing Docker on your machine: - Visit the Docker website and download the appropriate version of Docker for your operating system. - Follow the installation instructions provided by Docker to install the software on your machine. - Once the installation is complete, verify that Docker is running by opening a terminal or command prompt and running the command.

slate@slate-MS-7C95:~$ docker version
Client: Docker Engine - Community
 Cloud integration: v1.0.29
 Version:           24.0.7
 API version:       1.41 (downgraded from 1.43)
 Go version:        go1.20.10
 Git commit:        afdd53b
 Built:             Thu Oct 26 09:07:41 2023
 OS/Arch:           linux/amd64
 Context:           desktop-linux

Server: Docker Desktop 4.16.2 (95914)
  Version:          20.10.22
  API version:      1.41 (minimum version 1.12)
  Go version:       go1.18.9
  Git commit:       42c8b31
  Built:            Thu Dec 15 22:26:14 2022
  OS/Arch:          linux/amd64
  Experimental:     false
  Version:          1.6.14
  GitCommit:        9ba4b250366a5ddde94bb7c9d1def331423aa323
  Version:          1.1.4
  GitCommit:        v1.1.4-0-g5fd4c4d
  Version:          0.19.0
  GitCommit:        de40ad0

2. Setting up a Docker container for Jenkins: - Open a terminal or command prompt and run the following command to pull the official Jenkins image from Docker Hub:

docker pull jenkins/jenkins:lts

- Once the image is downloaded, run the following command to start a new Jenkins container:

docker run -p 8080:8080 -p 50000:50000 jenkins/jenkins

- This command maps port 8080 of the container to port 8080 of your machine, allowing you to access Jenkins through a web browser. It also maps port 50000, which is used for Jenkins agent communication.

Better way :-

Create a file docker-compose.yml with the following content:

3. Accessing Jenkins through a web browser: - Open a web browser and navigate to

jenkins first page

- You will be prompted to unlock Jenkins by entering an initial admin password. To retrieve this password, open a terminal or command prompt and run the following command:

docker exec <container-id> cat /var/jenkins_home/secrets/initialAdminPassword

Replace <container-id> with the ID of your Jenkins container. - Copy the password and paste it into the web browser to unlock Jenkins. - Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the initial setup of Jenkins.

customize jenkins

Configuring Jenkins with Docker

Once you have Jenkins up and running with Docker, you can start configuring it to suit your needs. Here are some key steps to consider: 1. Configuring Jenkins plugins and settings: - Jenkins provides a wide range of plugins that extend its functionality. To install plugins, navigate to the Jenkins dashboard and click on "Manage Jenkins" > "Manage Plugins". From here, you can search for and install the desired plugins. - After installing plugins, you may need to configure them to work with Docker. For example, if you want to use Docker to build and test your applications, you will need to configure the Docker plugin to connect to your Docker daemon. 2. Creating and managing Jenkins jobs: - Jenkins jobs are the building blocks of your automation pipeline. To create a new job, click on "New Item" on the Jenkins dashboard and select the type of job you want to create (e.g., Freestyle project, Pipeline). - Configure the job settings according to your requirements. For example, if you want to build a Docker image as part of your job, you can specify the Dockerfile and build context in the job configuration. - Once the job is created, you can trigger it manually or set up triggers to automatically start the job based on certain events (e.g., code changes, scheduled intervals). 3. Integrating Jenkins with other tools and services: - Jenkins can be integrated with various tools and services to further enhance its capabilities. For example, you can integrate Jenkins with version control systems like Git or Subversion to automatically trigger builds when code changes are pushed. - Jenkins also supports integration with popular cloud platforms like AWS and Azure, allowing you to deploy your applications to the cloud directly from Jenkins. - To integrate Jenkins with other tools and services, you will typically need to install and configure additional plugins. These plugins provide the necessary functionality and allow Jenkins to communicate with external systems.

jenkins job wizard

jenkins job

Best practices for running Jenkins with Docker

To ensure a smooth and efficient experience when running Jenkins with Docker, it is important to follow some best practices. Here are a few recommendations: 1. Keeping Docker and Jenkins up-to-date: - Docker and Jenkins release updates regularly, often including bug fixes, security patches, and new features. It is important to keep both tools up-to-date to benefit from these improvements and ensure the stability and security of your environment. - Regularly check for updates and follow the recommended upgrade procedures provided by Docker and Jenkins. 2. Using Docker volumes for persistent data: - By default, Docker containers are ephemeral, meaning any changes made inside the container are lost when the container is stopped or removed. To persist data, such as Jenkins configuration files or build artifacts, you can use Docker volumes. - Docker volumes allow you to mount a directory from your host machine into the container, providing persistent storage. This ensures that your Jenkins data is preserved even if the container is restarted or replaced. 3. Securing your Jenkins instance with authentication and authorization: - Jenkins contains sensitive information, such as access credentials and build logs. It is important to secure your Jenkins instance to prevent unauthorized access. - Enable authentication in Jenkins by configuring user accounts and passwords. You can also integrate Jenkins with external authentication providers, such as LDAP or Active Directory. - Additionally, configure authorization settings to control what actions users can perform in Jenkins. For example, you can define different roles with different levels of access permissions.

Troubleshooting common issues when running Jenkins with Docker

Running Jenkins with Docker may occasionally encounter some issues. Here are a few common problems and their potential solutions: 1. Docker container crashes or fails to start: - Check the container logs for any error messages that may indicate the cause of the issue. You can view the logs by running the command

docker logs -f <container-id>

- Ensure that your machine meets the system requirements for running Docker and Jenkins. Insufficient resources, such as CPU or memory, can cause containers to crash or fail to start. - Verify that you are using the correct Docker image and version for Jenkins. Incompatible versions may lead to unexpected behavior. 2. Jenkins plugins or jobs not working as expected: - Check the Jenkins system logs for any error messages related to the plugins or jobs. You can access the system logs by navigating to "Manage Jenkins" > "System Log". - Ensure that the required plugins are installed and configured correctly. Some plugins may have additional dependencies that need to be installed. - Verify that the job configurations are correct and up-to-date. Changes in the environment or dependencies may require updating the job configurations. 3. Network connectivity issues between Docker and Jenkins: - If you are experiencing network connectivity issues between Docker and Jenkins, ensure that the necessary ports are open and accessible. Check your firewall settings and network configuration to ensure that there are no restrictions. - Verify that the Docker daemon is running and accessible. You can test the connectivity by running the command `docker ps` to list the running containers. - If you are using Docker Compose to manage your containers, ensure that the network configuration is correct. Docker Compose creates a separate network for the containers, and you may need to configure network settings accordingly.


Running Jenkins with Docker offers numerous benefits for developers and organizations. The increased flexibility, improved portability, and simplified deployment and management provided by Docker make it an ideal platform for running Jenkins instances. By following the step-by-step guide to installing and configuring Docker and Jenkins, you can quickly set up a powerful automation server that meets your specific requirements. Additionally, adhering to best practices such as keeping Docker and Jenkins up-to-date, using Docker volumes for persistent data, and securing your Jenkins instance will ensure a smooth and secure experience. While running Jenkins with Docker may encounter some issues, troubleshooting common problems and seeking assistance from the Docker and Jenkins communities can help resolve them. Overall, the combination of Jenkins and Docker provides a powerful and efficient solution for automating the development and deployment process.

If you've made it this far, take a moment to explore this post highlighting how Jenkins is revolutionizing the world of CI/CD.


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