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Last pushed: 2 years ago
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Build BM MQ 7.5 docker image on Debian OS, cloned from
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Run IBM® MQ in a Docker container. By default, the supplied Dockerfile runs IBM MQ for Developers, but also works for IBM MQ. The source can be found on the ibm-messaging GitHub. There's also a short demo video available.

Preparing your Docker host

It is necessary to configure operating settings on your Docker host, to allow IBM MQ access to the resources it needs. This covers things like maximum file handles, which are governed by the Docker host, and not containers. If the host is configured incorrectly, the container will terminate with a message about what has failed.

You need to make sure that you either have a Linux kernel version of V3.16, or else you need to add the --ipc host option when you run an MQ container. The reason for this is that IBM MQ uses shared memory, and on Linux kernels prior to V3.16, containers are usually limited to 32 MB of shared memory. In a change to Linux kernel V3.16, the hard-coded limit is greatly increased. This kernel version is available in Ubuntu 14.04.2 onwards, Fedora V20 onwards, and boot2docker V1.2 onwards. If you are using a host with an older kernel version, but Docker version 1.4 or newer, then you can still run MQ, but you have to give it access to the host's IPC namespace using the --ipc host option on docker run. Note that this reduces the security isolation of your container. Using the host's IPC namespace is a temporary workaround, and you should not attempt shared-memory connections to queue managers from outside the container.


After extracting the code from this repository, you can build the image using the following command:

sudo docker build --tag mq ./8.0.0/


In order to use the image, it is necessary to accept the terms of the IBM MQ license. This is achieved by specifying the environment variable LICENSE equal to accept when running the image. You can also view the license terms by setting this variable to view. Failure to set the variable will result in the termination of the container with a usage statement. You can view the license in a different language by also setting the LANG environment variable.

This image is primarily intended to be used as an example base image for your own MQ images.

Running with the default configuration

You can run a queue manager with the default configuration and a listener on port 1414 using the following command. Note that the default configuration is locked-down from a security perspective, so you will need to customize the configuration in order to effectively use the queue manager. For example, the following command creates and starts a queue manager called QM1, and maps port 1414 on the host to the MQ listener on port 1414 inside the container:

sudo docker run \
  --env LICENSE=accept \
  --env MQ_QMGR_NAME=QM1 \
  --volume /var/example:/var/mqm \
  --publish 1414:1414 \
  --detach \

Note that in this example, the name "mq" is the image tag you used in the previous build step.

Also note that the filesystem for the mounted volume directory (/var/example in the above example) must be supported.

Customizing the queue manager configuration

You can customize the configuration in several ways:

  1. By creating your own image and adding your an MQSC file called /etc/mqm/config.mqsc. This file will be run when your queue manager is created.
  2. By using remote MQ administration. Note that this will require additional configuration as remote administration is not enabled by default.

Note that a listener is always created on port 1414 inside the container. This port can be mapped to any port on the Docker host.

The following is an example Dockerfile for creating your own pre-configured image, which adds a custom config.mqsc and an administrative user alice. Note that it is not normally recommended to include passwords in this way:

RUN useradd alice -G mqm && \
    echo alice:passw0rd | chpasswd
COPY config.mqsc /etc/mqm/

Here is an example corresponding config.mqsc script from the mqdev blog, which allows users with passwords to connect on the PASSWORD.SVRCONN channel:

SET CHLAUTH(PASSWORD.SVRCONN) TYPE(BLOCKUSER) USERLIST('nobody') DESCR('Allow privileged users on this channel')

Running MQ commands

It is recommended that you configure MQ in your own custom image. However, you may need to run MQ commands directly inside the process space of the container. To run a command against a running queue manager, you can use docker exec, for example:

sudo docker exec \
  --tty \
  --interactive \

Using this technique, you can have full control over all aspects of the MQ installation. Note that if you use this technique to make changes to the filesystem, then those changes would be lost if you re-created your container unless you make those changes in volumes.

Installed components

This image includes the core MQ server, Java, language packs, and GSKit. Other features (except the client) are not currently supported running in Docker. See the MQ documentation for details of which RPMs to choose.


Container command not found or does not exist

This message also appears as "System error: no such file or directory" in some versions of Docker. This can happen using Docker Toolbox on Windows, and is related to line-ending characters. When you clone the Git repository on Windows, Git is often configured to convert any UNIX-style LF line-endings to Windows-style CRLF line-endings. Files with these line-endings end up in the built Docker image, and cause the container to fail at start-up. One solution to this problem is to stop Git from converting the line-ending characters, with the following command:

git config --global core.autocrlf input

mqconfig fails

When the container starts, it runs mqconfig to check the environment is OK. IBM MQ requires some kernel parameters to be set to particular values, which are not the default on many systems. You can fix this by issuing sysctl commands to configure the kernel. For example, to set the maximum number of open files, use sysctl fs.file-max=524288. See the section on "Preparing your Docker host" above for more details.

AMQ7017: Log not available

If you see this message in the container logs, it means that the directory being used for the container's volume doesn't use a filesystem supported by IBM MQ. This often happens when using Docker Toolbox or boot2docker, which use tmpfs for the /var directory. To solve this, you need to make sure the container's /var/mqm volume is put on a supported filesystem. For example, with Docker Toolbox try using a directory under /mnt/sda1. You can list filesystem types using the command df -T

Issues and contributions

For issues relating specifically to this Docker image, please use the GitHub issue tracker. For more general issues relating to IBM MQ or to discuss the Docker technical preview, please use the messaging community. If you do submit a Pull Request related to this Docker image, please indicate in the Pull Request that you accept and agree to be bound by the terms of the IBM Contributor License Agreement.


The Dockerfile and associated scripts are licensed under the Apache License 2.0. IBM MQ Advanced for Developers is licensed under the IBM International License Agreement for Non-Warranted Programs. This license may be viewed from the image using the LICENSE=view environment variable as described above or may be found online. Note that this license does not permit further distribution.

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