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NetBeans v8.0.1 in a Docker container


  • Docker 1.2+ (should work fine on 1.0+ but I haven't tried)
  • An X11 socket


Assuming $HOME/bin is on your PATH and that you are able to run docker
commands without sudo,
you can use the provided netbeans script to start a disposable
NetBeans Docker container with your project sources mounted at /home/developer/workspace
within the container:

# The image size is currently 1.131 GB, so go grab a coffee while Docker downloads it
docker pull fgrehm/netbeans:v8.0.1
L=$HOME/bin/netbeans && curl -sL > $L && chmod +x $L
cd /path/to/java/project

Once you close NetBeans the container will be removed and no traces of it will be
kept on your machine (apart from the Docker image of course).

Making plugins persist between sessions

NetBeans plugins are kept on $HOME/.netbeans inside the container, so if you
want to keep them around after you close it, you'll need to share it with your

For example:

docker run -ti --rm \
           -e DISPLAY=$DISPLAY \
           -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix \
           -v `pwd`/.netbeans-docker:/home/developer/.netbeans \
           -v `pwd`:/workspace \

Help! I started the container but I don't see the NetBeans screen

You might have an issue with the X11 socket permissions since the default user
used by the base image has an user and group ids set to 1000, in that case
you can run either create your own base image with the appropriate ids or run
xhost + on your machine and try again.

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