The official Node.js docker image, made with love by the node community.
Table of Contents
- What is Node.js?
- Create a
Dockerfilein your Node.js app project
- Run a single Node.js script
- Docker Working Group Members
- Docker Working Group Collaborators
What is Node.js?
fast, scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking
I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive
real-time applications that run across distributed devices.
How to use this image
Dockerfile in your Node.js app project
FROM node:4-onbuild # replace this with your application's default port EXPOSE 8888
You can then build and run the Docker image:
$ docker build -t my-nodejs-app . $ docker run -it --rm --name my-running-app my-nodejs-app
It also assumes that you have a file named
.dockerignore otherwise it will copy your local npm modules:
We have assembled a Best Practices Guide for those using these images on a daily basis.
Run a single Node.js script
For many simple, single file projects, you may find it inconvenient to write a
Dockerfile. In such cases, you can run a Node.js script by using the
Node.js Docker image directly:
$ docker run -it --rm --name my-running-script -v "$PWD":/usr/src/app -w /usr/src/app node:4 node your-daemon-or-script.js
By default the Node.js Docker Image has npm log verbosity set to
of the default
warn. This is because of the way Docker is isolated from the
host operating system and you are not guaranteed to be able to retrieve the
npm-debug.log file when npm fails.
When npm fails, it writes it's verbose log to a log file inside the container.
If npm fails during an install when building a Docker Image with the
build command, this log file will become inaccessible when Docker exits.
The Docker Working Group have chosen to be overly verbose during a build to
provide an easy audit trail when install fails. If you prefer npm to be less
verbose you can easily reset the verbosity of npm using the following
If you create your own
Dockerfile which inherits from the
node image you can
ENV to override
FROM node ENV NPM_CONFIG_LOGLEVEL warn ...
If you run the node image using
docker run you can use the
-e flag to
$ docker run -e NPM_CONFIG_LOGLEVEL=warn node ...
If you are running npm commands you can use
--loglevel to control the
verbosity of the output.
$ docker run node npm --loglevel=warn ...
This is the defacto image. If you are unsure about what your needs are, you
probably want to use this one. It is designed to be used both as a throw away
container (mount your source code and start the container to start your app), as
well as the base to build other images off of. This tag is based off of
buildpack-deps is designed for the average user of docker who has many images
on their system. It, by design, has a large number of extremely common Debian
packages. This reduces the number of packages that images that derive from it
need to install, thus reducing the overall size of all images on your system.
This image is based on the popular
Alpine Linux project, available in
alpine official image. Alpine Linux is
much smaller than most distribution base images (~5MB), and thus leads to much
slimmer images in general.
This variant is highly recommended when final image size being as small as
possible is desired. The main caveat to note is that it does use
musl libc instead of
glibc and friends, so certain
software might run into issues depending on the depth of their libc
requirements. However, most software doesn't have an issue with this, so this
variant is usually a very safe choice. See
this Hacker News comment thread
for more discussion of the issues that might arise and some pro/con comparisons
of using Alpine-based images.
To minimize image size, it's uncommon for additional related tools
bash) to be included in Alpine-based images. Using this
image as a base, add the things you need in your own Dockerfile
alpine image description for
examples of how to install packages if you are unfamiliar).
This image makes building derivative images easier. For most use cases, creating
Dockerfile in the base of your project directory with the line
node:onbuild will be enough to create a stand-alone image for your project.
onbuild variant is really useful for "getting off the ground
running" (zero to Dockerized in a short period of time), it's not recommended
for long-term usage within a project due to the lack of control over when the
ONBUILD triggers fire (see also
Once you've got a handle on how your project functions within Docker, you'll
probably want to adjust your
Dockerfile to inherit from a non-
variant and copy the commands from the
ONBUILD lines to the end and removing the
ONBUILD keywords) into your
own file so that you have tighter control over them and more transparency for
yourself and others looking at your
Dockerfile as to what it does. This also
makes it easier to add additional requirements as time goes on (such as
installing more packages before performing the previously-
onbuild variant will only install npm packages according to the
package.json and does not adhere to the
npm-shrinkwrap.json (see full
Note that npm installs devDependencies by default, which is undesirable if
you're building a production image. To avoid this pass NODE_ENV as a build
docker build --build-arg NODE_ENV=production ….
This image does not contain the common packages contained in the default tag and
only contains the minimal packages needed to run
node. Unless you are working
in an environment where only the Node.js image will be deployed and you have
space constraints, we highly recommend using the default image of this
Supported Docker versions
This image is officially supported on Docker version 1.9.1.
Support for older versions (down to 1.6) is provided on a best-effort basis.
Please see the Docker installation
documentation for details on how to
upgrade your Docker daemon.
Governance and Current Members
The Node.js Docker Image is governed by the Docker Working Group. See
to learn more about the group's structure and CONTRIBUTING.md for guidance
about the expectations for all contributors to this project.
Docker Working Group Members
- Christopher Horrell (chorrell)
- Hans Kristian Flaatten (starefossen)
- Hugues Malphettes (hmalphettes)
- John Mitchell (jlmitch5)
- Peter Petrov (pesho)
- William Blankenship (retrohacker)