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The official Node.js docker image, made with love by the node community.

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Table of Contents

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What is Node.js?

Node.js is a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building
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

Create a Dockerfile in your Node.js app project

# specify the node base image with your desired version node:<version>
FROM node:6
# replace this with your application's default port

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

If you prefer Docker Compose:

version: "2"
    image: "node:8"
      - NODE_ENV=production
      - ./:/usr/src/app
      - "8080"

You can then run using Docker Compose:

$ docker-compose up -d


The image assumes that your application has a file named
package.json listing its
dependencies and defining its start

It also assumes that you have a file named .dockerignore otherwise it will copy your local npm modules:


Best Practices

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
complete 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 info instead
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 docker 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
simply use ENV to override NPM_CONFIG_LOGLEVEL.

FROM node

Docker Run

If you run the node image using docker run you can use the -e flag to

$ docker run -e NPM_CONFIG_LOGLEVEL=warn node ...

NPM run

If you are running npm commands you can use --loglevel to control the
verbosity of the output.

$ docker run node npm --loglevel=warn ...

Image Variants

The node images come in many flavors, each designed for a specific use case.
All of the images contain pre-installed versions of node,
npm, and yarn. For each
supported architecutre, the supported variants are different. In the file:
architectures, it lists all supported variants for all of
the architecures that we support now.


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
the 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. One common issue that may arise is a missing shared
library required for use of process.dlopen. To add the missing shared libraries
to your image, adding the libc6-compat
package in your Dockerfile is recommended: apk add --no-cache libc6-compat

To minimize image size, it's uncommon for additional related tools
(such as git or bash) to be included in Alpine-based images. Using this
image as a base, add the things you need in your own Dockerfile
(see the alpine image description for
examples of how to install packages if you are unfamiliar).


The ONBUILD image variants are deprecated, and their usage is discouraged. For more details, see docker-library/official-images#2076.

This image makes building derivative images easier. For most use cases, creating
a Dockerfile in the base of your project directory with the line FROM node:onbuild will be enough to create a stand-alone image for your project.

While the 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-onbuild
variant and copy the commands from the onbuild variant Dockerfile (moving
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 steps).

This onbuild variant will only install npm packages according to the
package.json and does not adhere to the npm-shrinkwrap.json (see full
discussion in

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
argument i.e. 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


License information for
the software contained in this image. License
for the
Node.js Docker project.

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
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 for guidance
about the expectations for all contributors to this project.

Docker Working Group Members

Docker Working Group Collaborators

Docker Pull Command
Source Repository

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