nodeEstimated reading time: 6 minutes
GitHub repo: https://github.com/nodejs/docker-node
Supported tags and respective
Where to file issues:
The Node.js Docker Team
Supported Docker versions:
the latest release (down to 1.6 on a best-effort basis)
What is Node.js?
Node.js applications are designed to maximize throughput and efficiency, using non-blocking I/O and asynchronous events. Node.js applications run single-threaded, although Node.js uses multiple threads for file and network events. Node.js is commonly used for real-time applications due to its asynchronous nature.
How to use this image
See How To Use This Image on GitHub for up-to-date documentation.
node images come in many flavors, each designed for a specific use case.
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.
To minimize image size, it’s uncommon for additional related tools (such as
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).
ONBUILD image variants are deprecated, and their usage is discouraged. For more details, see docker-library/official-images#2076.
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
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-
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 image will be deployed and you have space constraints, we highly recommend using the default image of this repository.