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Official IBM WebSphere Application Server for Developers Liberty image.

GitHub repo: https://github.com/WASdev/ci.docker

Library reference

This content is imported from the official Docker Library docs, and is provided by the original uploader. You can view the Docker Hub page for this image at https://hub.docker.com/images/websphere-liberty

Supported tags and respective Dockerfile links

Quick reference


The images in this repository contain IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty for Developers and the IBM Java Runtime Environment. See the license section below for restrictions relating to the use of this image. For more information about WebSphere Application Server Liberty, see the WASdev site.

Image User

This image runs by default with USER 1001 (non-root), as part of group 0. Please make sure you read below to set the appropriate folder and file permissions.

Updating folder permissions

All of the folders accessed by WebSphere Liberty have been given the appropriate permissions, but if your extending Dockerfile needs permission to another location you can simply temporarily switch into root and provide the needed permissions, example:

USER root
RUN mkdir -p /myFolder && chown -R 1001:0 /myFolder
USER 1001

Updating file permissions

You have to make sure that all the artifacts you are copying into the image (via COPY or ADD) have the correct permissions to be read and executed by user 1001 or group 0, because the ownership of the file is changed to be root:0 when transferring into the docker image.

You have a few options for doing this: before copying the file, during copy, or after copy.

Updating permissions before copying

Since the ownership of the file will change to root:0, you can simply set the permissions for the owner’s group to be able to read/execute the artifact (i.e. the middle digit of a chmod command). For example, you can do chmod g+rx server.xml to ensure your server.xml can be read and executed by group 0, as well as any artifacts such as the application’s EAR or WAR file, JDBC driver, or other files that are placed on the image via COPY or ADD.

Updating permissions during copy

If you’re using Docker v17.09.0-ce and newer you can take advantage of the flag --chown=<user>:<group> during either ADD or COPY. For example: COPY --chown=1001:0 jvm.options /config/jvm.options. This is the preferred approach as you don’t need to worry about changing permissions before calling docker build and you also do not duplicate layers in the resulting image.

Updating permissions after copy

If you need your Dockerfile to work with older versions of Docker CE and don’t want to pre-process the permissions of the files you can temporarily switch into root to change the permissions of the needed files. For example:

USER root
RUN chown 1001:0 /config/jvm.options
RUN chown 1001:0 /output/resources/security/ltpa.keys
USER 1001

Please note that this pattern will duplicate the docker layers for those artifacts, which can heavily bloat your resulting docker image (depending on the size of the artifact). So it is recommended to set the permissions before or during copy.


There are multiple tags available in this repository. The image with the tag beta contains the contents of the install archive for the latest monthly beta. The other images are all based on the latest generally available fix pack.

The kernel image contains just the Liberty kernel and no additional runtime features. This image can be used as the basis for custom built images that contain only the features required for a specific application. For example, the following Dockerfile starts with this image, copies in the server.xml that lists the features required by the application, and then uses the installUtility command to download those features from the online repository.

FROM websphere-liberty:kernel
COPY --chown=1001:0  Sample1.war /config/dropins/
COPY --chown=1001:0  server.xml /config/
RUN installUtility install --acceptLicense defaultServer

The webProfile8 image contains the features required for Java EE8 Web Profile compliance. The javaee8 image extends this image and adds the features required for Java EE8 Full Platform compliance. The javaee8 image is also tagged with latest.

The webProfile7 image contains the features required for Java EE7 Web Profile compliance. The javaee7 image extends this image and adds the features required for Java EE7 Full Platform compliance.

The webProfile8, javaee8, webProfile7 and javaee7 images also contain a common set of features that are expected to be of use for a typical production scenario. These features are: appSecurity-2.0, collectiveMember-1.0, localConnector-1.0, ldapRegistry-3.0, monitor-1.0, requestTiming-1.0, restConnector-2.0, sessionDatabase-1.0, ssl-1.0, transportSecurity-1.0 and webCache-1.0.

The microProfile1 and microProfile2 images contains the features required to support MicroProfile 1.4 and MicroProfile 2.0 (respectively).

The springBoot1 and springBoot2 images contain all features required for running Spring Boot 1.5 and 2.0 applications; including springBoot-1.5 or springBoot-2.0, respectively, plus servlet-4.0, jsp-2.3, webSocket-1.1, and transportSecurity-1.0.


The images are designed to support a number of different usage patterns. The following examples are based on the Java EE8 Liberty application deployment sample and assume that DefaultServletEngine.zip has been extracted to /tmp and the server.xml updated to accept HTTP connections from outside of the container by adding the following element inside the server stanza (if not using one of the pre-packaged server.xml files with our tags):

<httpEndpoint host="*" httpPort="9080" httpsPort="-1"/>

Application Image

It is a very strong best practice to create an extending Docker image, we called it the application image, that encapsulates an application and its configuration. This creates a robust, self-contained and predictable Docker image that can span new containers upon request, without relying on volumes or other external runtime artifacts that may behave different over time.

If you want to build the smallest possible WebSphere Liberty application image you can start with our kernel tag, add your artifacts, and run configure.sh to grow the set of features to be fit-for-purpose. Please see our GitHub page for more details.

Enabling Enterprise functionality

The WebSphere Liberty images have a set of built-in XML snippets that enable and configure enterprise functionality such as session cache and monitoring. These are toggled by specific ARGs in your application image Dockerfile and configured via the configure.sh script. Please see the instructions on our GitHub page for more information.

Using volumes for configuration

This pattern can be useful for quick experiments / early development (i.e. I just want to run the application as I iterate over it), but should not be used for development scenarios that involve different teams and environments - for these cases the Application Image pattern described above is the way to go.

When using volumes, an application file can be mounted in the dropins directory of this server and run. The following example starts a container in the background running a .WAR file from the host file system with the HTTP and HTTPS ports mapped to 80 and 443 respectively.

$ docker run -d -p 80:9080 -p 443:9443 \
	    -v /tmp/DefaultServletEngine/dropins/Sample1.war:/config/dropins/Sample1.war \

When the server is started, you can browse to http://localhost/Sample1/SimpleServlet on the Docker host.

Note: If you are using the boot2docker virtual machine on OS X or Windows, you need to get the IP of the virtual host by using the command boot2docker ip instead of by using localhost.

For greater flexibility over configuration, it is possible to mount an entire server configuration directory from the host and then specify the server name as a parameter to the run command. Note: This particular example server configuration provides only HTTP access.

$ docker run -d -p 80:9080 \
      -v /tmp/DefaultServletEngine:/config \

Using springBoot images

The springBoot images introduce capabilities specific to the support of Spring Boot applications, including the springBootUtility used to separate Spring Boot applications into thin applications and dependency library caches. To elaborate these capabilities this section assumes the standalone Spring Boot 2.0.x application hellospringboot.jar exists in the /tmp directory.

  1. A Spring Boot application JAR deploys to the dropins/spring directory within the default server configuration, not the dropins directory. Liberty allows one Spring Boot application per server configuration. You can create a Spring Boot application layer over this image by adding the application JAR to the dropins/spring directory. In this example we copied hellospringboot.jar from /tmp to the same directory containing the following Dockerfile.

    FROM websphere-liberty:springBoot2
    COPY --chown=1001:0 hellospringboot.jar /config/dropins/spring/

    The custom image can be built and run as follows.

    $ docker build -t app .
    $ docker run -d -p 8080:9080 app
  2. The springBoot images provide the library cache directory, lib.index.cache, which contains an indexed library cache created by the springBootUtility command. Use lib.index.cache to provide the library cache for a thin application.

    You can use the springBootUtility command to create thin application and library cache layers over a springBoot image. The following example uses docker staging to efficiently build an image that deploys a fat Spring Boot application as two layers containing a thin application and a library cache.

    FROM websphere-liberty:springBoot2 as staging
    COPY --chown=1001:0 hellospringboot.jar /staging/myFatApp.jar
    RUN springBootUtility thin \
       --sourceAppPath=/staging/myFatApp.jar \
       --targetThinAppPath=/staging/myThinApp.jar \
    FROM websphere-liberty:springBoot2
    COPY --from=staging /staging/lib.index.cache /lib.index.cache
    COPY --from=staging /staging/myThinApp.jar /config/dropins/spring/myThinApp.jar

    For Spring Boot applications packaged with library dependencies that rarely change across continuous application updates, you can use the capabilities mentioned above to to share library caches across containers and to create even more efficient docker layers that leverage the docker build cache.

Providing your own keystore/truststore

By default, when a websphere-liberty image starts, a Liberty server XML snippet is generated in /config/configDropins/defaults/keystore.xml that specifies a keyStore stanza with a generated password. This causes Liberty to generate a default keystore and truststore with a self-signed certificate when it starts (see the Knowledge Center for more information). When providing your own keystore/truststore, this default behavior can be disabled by ensuring that a file already exists at /config/configDropins/defaults/keystore.xml (for example, added as part of your Docker build). This file can contain your keystore configuration or could just contain an empty <server></server> stanza.

Using IBM JRE Class data sharing

The IBM JRE provides a feature Class data sharing which offers transparent and dynamic sharing of data between multiple Java Virtual Machines running on the same host by using shared memory backed by a file. When running the Liberty Docker image, it looks for the file at /opt/ibm/wlp/output/.classCache. To benefit from Class data sharing, this location needs to be shared between containers either through the host or a data volume container.

Taking the application image from example 3 above, containers can share the host file location (containing the shared cache) /tmp/websphere-liberty/classCache as follows:

docker run -d -p 80:9080 -p 443:9443 \
    -v /tmp/websphere-liberty/classCache:/opt/ibm/wlp/output/.classCache app

Or, create a named data volume container that exposes a volume at the location of the shared file:

docker run -e LICENSE=accept -v /opt/ibm/wlp/output/.classCache \
    --name classcache websphere-liberty true

Then, run the WebSphere Liberty image with the volumes from the data volume container classcache mounted as follows:

docker run -d -p 80:9080 -p 443:9443 --volumes-from classcache app

Running WebSphere Liberty in read-only mode

Liberty writes to two different directories when running: /opt/ibm/wlp/output and /logs. In order to run the Liberty image in read-only mode these may be mounted as temporary file systems. If using the provided image, the keystore will be generated on initial start up in the server configuration. This means that the server configuration directory either needs to be read-write or the keystore will need to be built into the image. In the example command /config is mounted as a read-write volume.

docker run -d -p 80:9080 -p 443:9443 \
    --tmpfs /opt/ibm/wlp/output --tmpfs /logs -v /config --read-only \

Changing locale

The base Ubuntu image does not include additional language packs. To use an alternative locale, build your own image that installs the required language pack and then sets the LANG environment variable. For example, the following Dockerfile starts with the websphere-liberty:webProfile8 image, installs the Portuguese language pack, and sets Brazilian Portuguese as the default locale:

FROM websphere-liberty:webProfile8
RUN apt-get update \
  && apt-get install -y language-pack-pt-base \
  && rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*


The Dockerfiles and associated scripts are licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

Licenses for the products installed within the images are as follows:

Note: These licenses do not permit further distribution and that the terms for WebSphere Application Server in the non-beta images restrict usage to a developer machine or build server only, or subject to a maximum 2 gigabyte heap usage across all instances. Instructions are available to enable entitled customers to upgrade the Docker Hub image for production use or build their own production licensed image.

As with all Docker images, these likely also contain other software which may be under other licenses (such as Bash, etc from the base distribution, along with any direct or indirect dependencies of the primary software being contained).

Some additional license information which was able to be auto-detected might be found in the repo-info repository’s websphere-liberty/ directory.

As for any pre-built image usage, it is the image user’s responsibility to ensure that any use of this image complies with any relevant licenses for all software contained within.

library, sample, websphere-liberty