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Express.js Docker example

Example to show how to build a microservice with Node.js and Express.js with instructions for: Kubernetes with YAML, OpenFaaS, Docker and running locally with node

Clone the repository

git clone \
&& cd expressjs-docker


  • / - serves a HTML page
  • /links - serves a JSON response of links
  • /health - serves a health endpoint giving 200 OK

Try it with Kubernetes

You can first try running the example with Kubernetes, then try it with OpenFaaS to compare the experience. OpenFaaS also adds optional templates and an API to remove boilerplate coding: "look ma', (almost) no YAML!"

kubectl apply -f ./yaml
kubectl port-forward deploy/expressjs 8080:8080 &


Conservative resource limits / requests values have been set in the YAML files:

            cpu: 10m
            memory: 128Mi
            cpu: 10m
            memory: 128Mi

Clean up:

kubectl delete -f ./yaml

See also: /yaml - (optional) - YAML files to deploy to Kubernetes directly

Run it with OpenFaaS

Watch my latest video on OpenFaaS with the PLONK Stack, which is made up of Prometheus, Linkerd (optional), OpenFaaS, NATS, and Kubernetes.

If you don't already have OpenFaaS, then:


faas-cli deploy

Access using the gateway's URL found via faas-cli describe service


Edit image: alexellis2 and replace with your own Docker Hub username in stack.yml, then run:

faas-cli up

Cleaning up:

faas-cli rm

See also: stack.yml - (optional) - OpenFaaS deployment file

OpenFaaS Templates

With OpenFaaS Templates you don't need to bother with managing Dockerfiles and TCP-port bindings, unless you like that sort of thing, then you can do that too just like we did in this example.

Try one of the templates above:

faas-cli template store list

faas-cli template store pull node10-express

faas-cli new --lang node10-express express-fn

Then edit express-fn/hander.js and express-fn.yml, before then running:

faas-cli up -f express-fn.yml

What is different?

  • No Kubernetes YAML files to manage
  • No Dockerfile to worry about
  • No index.js, no port-bindings, no Prometheus metrics to add, and no auto-scaling rules. OpenFaaS automates all of this and more.

Run it with docker

docker run --name expressjs -p 8081:8080 -ti alexellis2/service:0.3.2

Access via http://localhost:8081

Clean up:

docker rm -f expressjs

Run it without Docker, locally

npm install

http_port=3000 node index.js

Access via http://localhost:3000

Clean up by hitting Control + C.

Install via Helm 3

First install Helm 3.

helm repo add expressjs-k8s

helm repo update

helm install expressjs-k8s-tester expressjs-k8s/expressjs-k8s

The parts

  • Dockerfile

  • index.js - the entry-point for Express.js

  • stack.yml - (optional) - OpenFaaS deployment file

  • /yaml - (optional) - YAML files to deploy to Kubernetes directly

Other links:

Contributing via GitHub

Before contributing code, please see the CONTRIBUTING guide. This repo uses the same guide as

Both Issues and PRs have their own templates. Please fill out the whole template.

All commits must be signed-off as part of the Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO)


Express.js microservice with a Dockerfile, Kubernetes YAMLs and a non-root user








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