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A Docker image with activiti BPM Platform
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Table of Contents


Dockerfile to build an Activiti BPM container image.


Current Version: 5.19.0


Pull the latest version of the image from the docker index. This is the recommended method of installation as it is easier to update image in the future. These builds are performed by the Docker Trusted Build service.

docker pull eternnoir/activiti:latest

Since version latest, the image builds are being tagged. You can now pull a particular version of activiti by specifying the version number. For example,

docker pull eternnoir/activiti:5.16.4

Alternately you can build the image yourself.

git clone
cd activiti
docker build --tag="$USER/activiti" .


Run the activiti image

docker run --name='activiti' -it --rm \
-p 8080:8080 \
-v /var/run/docker.sock:/run/docker.sock \
-v $(which docker):/bin/docker \

Point your browser to http://localhost:8080 and login using the default username and password:

  • username: kermit
  • password: kermit

You should now have the Activiti application up and ready for testing. If you want to use this image in production the please read on.



Activiti uses a database backend to store its data. You can configure this image to use MySQL.


External MySQL Server

The image can be configured to use an external MySQL database instead of starting a MySQL server internally. The database configuration should be specified using environment variables while starting the Activiti image.

Before you start the Activiti image create user and database for activiti.

CREATE USER 'activiti'@'%.%.%.%' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
CREATE DATABASE IF NOT EXISTS `activiti_production` DEFAULT CHARACTER SET `utf8` COLLATE `utf8_unicode_ci`;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `activiti_production`.* TO 'activiti'@'%.%.%.%';

We are now ready to start the Activiti application.

Assuming that the mysql server host is

docker run --name=activiti -d \
  -e 'DB_HOST=’ -e 'DB_NAME=activiti_production' -e 'DB_USER=activiti’ -e 'DB_PASS=password' \

Linking to MySQL Container

You can link this image with a mysql container for the database requirements. The alias of the mysql server container should be set to mysql while linking with the activiti image.

If a mysql container is linked, only the DB_TYPE, DB_HOST and DB_PORT settings are automatically retrieved using the linkage. You may still need to set other database connection parameters such as the DB_NAME, DB_USER, DB_PASS and so on.

To illustrate linking with a mysql container, we will use the sameersbn/mysql image. When using docker-mysql in production you should mount a volume for the mysql data store. Please refer the README of docker-mysql for details.

First, lets pull the mysql image from the docker index.

docker pull sameersbn/mysql:latest

For data persistence lets create a store for the mysql and start the container.

SELinux users are also required to change the security context of the mount point so that it plays nicely with selinux.

mkdir -p /opt/mysql/data
sudo chcon -Rt svirt_sandbox_file_t /opt/mysql/data

The run command looks like this.

docker run --name=mysql -d \
  -e 'DB_NAME=activiti_production' -e 'DB_USER=activiti' -e 'DB_PASS=password' \
	-v /opt/mysql/data:/var/lib/mysql \

The above command will create a database named activiti_production and also create a user named activiti with the password activiti with full/remote access to the activiti_production database.

We are now ready to start the Activiti application.

docker run --name=activiti -d --link mysql:mysql \

The image will automatically fetch the DB_NAME, DB_USER and DB_PASS variables from the mysql container using the magic of docker links and works with the following images:

Available Configuration Parameters

Please refer the docker run command options for the --env-file flag where you can specify all required environment variables in a single file. This will save you from writing a potentially long docker run command.

Below is the complete list of available options that can be used to customize your activiti installation.

  • TOMCAT_ADMIN_USER: Tomcat admin user name. Defaults to admin.
  • TOMCAT_ADMIN_PASSWORD: Tomcat admin user password. Defaults to admin.
  • DB_HOST: The database server hostname. Defaults to ``.
  • DB_PORT: The database server port. Defaults to 3306.
  • DB_NAME: The database database name. Defaults to ``.
  • DB_USER: The database database user. Defaults to ``.
  • DB_PASS: The database database password. Defaults to ``.


Shell Access

For debugging and maintenance purposes you may want access the container shell. Since the container does not allow interactive login over the SSH protocol, you can use the nsenter linux tool (part of the util-linux package) to access the container shell.

Some linux distros (e.g. ubuntu) use older versions of the util-linux which do not include the nsenter tool. To get around this @jpetazzo has created a nice docker image that allows you to install the nsenter utility and a helper script named docker-enter on these distros.

To install the nsenter tool on your host execute the following command.

docker run --rm -v /usr/local/bin:/target jpetazzo/nsenter

Now you can access the container shell using the command

sudo docker-enter activiti

For more information refer

Another tool named nsinit can also be used for the same purpose. Please refer for more information.




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