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Fabric8 Java Base Image OpenJDK 8 (JDK)

** This image is deprecated and not maintained anymore. Please select one of the other flavors (alpine, centos).**

This image is based on JBoss with OpenJDK and provides OpenJDK 8 (JDK)

It includes:

Agent Bond

In order to enable Jolokia for your application you should use this image as a base image (via FROM) and use the output of agent-bond-opts in your startup scripts to include it in for the Java startup options.

For example, the following snippet can be added to a script starting up your Java application

# ...
export JAVA_OPTIONS="$JAVA_OPTIONS $(agent-bond-opts)"
# .... use JAVA_OPTIONS when starting your app, e.g. as Tomcat does

The following versions and defaults are used:

You can influence the behaviour of agent-bond-opts by setting various environment variables:

Agent-Bond Options

Agent bond itself can be influenced with the following environment variables:

  • AB_OFF : If set disables activation of agent-bond (i.e. echos an empty value). By default, agent-bond is enabled.
  • AB_ENABLED : Comma separated list of sub-agents enabled. Currently allowed values are jolokia and jmx_exporter. By default both are enabled.

Jolokia configuration

  • AB_JOLOKIA_CONFIG : If set uses this file (including path) as Jolokia JVM agent properties (as described in Jolokia's reference manual). By default this is /opt/jolokia/
  • AB_JOLOKIA_HOST : Host address to bind to (Default:
  • AB_JOLOKIA_PORT : Port to use (Default: 8778)
  • AB_JOLOKIA_USER : User for authentication. By default authentication is switched off.
  • AB_JOLOKIA_HTTPS : Switch on secure communication with https. By default self signed server certificates are generated if no serverCert configuration is given in AB_JOLOKIA_OPTS
  • AB_JOLOKIA_PASSWORD : Password for authentication. By default authentication is switched off.
  • AB_JOLOKIA_ID : Agent ID to use ($HOSTNAME by default, which is the container id)
  • AB_JOLOKIA_OPTS : Additional options to be appended to the agent opts. They should be given in the format "key=value,key=value,..."

Some options for integration in various environments:

  • AB_JOLOKIA_AUTH_OPENSHIFT : Switch on client authentication for OpenShift TLS communication. The value of this parameter can be a relative distinguished name which must be contained in a presented client certificate. Enabling this parameter will automatically switch Jolokia into https communication mode. The default CA cert is set to /var/run/secrets/

jmx_exporter configuration

  • AB_JMX_EXPORTER_OPTS : Configuration to use for jmx_exporter (in the format <port>:<path to config>)
  • AB_JMX_EXPORTER_PORT : Port to use for the JMX Exporter. Default: 9779
  • AB_JMX_EXPORTER_CONFIG : Path to configuration to use for jmx_exporter: Default: /opt/agent-bond/jmx_exporter_config.json

Startup Script

The default command for this image is /deployments/ Its purpose it to fire up Java applications which are provided as fat-jars, including all dependencies or more classical from a main class, where the classpath is build up from all jars within a directory.

For these images the variable JAVA_APP_DIR has the default value /deployments

This general purpose startup script is optimized for running Java application from within containers. It is called like

./ <sub-command> <options> knows two sub-commands:

  • options to print out JVM option which can be used for own invocation of Java apps (like Maven or Tomcat). It respects container constraints and includes all magic which is used by this script
  • run executes a Java application as described below. This is also the default command so you can skip adding this command.

Running a Java application

When no subcommand is given (or when you provide the default subcommand run), then by default this scripts starts up Java application.

The startup process is configured mostly via environment variables:

  • JAVA_APP_DIR the directory where the application resides. All paths in your application are relative to this directory. By default it is the same directory where this startup script resides.
  • JAVA_LIB_DIR directory holding the Java jar files as well an optional classpath file which holds the classpath. Either as a single line classpath (colon separated) or with jar files listed line-by-line. If not set JAVA_LIB_DIR is the same as JAVA_APP_DIR.
  • JAVA_OPTIONS options to add when calling java
  • JAVA_MAJOR_VERSION a number >= 7. If the version is set then only options suitable for this version are used. When set to 7 options known only to Java > 8 will be removed. For versions >= 10 no explicit memory limit is calculated since Java >= 10 has support for container limits. If omitted, this parameter's value will be guessed using the JAVA_VERSION variable, the release file or parsing the java -version command output.
  • JAVA_MAX_MEM_RATIO is used when no -Xmx option is given in JAVA_OPTIONS. This is used to calculate a default maximal Heap Memory based on a containers restriction. If used in a Docker container without any memory constraints for the container then this option has no effect. If there is a memory constraint then -Xmx is set to a ratio of the container available memory as set here. The default is 25 when the maximum amount of memory available to the container is below 300M, 50 otherwise, which means in that case that 50% of the available memory is used as an upper boundary. You can skip this mechanism by setting this value to 0 in which case no -Xmx option is added.
  • JAVA_INIT_MEM_RATIO is used when no -Xms option is given in JAVA_OPTIONS. This is used to calculate a default initial Heap Memory based on a containers restriction. If used in a Docker container without any memory constraints for the container then this option has no effect. If there is a memory constraint then -Xms is set to a ratio of the container available memory as set here. By default this value is not set.
  • JAVA_MAX_CORE restrict manually the number of cores available which is used for calculating certain defaults like the number of garbage collector threads. If set to 0 no base JVM tuning based on the number of cores is performed.
  • JAVA_DIAGNOSTICS set this to get some diagnostics information to standard out when things are happening
  • JAVA_MAIN_CLASS A main class to use as argument for java. When this environment variable is given, all jar files in $JAVA_APP_DIR are added to the classpath as well as $JAVA_LIB_DIR.
  • JAVA_APP_JAR A jar file with an appropriate manifest so that it can be started with java -jar if no $JAVA_MAIN_CLASS is set. In all cases this jar file is added to the classpath, too.
  • JAVA_APP_NAME Name to use for the process
  • JAVA_CLASSPATH the classpath to use. If not given, the startup script checks for a file ${JAVA_APP_DIR}/classpath and use its content literally as classpath. If this file doesn't exists all jars in the app dir are added (classes:${JAVA_APP_DIR}/*).
  • JAVA_DEBUG If set remote debugging will be switched on
  • JAVA_DEBUG_SUSPEND If set enables suspend mode in remote debugging
  • JAVA_DEBUG_PORT Port used for remote debugging. Default: 5005
  • HTTP_PROXY The URL of the proxy server that translates into the http.proxyHost and http.proxyPort system properties.
  • HTTPS_PROXY The URL of the proxy server that translates into the https.proxyHost and https.proxyPort system properties.
  • no_proxy, NO_PROXY The list of hosts that should be reached directly, bypassing the proxy, that translates into the http.nonProxyHosts system property.

If neither $JAVA_APP_JAR nor $JAVA_MAIN_CLASS is given, $JAVA_APP_DIR is checked for a single JAR file which is taken as $JAVA_APP_JAR. If no or more then one jar file is found, an error is thrown.

The classpath is build up with the following parts:

  • If $JAVA_CLASSPATH is set, this classpath is taken.
  • The current directory (".") is added first.
  • If the current directory is not the same as $JAVA_APP_DIR, $JAVA_APP_DIR is added.
  • If $JAVA_MAIN_CLASS is set, then
    • A $JAVA_APP_JAR is added if set
    • If a file $JAVA_APP_DIR/classpath exists, its content is appended to the classpath. This file can be either a single line with the jar files colon separated or a multi-line file where each line holds the path of the jar file relative to $JAVA_LIB_DIR (which by default is the $JAVA_APP_DIR)
    • If this file is not set, a ${JAVA_APP_DIR}/* is added which effectively adds all jars in this directory in alphabetical order.

These variables can be also set in a shell config file, which will be sourced by the startup script. This file can be located in the directory where the startup script is located and in ${JAVA_APP_DIR}, whereas environment variables in the latter override the ones in from the script directory.

This startup script also checks for a command run-java-options. If existent it will be called and the output is added to the environment variable $JAVA_OPTIONS.

The startup script also exposes some environment variables describing container limits which can be used by applications:

Any arguments given to the script are given through directly as argument to the Java application.


# Set the application directory directly
export JAVA_APP_DIR=/deployments
# Set -Xmx based on container constraints
# Start the jar in JAVA_APP_DIR with the given arguments
./ --user maxmorlock --password secret


This script can also be used to calculate reasonable, best-practice options for starting Java apps in general. For example, when running Maven in a container it makes sense to respect container Memory constraints.

The subcommand options can be used to print options to standard output so that is can be easily used to feed it to another, Java based application.

When no extra arguments are given, all defaults will be used, which can be influenced with the environment variables described above.

You can select specific sets of options by providing additional arguments:

  • --debug : Java debug options if JAVA_DEBUG is set
  • --memory : Memory settings based on the environment variables given
  • --proxy : Evaluate proxy environments variables
  • --cpu : Tuning when the number of cores is limited
  • --gc : GC tuning parameters
  • --jit : JIT options
  • --diagnostics : Print diagnostics options when JAVA_DIAGNOSTICS is set
  • --java-default : Same as --memory --jit --diagnostic --cpu --gc


# Call Maven with the proper memory settings when running in an container
export MAVEN_OPTS="$( options --memory)"
mvn clean install


  • Base-Image: JBoss with OpenJDK undefined
  • Java: OpenJDK 8 1.8.0 (Java Development Kit (JDK))
  • Agent-Bond: 1.2.0 (Jolokia 1.7.1, jmx_exporter 0.3.1)