Docker Ubuntu VM based IntelliJ Java 8 development environment
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This project defines a Docker image that allows development in an Ubuntu VM using IntelliJ IDEA, Java 8, Git, Maven etc, accessed via X (typically from a Windows workstation).

Running from Windows

Initial setup

  • Install Docker for Windows.
  • Install an X client, such as MobaXTerm. NB ensure that the X client access control is disabled - this is the default on MobaXTerm, but eg XMing needs to be run with the -ac option.


  • Ensure X client is running.
  • Run "Boot2Docker Start" - this will open a Boot2Docker console.
  • Run the following command in the Boot2Docker console, substituting <DISPLAY> and <USERNAME>:
    docker run -d -e DISPLAY=<DISPLAY> -v /c/Users/<USERNAME>/Docker-IntelliJ:/home/dev -name intellij snellm/intellij
    • <DISPLAY> is the X client display address. Typically this will be your workstation IP address plus ":0.0".
    • <USERNAME> is your Windows username. This path is used to persist the VM "dev" users home directory between restarts.
  • A terminal window should open on your desktop from the VM. To start IntelliJ IDEA, run "idea". To start Google Chrome, run "chrome".


  • The VM is based on Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) with Oracle Java 8 and IntelliJ IDEA 14.1 Community Edition added.
  • Development is as the "dev" user, password "dev".
  • Passwordless sudo rights have been granted to the the "dev" user, but note that any changes made outside of the "dev" users home directory will be lost between restarts.
  • The "dev" users home directory (/home/dev) is mapped to the host path set when starting, so will be preserved between restarts and even if Docker is for Windows is uninstalled/reinstalled.


  • Not extensively tested.
  • If running inside Boot2Docker on Windows:
    • Memory is limited to the size of the Boot2Docker VirtualBox VM (default to 2GB).
    • An issue with mounting /home/dev to Windows causes problems with Chrome and Firefox profile creation.