Docker image for Sonatype Nexus
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Latest commit e391f17 Dec 12, 2018


Docker images for Sonatype Nexus Repository Manager 2 with the Oracle JDK. For Nexus Repository Manager 3, please refer to

To build:

# docker build --rm --tag sonatype/nexus oss/
# docker build --rm --tag sonatype/nexus-pro pro/

To run (if port 8081 is open on your host):

# docker run -d -p 8081:8081 --name nexus sonatype/nexus:oss

To determine the port that the container is listening on:

# docker ps -l

To test:

$ curl http://localhost:8081/nexus/service/local/status

To build, copy the Dockerfile and do the build:

$ docker build --rm=true --tag=sonatype/nexus .


  • The UI is accessible at: http://localhost:8081/nexus/

  • Default credentials are: admin / admin123

  • It can take some time (2-3 minutes) for the service to launch in a new container. You can tail the log to determine once Nexus is ready:

$ docker logs -f nexus
  • Installation of Nexus is to /opt/sonatype/nexus. Notably: /opt/sonatype/nexus/conf/ is the properties file. Parameters (nexus-work and nexus-webapp-context-path) defined here are overridden in the JVM invocation.

  • A persistent directory, /sonatype-work, is used for configuration, logs, and storage. This directory needs to be writeable by the Nexus process, which runs as UID 200.

  • Environment variables can be used to control the JVM arguments

    • CONTEXT_PATH, passed as -Dnexus-webapp-context-path. This is used to define the URL which Nexus is accessed. Defaults to '/nexus'
    • MAX_HEAP, passed as -Xmx. Defaults to 768m.
    • MIN_HEAP, passed as -Xms. Defaults to 256m.
    • JAVA_OPTS. Additional options can be passed to the JVM via this variable. Default: -server -XX:MaxPermSize=192m
    • LAUNCHER_CONF. A list of configuration files supplied to the Nexus bootstrap launcher. Default: ./conf/jetty.xml ./conf/jetty-requestlog.xml

    These can be user supplied at runtime to control the JVM:

    $ docker run -d -p 8081:8081 --name nexus -e MAX_HEAP=768m sonatype/nexus

Persistent Data

There are two general approaches to handling persistent storage requirements with Docker. See Managing Data in Containers for additional information.

  1. Use a data volume container. Since data volumes are persistent until no containers use them, a container can be created specifically for this purpose. This is the recommended approach.
$ docker run -d --name nexus-data sonatype/nexus echo "data-only container for Nexus"
$ docker run -d -p 8081:8081 --name nexus --volumes-from nexus-data sonatype/nexus
  1. Mount a host directory as the volume. This is not portable, as it relies on the directory existing with correct permissions on the host. However it can be useful in certain situations where this volume needs to be assigned to certain underlying storage.
$ mkdir /some/dir/nexus-data && chown -R 200 /some/dir/nexus-data
$ docker run -d -p 8081:8081 --name nexus -v /some/dir/nexus-data:/sonatype-work sonatype/nexus

Adding Nexus Plugins

Creating a docker image based on sonatype/nexus is the suggested process: plugins should be expanded to /opt/sonatype/nexus/nexus/WEB-INF/plugin-repository. See for an example concerning the Nexus P2 plugins.

Build Args

Each Dockerfile contains two build arguments (NEXUS_VERSION & NEXUS_DOWNLOAD_URL) that can be used to customize what version of, and from where, Nexus Repository Manager is downloaded. This is useful mostly for testing purposes as the Dockerfile may be dependent on a very specific version of Nexus Repository Manager.

docker build --rm --tag nexus-custom-oss --build-arg NEXUS_VERSION=2.x.y --build-arg NEXUS_DOWNLOAD_URL=http://.../nexus-2.x.y-bundle.tar.gz oss/
docker build --rm --tag nexus-custom-pro --build-arg NEXUS_VERSION=2.x.y --build-arg NEXUS_DOWNLOAD_URL=http://.../nexus-professional-2.x.y-bundle.tar.gz pro/

Getting Help

Looking to contribute to our Docker image but need some help? There's a few ways to get information or our attention: