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VerneMQ Docker image - Starts the VerneMQ MQTT broker and listens on 1883 and 8080 (for websockets).
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What is VerneMQ?

VerneMQ is a high-performance, distributed MQTT message broker. It scales horizontally and vertically on commodity hardware to support a high number of concurrent publishers and consumers while maintaining low latency and fault tolerance. VerneMQ is the reliable message hub for your IoT platform or smart products.

VerneMQ is an Apache2 licensed distributed MQTT broker, developed in Erlang.

How to use this image

1. Using Helm to deploy on Kubernetes

First install and configure Helm according to the documentation. Then add VerneMQ Helm charts repository:

helm repo add vernemq

You can now deploy VerneMQ on your Kubernetes cluster:

helm install vernemq/vernemq

For more information, check out the Helm chart README.

2. Using pure Docker commands

docker run --name vernemq1 -d erlio/docker-vernemq

Somtimes you need to configure a forwarding for ports (on a Mac for example):

docker run -p 1883:1883 --name vernemq1 -d erlio/docker-vernemq

This starts a new node that listens on 1883 for MQTT connections and on 8080 for MQTT over websocket connections. However, at this moment the broker won't be able to authenticate the connecting clients. To allow anonymous clients use the DOCKER_VERNEMQ_ALLOW_ANONYMOUS=on environment variable.

docker run -e "DOCKER_VERNEMQ_ALLOW_ANONYMOUS=on" --name vernemq1 -d erlio/docker-vernemq

Autojoining a VerneMQ cluster

This allows a newly started container to automatically join a VerneMQ cluster. Assuming you started your first node like the example above you could autojoin the cluster (which currently consists of a single container 'vernemq1') like the following:

docker run -e "DOCKER_VERNEMQ_DISCOVERY_NODE=<IP-OF-VERNEMQ1>" --name vernemq2 -d erlio/docker-vernemq

(Note, you can find the IP of a docker container using docker inspect <containername/cid> | grep \"IPAddress\").

3. Automated clustering on Kubernetes without helm

When running VerneMQ inside Kubernetes, it is possible to cause pods matching a specific label to cluster altogether automatically. This feature uses Kubernetes' API to discover other peers, and relies on the default pod service account which has to be enabled.

Simply set DOCKER_VERNEMQ_DISCOVERY_KUBERNETES=1 in your pod's environment, and expose your own pod name through MY_POD_NAME . By default, this setting will cause all pods in the same namespace with the app=vernemq label to join the same cluster. Cluster name (defaults to cluster.local), namespace and label settings can be overridden with DOCKER_VERNEMQ_KUBERNETES_CLUSTER_NAME, DOCKER_VERNEMQ_KUBERNETES_NAMESPACE and DOCKER_VERNEMQ_KUBERNETES_LABEL_SELECTOR respectively.

An example configuration of your pod's environment looks like this:

    value: "1"
  - name: MY_POD_NAME
    value: "app=vernemq,release=myinstance"

When enabling Kubernetes autoclustering, don't set DOCKER_VERNEMQ_DISCOVERY_NODE.

If you encounter "SSL certification error (subject name does not match the host name)" like below, you may try to set DOCKER_VERNEMQ_KUBERNETES_INSECURE to "1".

kubectl logs vernemq-0
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
  0     0    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--     0curl: (51) SSL: certificate subject name 'client' does not match target host name 'kubernetes.default.svc.cluster.local'
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
  0     0    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--     0curl: (51) SSL: certificate subject name 'client' does not match target host name 'kubernetes.default.svc.cluster.local'
vernemq failed to start within 15 seconds,
see the output of 'vernemq console' for more information.
If you want to wait longer, set the environment variable
WAIT_FOR_ERLANG to the number of seconds to wait.

If using an vernemq.conf.local file, you can insert a placeholder (###IPADDRESS###) in your config to be replaced (at POD creation time) with the actual IP address of the POD vernemq is running on, making VMQ clustering possible.

4. Using Docker Swarm

Please follow the official Docker guide to properly setup Swarm cluster with one or more nodes.

Once Swarm is setup you can deploy a VerneMQ stack. The following snippet describes the stack using a docker-compose.yml file:

version: "3.7"
    image: erlio/docker-vernemq
    image: erlio/docker-vernemq
      - vmq0
      replicas: 2

Run docker stack deploy -c docker-compose.yml my-vernemq-stack to deploy a 3 node VerneMQ cluster.

Note: Docker Swarm currently lacks the functionality similar to what is called a statefulset in Kubernetes. As a consequence VerneMQ must rely on a specific discovery service (the vmq0 service above) that is started before the other replicas.

Checking cluster status

To check if the above containers have successfully clustered you can issue the vmq-admin command:

docker exec vernemq1 vmq-admin cluster show
|        Node        |Running|
|VerneMQ@| true  |
|VerneMQ@| true  |

If you started VerneMQ cluster inside Kubernetes using DOCKER_VERNEMQ_DISCOVERY_KUBERNETES=1, you can execute vmq-admin through kubectl:

kubectl exec vernemq-0 -- vmq-admin cluster show
|                       Node                        |Running|
|VerneMQ@vernemq-0.vernemq.default.svc.cluster.local| true  |
|VerneMQ@vernemq-1.vernemq.default.svc.cluster.local| true  |

All vmq-admin commands are available. See for more information.

VerneMQ Configuration

All configuration parameters that are available in vernemq.conf can be defined using the DOCKER_VERNEMQ prefix followed by the confguration parameter name. E.g: allow_anonymous=on is -e "DOCKER_VERNEMQ_ALLOW_ANONYMOUS=on" or allow_register_during_netsplit=on is -e "DOCKER_VERNEMQ_ALLOW_REGISTER_DURING_NETSPLIT=on". All available configuration parameters can be found on


VerneMQ store crash and error log files in /var/log/vernemq/, and, by default, doesn't write console log to the disk to avoid filling the container disk space. However this behaviour can be changed by setting the environment variable DOCKER_VERNEMQ_LOG__CONSOLE to both which tells VerneMQ to send logs to stdout and /var/log/vernemq/console.log. For more information please see VerneMQ logging documentation:


Some of our configuration variables contain dots .. For example if you want to adjust the log level of VerneMQ you'd use -e "DOCKER_VERNEMQ_LOG.CONSOLE.LEVEL=debug". However, some container platforms such as Kubernetes don't support dots and other special characters in environment variables. If you are on such a platform you could substitute the dots with two underscores __. The example above would look like -e "DOCKER_VERNEMQ_LOG__CONSOLE__LEVEL=debug".

There some some exceptions on configuration names contains dots. You can see follow examples:

format in vernemq.conf format in environment variable name
vmq_webhooks.pool_timeout = 60000 DOCKER_VERNEMQ_VMQ_WEBHOOKS__POOL_timeout=6000
vmq_webhooks.pool_timeout = 60000 DOCKER_VERNEMQ_VMQ_WEBHOOKS.pool_timeout=60000

File Based Authentication

You can set up File Based Authentication by adding users and passwords as environment variables as follows:


where <USERNAME> is the username you want to use. This can be done as many times as necessary to create the users you want. The usernames will always be created in lowercase

CAVEAT - You cannot have a = character in your password.

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