Java with Docker in Visual Studio Code

This tutorial will walk you through building and deploying a Docker image for a Java application with Visual Studio Code.

We will continue using the same Spring Boot application we built in our first Java Tutorial.

Docker is a container management toolkit which allows users to publish and reuse container images. A Docker image is a recipe for running a containerized process. In this tutorial, we will build a Docker image for the web app, run the image locally, and then deploy it to the cloud.

Before you begin

In addition to the Java tools that you needed to install for the Java Tutorial, you also need the tools for Docker. See the Install Docker documentation for details on setting Docker up for your machine. Before proceeding further, verify you can run Docker commands from the shell (docker --version).

You also need to have an Azure account ready for the deployment steps.

Install the Docker extension

To have a fully integrated Docker experience, install the Docker extension for VS Code. This extension makes it easy to build and deploy containerized applications from within Visual Studio Code. To install the Docker extension, open the Extensions view (⇧⌘X (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+X)) and search for docker to filter the results. Select the Microsoft Docker extension.

Install Docker

For more information, see Working with Docker.

Create a Container

To build your project, navigate to the complete folder of the Sprint Boot application, and run the Maven command below in a terminal to create the Java assembly files (JAR).

mvn clean package

Docker has a simple Dockerfile file format that it uses to specify the "layers" of an image. Create a Dockerfile in your project under the complete folder with the following content:

FROM openjdk:8-jdk-alpine
ADD target/gs-spring-boot-0.1.0.jar app.jar
ENTRYPOINT exec java $JAVA_OPTS -jar /app.jar

Right click the Dockerfile from the File Explorer, and choose the Build Image command from the context menu. You will be prompted to name your image and once it's done, you can see the image in the Docker Explorer provided by the Docker Extension.

Build Image

Run your container image locally

Click the Run command by right clicking the image you just built and your Docker image will start running locally.

Run Container

Test the web app by browsing to http://localhost:8080 using a web browser. You should see the following message displayed: "Greetings from Spring Boot!".

Greeting from Spring

Push your image to Docker Hub

You can deploy your Docker image to Azure from either a public or private container registry. In this tutorial, we will use Docker Hub. If you do not have a Docker Hub account, create one from Docker Hub

The first time you expand the Docker Hub node in Docker Explorer, you'll be prompted to log into your Docker Hub account.

Docker Hub Login

Your username and password are stored in your operating system credentials vault (for example, macOS keychain or Windows Credential Store) so that you don't need to log in every time. You can log out of Docker Hub by right clicking on the Docker Hub label and choosing Docker Hub Logout. This will delete the credentials from the OS store.

Now push your image to Docker Hub. Make sure the name of your image starts (is 'tagged') with your Docker ID.

Push Image

Deploying images to Azure App Service

With the Docker Explorer, you can deploy images from Docker Hub Registries or Azure Container Registries, directly to an Azure App Service instance. This functionality requires installing the Azure Account extension and an Azure subscription. If you do not have an Azure subscription, sign up today for a free 30 day account and get $200 in Azure Credits to try out any combination of Azure services.

To log into Azure, after installing the Azure Account extensions, you can run Azure: Sign in from the Command Palette (⇧⌘P (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+P)). You then sign into your account using the Device Login flow. Click on Copy & Open in the notification to open your default browser.

Azure Sign In code

Paste in the access code and continue the sign in process.

Azure Device Login

You can now right click on an image in Docker Hub or an Azure Container Registry and choose Deploy Image to Azure App Service.

Deploy to Azure

From here you will be prompted for a Resource Group, a location, an App Service Plan, and a globally unique website name. Once it's deployed to Azure App Service, you will get a URL for the web app running in the cloud!

Next steps