Apr 23, 2016

How to use Docker within intelliJ

A short tutorial on how to use Docker within intelliJ and with a little help from Gradle. You can find the sample code & the full description here: https://github.com/adersberger/intellij-docker-tutorial


  • install intelliJ Docker plugin (https://plugins.jetbrains.com/plugin/7724)
  • check that there is a default Docker Machine: docker-machine ls. If there is no default machine create one: docker-machine create --driver virtualbox default.
  • start the default Docker Machine: docker-machine start default.
  • bind the env vars to the shell: eval "$(docker-machine env default)"
  • check if everything is correct: docker ps

Using Docker within intelliJ

1) Setup Docker cloud provider in intelliJ global preferences as shown below.

Tip: You can get the API URL by executing docker-machine ls and using the shown IP & port for the defaultmachine.

2) Check connection to Docker daemon in intelliJ "Docker" tab

3) Create new project from version control using github (https://github.com/adersberger/intellij-docker-tutorial.git)

4) Create a new run configuration to deploy application to Docker as shown on the following screenshots:

  • Be sure not to forget to add the Gradle tasks as a "before launch" action as shown at the very bottom of the screenshot.
  • The same is also possible for Docker Compose files. Just point the "Deployment" dropdown to the Docker Compose file.

5) Run the configuration and inspect the Docker container. A browser will open automagically and point to the REST endpoint. Within intelliJ you can access the containers console output, environment variables, port bindings etc.