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Docker Containerizer

Mesos 0.20.0 adds the support for launching tasks that contains Docker images, with also a subset of Docker options supported while we plan on adding more in the future.

Users can either launch a Docker image as a Task, or as an Executor.

The following sections will describe the API changes along with Docker support, and also how to setup Docker.


To run the slave to enable the Docker Containerizer, you must launch the slave with “docker” as one of the containerizers option.

Example: mesos-slave --containerizers=docker,mesos

Each slave that has the Docker containerizer should have Docker CLI client installed (version >= 1.0.0).

If you enable iptables on slave, make sure the iptables allow all traffic from docker bridge interface through add below rule:

iptables -A INPUT -s -i docker0 -p tcp -j ACCEPT

How do I use the Docker Containerizer?

TaskInfo before 0.20.0 used to only support either setting a CommandInfo that launches a task running the bash command, or an ExecutorInfo that launches a custom Executor that will launches the task.

With 0.20.0 we added a ContainerInfo field to TaskInfo and ExecutorInfo that allows a Containerizer such as Docker to be configured to run the task or executor.

To run a Docker image as a task, in TaskInfo one must set both the command and the container field as the Docker Containerizer will use the accompanied command to launch the docker image. The ContainerInfo should have type Docker and a DockerInfo that has the desired docker image.

To run a Docker image as an executor, in TaskInfo one must set the ExecutorInfo that contains a ContainerInfo with type docker and the CommandInfo that will be used to launch the executor. Note that the Docker image is expected to launch up as a Mesos executor that will register with the slave once it launches.

What does the Docker Containerizer do?

The Docker Containerizer is translating Task/Executor Launch and Destroy calls to Docker CLI commands.

Currently the Docker Containerizer when launching as task will do the following:

  1. Fetch all the files specified in the CommandInfo into the sandbox.

  2. Pull the docker image from the remote repository.

  3. Run the docker image with the Docker executor, and map the sandbox directory into the Docker container and set the directory mapping to the MESOS_SANDBOX environment variable. The executor will also stream the container logs into stdout/stderr files in the sandbox.

  4. On container exit or containerizer destroy, stop and remove the docker container.

The Docker Containerizer launches all containers with the mesos- prefix plus the slave id (ie: mesos-slave1-abcdefghji), and also assumes all containers with the mesos- prefix is managed by the slave and is free to stop or kill the containers.

When launching the docker image as an Executor, the only difference is that it skips launching a command executor but just reaps on the docker container executor pid.

Note that we currently default to host networking when running a docker image, to easier support running a docker image as an Executor.

The containerizer also supports optional force pulling of the image. It is set disabled as default, so the docker image will only be updated again if it’s not available on the host. To enable force pulling an image, force_pull_image has to be set as true.

Private Docker repository

To run an image from a private repository, one can include the uri pointing to a .dockercfg that contains login information. The .dockercfg file will be pulled into the sandbox the Docker Containerizer set the HOME environment variable pointing to the sandbox so docker cli will automatically pick up the config file.

Starting from 0.29, we provide an alternative way to specify docker config file for pulling images from private registries. We allow operators to specify a shared docker config file using an agent flag. This docker config file will be used to pull images from private registries for all containers. See configuration documentation for detail. Operators can either use a local docker config file (need to manually configure .docker/config.json or .dockercfg on each slave), or specify the flag as a JSON-formatted string. For example:


or as a JSON object,

--docker_config="{ \
  \"auths\": { \
    \"https://index.docker.io/v1/\": { \
      \"auth\": \"xXxXxXxXxXx=\", \
      \"email\": \"username@example.com\" \
    } \
  } \

CommandInfo to run Docker images

A docker image currently supports having an entrypoint and/or a default command.

To run a docker image with the default command (ie: docker run image), the CommandInfo’s value must not be set. If the value is set then it will override the default command.

To run a docker image with an entrypoint defined, the CommandInfo’s shell option must be set to false. If shell option is set to true the Docker Containerizer will run the user’s command wrapped with /bin/sh -c which will also become parameters to the image entrypoint.

Recover Docker containers on slave recovery

The Docker containerizer supports recovering Docker containers when the slave restarts, which supports both when the slave is running in a Docker container or not.

With the --docker_mesos_image flag enabled, the Docker containerizer assumes the containerizer is running in a container itself and modifies the mechanism it recovers and launches docker containers accordingly.