Configure Jenkins container slaves

In this blog, I am going to walk you through the proper configuration of Docker plugin for Jenkins container slaves. Docker plugin is to be able to use a docker host to dynamically provision a slave, run a single build, then tear-down that slave. Optionally, the container can be committed, so that (for example) manual QA could be performed by the container being imported into a local docker provider, and run from there.

1. Prerequisites

I assume, you have

1. A Jenkins instance with administrator privilege.
2. Install docker plugin to Jenkins
3. A working docker host

I have installed Jenkins on my OpenStack VM having IP address is and Docker host working at another VM IP address

2. Preparing Environment

A. Prepare docker host

Your docker host needs to allow connections from a jenkins instance hosted on a different machine, you will need to open up the TCP port 2375. This can be achieved by editing the docker config file in /etc/default/docker. Open this file in your favorite editor and do the underneath change:

$ sudo vi /etc/default/docker

DOCKER_OPTS="-H tcp:// -H unix:///var/run/docker.sock"

B. Creating a docker image

You can pull a ready-made jenkins slave using docker pull command!

docker pull evarga/jenkins-slave

You need a docker image that has, as a minimum, an ssh server installed. You probably want a JDK, and you will also want a ‘jenkins’ user that can log in. For doing all follow blow activities:

$ docker run -i -t jenkins-slave /bin/bash

root@044d879cbf8c:/# apt-get update
root@044d879cbf8c:/# apt-get install git
root@044d879cbf8c:/# exit

Once the container has been created, you need to commit it with a name to be used later, e.g: docker-slave-image

$ docker ps -a
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                  COMMAND             CREATED             STATUS                     PORTS               NAMES
672a8e7ec179        evarga/jenkins-slave   "/bin/bash"         5 weeks ago         Exited (0) 5 weeks ago                         agitated_albattani

$ docker commit 672a8e7ec179 docker-slave-image

$ docker images
REPOSITORY             TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
docker-slave-image     latest              d8e5c82b7ce1        1 minutes ago         655.3 MB
evarga/jenkins-slave   latest              4df728e7f65f        16 months ago       610.8 MB

3. Jenkins Configuration

Docker appears in the ‘Cloud’ section of the Jenkins configuration, select “Docker” from the “Add a new cloud” drop down menu.

Docker turns up in the ‘Cloud’ section of the Jenkins configuration, Now pick “Docker” from the “Add a new cloud” drop down menu.


The project is now ready to run. If everything is set up correctly, Jenkins should start up a new Docker container, run the build, and then shut down the container.

Job Configuration

Now, configure a job to use that “docker-slave-image” label as shown below:


Running that job, we will see that it successfully spins up a container of “docker-slave-image” and will build the job. Once build will complete, container will destroyed automatically.


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