Packaging an Akka-http Application using SBT and Docker: Simple Example

Packaging an Akka-http Application using SBT and Docker: Simple Example

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This post will walk you through setting up a minimal akka-http example (including Json marshalling/unmarshalling, accessing external resources and other goodies) and making it ready for packaging with docker.

We'll be using sbt-native-packager, which you can use not only to create Docker containers but a variety of other package formats (e.g. deb, rpm, msi and zip).

TL;DR: See sample project here: akka-http-docker-minimal-seed

Prerequisites: Docker and SBT

Clone the sample app from github

$ git clone

Examining the files

I won't go into the details of how to put together an akka-http application here; the code is heavily commented so you should be able to pick up what you should do from the example.

There are a couple of files that you need to take special notice of:

  • build.sbt

    The first line is used to configure what type of package you want. For Docker, use JavaAppPackaging (even though this is a Scala project!):

    lazy val root = (project in file(".")).enablePlugins(JavaAppPackaging)

    This is where you set the Docker container name:

    packageName in Docker := "akka-http-docker-minimal-seed"

    The following line is needed to inform Docker we want open a port on the container so we can access from outside (there may be more than one)

    dockerExposedPorts := Seq(5000)
  • project/plugins.sbt

    The following line

    addSbtPlugin("com.typesafe.sbt" % "sbt-native-packager" % "1.1.1")

    adds the plugin to sbt.

Packaging and Running the Project

To package the app, you need to run a single command:

$ sbt docker:publishLocal

This will package your akka-http app into a Docker container and make it available for running with Docker.

After generating the container (step above), run the container:

$ docker run -dit -p 5000:5000 --name akka-minimal-seed akka-http-docker-minimal-seed:1.0

You will get a response like this:

$ docker run -dit -p 5000:5000 --name akka-minimal-seed akka-http-docker-minimal-seed:1.0

This will run in the background (because of the -d switch) so you won't see

Testing the app

  • Open address on a web browser: http://localhost:5000/healthcheck

  • To test using Postman, use this link:

    Run in Postman

Stop the container

To stop the container, run:

$ docker stop akka-minimal-seed

If you prefer to remove the container rather than just stop it, just run docker rm instead of docker stop.

Troubleshooting: "Cannot connect to the Docker daemon. Is the docker daemon running on this host?"

Dialogue & Discussion