Development Usage

Please note! This Docker setup is not for production!


First, install Java 11 and Maven.

After cloning the repo, try this:

mvn -Pct clean package docker:run

After some time you should be able to log in:


Assuming you have Docker, Docker Desktop, Moby or some remote Docker host configured, up and running from here on. Also assuming you have Java and Maven installed, as you are at least about to develop code changes.

To test drive these local changes to the Dataverse codebase in a containerized application server (and avoid the setup described in Development Environment), you must a) build the application and b) run it in addition to the necessary dependencies. (Which might involve building a new local version of the Config Baker Image.)


To build the application and config baker image, run the following command:

mvn -Pct clean package

Once this is done, you will see images gdcc/dataverse:unstable and gdcc/configbaker:unstable available in your Docker cache.

Note: This will skip any unit tests. If you have built the code before for testing, etc. you might omit the clean to avoid recompiling.

Note: Also we have a docker-compose-dev.yml file, it’s currently not possible to build the images without invoking Maven. This might change in the future.


After building the app and config baker image containing your local changes to the Dataverse application, you want to run it together with all dependencies. There are four ways to do this (commands executed at root of project directory):

Cheatsheet: Running Containers

Using Maven

Using Compose

In foreground

mvn -Pct docker:run

docker compose -f docker-compose-dev.yml up

In background

mvn -Pct docker:start

docker compose -f docker-compose-dev.yml up -d

Both ways have their pros and cons:

Decision Helper: Fore- or Background?




Logs scroll by when interacting with API / UI
To stop all containers simply hit Ctrl+C
Lots and lots of logs scrolling by
Must stop all containers to restart


No logs scrolling by
Easy to replace single containers
No logs scrolling by
Stopping containers needs an extra command

In case you want to concatenate building and running, here’s a cheatsheet for you:

Cheatsheet: Building and Running Containers

Using Maven

Using Compose

In foreground

mvn -Pct package docker:run

mvn -Pct package && docker compose -f docker-compose-dev.yml up

In background

mvn -Pct package docker:start

mvn -Pct package && docker compose -f docker-compose-dev.yml up -d

Once all containers have been started, you can check if the application was deployed correctly by checking the version at http://localhost:8080/api/info/version or watch the logs.

Note: To stop all containers you started in background, invoke mvn -Pct docker:stop or docker compose -f docker-compose-dev.yml down.

Check that you can log in to http://localhost:8080 using user dataverseAdmin and password admin1.

You can also access the Payara Admin Console if needed, which is available at http://localhost:4848. To log in, use user admin and password admin. As a reminder, the application container is for development use only, so we are exposing the admin console for testing purposes. In a production environment, it may be more convenient to leave this console unopened.

Note that data is persisted in ./docker-dev-volumes in the root of the Git repo. For a clean start, you should remove this directory before running the mvn commands above.

Viewing Logs

In case you started containers in background mode (see Running), you can use the following commands to view and/or watch logs from the containers.

The safe bet for any running container’s logs is to lookup the container name via docker ps and use it in docker logs <name>. You can tail logs by adding -n and follow them by adding -f (just like tail cmd). See docker logs --help for more.


  • In case you used Maven for running, you may use mvn -Pct docker:logs -Ddocker.filter=<service name>.

  • If you used Docker Compose for running, you may use docker compose -f docker-compose-dev.yml logs <service name>. Options are the same.


Currently, the only safe and tested way to re-deploy the Dataverse application after you applied code changes is by recreating the container(s). In the future, more options may be added here.

If you started your containers in foreground, just stop them and follow the steps for building and running again. The same goes for using Maven to start the containers in the background.

In case of using Docker Compose and starting the containers in the background, you can use a workaround to only restart the application container:

# First rebuild the container (will complain about an image still in use, this is fine.)
mvn -Pct package
# Then re-create the container (will automatically restart the container for you)
docker compose -f docker-compose-dev.yml create dev_dataverse

Using docker container inspect dev_dataverse | grep Image you can verify the changed checksums.

Using A Debugger

The Application Base Image enables usage of the Java Debugging Wire Protocol for remote debugging if you set ENABLE_JDWP=1 as environment variable for the application container. The default configuration when executing containers with the commands listed at Running already enables this.

There are a lot of tutorials how to connect your IDE’s debugger to a remote endpoint. Please use localhost:9009 as the endpoint. Here are links to the most common IDEs docs on remote debugging: Eclipse, IntelliJ