ejabberd Development with Docker

Mickaël Rémond
Published in
3 min readDec 5, 2016

We have released a Docker image to help you get started with ejabberd development easily.

Docker image for ejabberd developers is available from Docker Hub: ejabberd/mix

Thanks to this image, you can build ejabberd with dependencies provided in our Docker image, without the need to install any specific tools (beside Docker) directly on your own machine.

Please note that this image can likely be reused as is to build other Erlang or Elixir software.

Pulling ejabberd development Docker image

You can pull ejabberd image for developer with this Docker command:

docker pull ejabberd/mix

Once done, you are ready to build ejabberd from source and add your custom plugin modules.

Building ejabberd from source

You can build ejabberd from source with all dependencies, with the following commands:

git clone https://github.com/processone/ejabberd.git docker run --rm -v $(pwd):$(pwd) -w $(pwd) ejabberd/mix do deps.get, deps.compile, compile

Alternatively if you do not have Git installed, you can do retrieve compressed source code archive and then build ejabberd:

wget https://github.com/processone/ejabberd/archive/master.zip unzip ejabberd-master cd ejabberd-master docker run --rm -v $(pwd):$(pwd) -w $(pwd) ejabberd/mix do deps.get, deps.compile, compile

Run ejabberd with mix command-line tool attached

During development, you will need to run ejabberd with debug console attached.

First, you can customize the configuration used by ejabberd in development mode by editing the file config/ejabberd.yml. As a default, it will run ejabberd with console attached on domain “localhost”:

docker run --rm -it -p 5222:5222 -p 5280:5280 -v $(pwd):$(pwd) -w $(pwd) --entrypoint="/usr/bin/iex" ejabberd/mix -S mix

You can then directly create a user from Elixir shell:

Erlang/OTP 19 [erts-8.1] [source] [64-bit] [smp:2:2] [async-threads:10] [kernel-poll:false] Interactive Elixir (1.3.4) - press Ctrl+C to exit (type h() ENTER for help) iex(1)> :ejabberd_auth.try_register("test", "localhost", "passw0rd") {:atomic, :ok}

Finally, you can connect with user “test@localhost” (password: passw0rd) on server on localhost port 5222 and use those parameters to connect with an XMPP client.

Get into the container

If you want to run Erlang command line, you can do so by opening a shell inside the container and then running the command as desired:

docker run -it -v $(pwd):$(pwd) -w $(pwd) --entrypoint="/bin/sh" ejabberd/mix


Clock resync

If you have warning about file timestamp being out of sync (Like ‘Clock skew detected’), you may want to force resync your clock before running the build. Docker on MacOS does not force clock resync of Docker after the laptop went to sleep.

You can force clock resync as follow:

docker run -it --rm --privileged --entrypoint="/sbin/hwclock" ejabberd/mix -s

You can check if the clock of your laptop is in sync with the one inside Docker with the following command:

docker run --rm --entrypoint="/bin/sh" ejabberd/mix -c date -u && date -u

Send us feedback

This image is under development and improvement, so please do not hesitate to send us your feedback, so that we can improve ejabberd development experience.

The goal is to provide a simple easy way to develop ejabberd plugins from any OS, whether you use Linux, MacOS or Windows.

Enjoy !

Originally published at blog.process-one.net on December 5, 2016.



Mickaël Rémond

@ProcessOne founder. Go, Erlang, Elixir, Swift developer. Building realtime messaging, push notification and reactive systems. @ejabberd, @boxcar, fluux lead.