Charlie Drage

Running Nomad in a Docker container

Nomad from Hashicorp! Another container orchestrator. Similar to Kubernetes, Mesos, and Docker Swarm.

IMO, the best way to learn about containers is by example. Than what better way than to run Nomad in a container.

If you haven’t heard of Kubernetes (k8s for short) or any of those hip and happening container tools I would suggest looking at this great k8s article.

Now onto the fun part!

Build Nomad

First, let’s build Nomad. You’ll need Go for this.

go get
cd $GOPATH/src/
make bin

After that’s completed you’ll find the Nomad binary blob in the /bin folder.

Build the Docker container

Here’s the entire Dockerfile for Nomad (small ‘init?)

Before that, copy your built binary blob to the same folder where your Dockerfile will be.

FROM debian:8
MAINTAINER Charlie Drage <>

# Needed for ca-certificates :)
# See error: "x509: failed to load system roots and no roots provided"
RUN apt-get update && \
    apt-get install -y ca-certificates

EXPOSE :4646
EXPOSE :4647
EXPOSE :4648

COPY nomad /nomad

ENTRYPOINT ["/nomad"]
▶ docker build -t $USER/nomad .
Sending build context to Docker daemon 22.06 MB
Sending build context to Docker daemon 
Step 0 : FROM debian:8
 ---> bf84c1d84a8f
Step 1 : MAINTAINER Charlie Drage <>
 ---> Using cache
 ---> bc3244625ab2
Step 2 : RUN apt-get update &&     apt-get install -y ca-certificates
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 217fda8a17b4
Step 3 : EXPOSE :4646
 ---> Using cache
 ---> e1b642932e0f
Step 4 : EXPOSE :4647
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 19b8ee64657c
Step 5 : EXPOSE :4648
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 5c5450ca4567
Step 6 : COPY nomad /nomad
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 78f16ddd6880
Step 7 : ENTRYPOINT /nomad
 ---> Using cache
 ---> eea5b9b75cc8
Successfully built eea5b9b75cc8

Now run it!

docker run \
  --net=host \
  -v /run/docker.sock:/run/docker.sock \
  --name nomad \
  -p 4646:4646 \
  -p 4647:4647 \
  -p 4648:4648 \
  $USER/nomad agent -dev -network-interface YOURINTERFACE(eth0 probably)
==> Starting Nomad agent...
2015/10/24 18:58:22 [ERR] fingerprint.env_aws: Error querying AWS Metadata URL, skipping
==> Nomad agent configuration:

                 Atlas: <disabled>
                Client: true
             Log Level: DEBUG
                Region: global (DC: dc1)
                Server: true

==> Nomad agent started! Log data will stream in below:

    2015/10/24 18:58:20 [INFO] serf: EventMemberJoin:
    2015/10/24 18:58:20 [INFO] nomad: starting 4 scheduling worker(s) for [service batch _core]
    2015/10/24 18:58:20 [INFO] client: using alloc directory /tmp/NomadClient032777845
    2015/10/24 18:58:20 [INFO] raft: Node at [Follower] entering Follower state
    2015/10/24 18:58:20 [INFO] nomad: adding server (Addr: (DC: dc1)
    2015/10/24 18:58:20 [WARN] Unable to read link speed from /sys/class/net/wlan0/speed
    2015/10/24 18:58:20 [DEBUG] Unable to read link speed; setting to default 100
    2015/10/24 18:58:22 [WARN] raft: Heartbeat timeout reached, starting election
    2015/10/24 18:58:22 [INFO] raft: Node at [Candidate] entering Candidate state
    2015/10/24 18:58:22 [DEBUG] raft: Votes needed: 1
    2015/10/24 18:58:22 [DEBUG] raft: Vote granted. Tally: 1
    2015/10/24 18:58:22 [INFO] raft: Election won. Tally: 1
    2015/10/24 18:58:22 [INFO] raft: Node at [Leader] entering Leader state
    2015/10/24 18:58:22 [INFO] raft: Disabling EnableSingleNode (bootstrap)
    2015/10/24 18:58:22 [DEBUG] raft: Node updated peer set (2): []
    2015/10/24 18:58:22 [INFO] nomad: cluster leadership acquired
    2015/10/24 18:58:23 [ERR] fingerprint.env_gce: Error querying GCE Metadata URL, skipping
    2015/10/24 18:58:23 [DEBUG] client: applied fingerprints [arch cpu host memory storage network]
    2015/10/24 18:58:23 [DEBUG] client: available drivers [docker exec]
    2015/10/24 18:58:23 [DEBUG] client: node registration complete
    2015/10/24 18:58:23 [DEBUG] client: updated allocations at index 1 (0 allocs)
    2015/10/24 18:58:23 [DEBUG] client: allocs: (added 0) (removed 0) (updated 0) (ignore 0)
    2015/10/24 18:58:23 [DEBUG] client: state updated to ready

You’ll see that your Nomad container started successfully! If you want to run it as a daemon, add -d to the Docker run command.

Now run your first Nomad container!

▶ docker exec -it nomad bash
root@root:/# ./nomad init
Example job file written to example.nomad
root@root:/# ./nomad run example.nomad 
==> Monitoring evaluation "4602470b-a7e0-8a33-0e77-10654b103e58"
    Evaluation triggered by job "example"
    Allocation "327bedb4-32c9-b671-2b1d-66332debe6d2" created: node "ec84f514-9ce6-046f-bc1b-6b04d9a8c83b", group "cache"
    Evaluation status changed: "pending" -> "complete"
==> Evaluation "4602470b-a7e0-8a33-0e77-10654b103e58" finished with status "complete"

There you have it! Go check out docker ps -a and you’ll see an example Redis container running.

Now start hacking and build!

UPDATE: Keep in mind that you’re passing -v /run/docker.sock:/run/docker.sock to Nomad. You will only be able to use the Docker provider. If you’d like to use rkt or qemu feel free to run Nomad natively (perhaps in a systemd service).