Containerizing Alfresco

What is Alfresco?

Alfresco is an open source document management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. It comes in Community and Enterprise editions that are different only in scalability and high availability features. It’s powerful, easy to use and much mature than other open source document management systems. Alfresco is Java based software, Community edition comes bundled with Tomcat application server and uses PostgreSQL database as backend.


The scope here is to containerize Alfresco, the setup will have 2 containers, one for PostgreSQL and another one for Alfresco. The container entry point will detect if Alfresco is not installed and will install it in this case, otherwise it will start the Tomcat server to run Alfresco application. Here I’m relying on Docker compose to run the environment.


– Setup directory hierarchy:
The following is the directory hierarchy for the container folder:

  alfresco/                     Alfresco Docker container folder      Docker entry point for Alfresco container               Configration parameters for Alfresco installation
    Dockerfile                  Dockerfile to build Alfresco container
    alfresco/                   Shared volume for Alfresco
  db_store/                     PostgreSQL Docker container folder
    data/                       Shared volume for PostgreSQL database storage

– On container host: Create group “alfresco” (GID: 888) and user “alfresco” (UID: 888), home directory /opt/alfresco (Alfresco root)

– Login with user “alfresco”
– Move the above hierarchy to the file /opt/alfresco (Available at
– Build the Alfresco container:

$ docker-compose build alfresco

– If SELinux is enabled, run the following command on all shared volumes (Needed to run that on CentOS 7.2, docker 1.9.1):

$ chcon --recursive --type=svirt_sandbox_file_t --range=s0 /path/to/volume

– Copy Alfresco installation file “alfresco-community-installer-201605-linux-x64.bin” to alfresco shared volume:
– Copy the file to alfresco shared volume and change:
To match hostname of the Docker host

– Change hostname as well in docker-compose.yml file (alfresco service):

– Bring the environment up without -d parameter time to make sure it installs everything OK:

$ docker-compose up

– After finishing and accessing Alfresco on port 8080, press Ctrl-C
– Start the environment in daemon mode:

$ docker-compose up -d

Now you can enjoy Alfresco Document Management System in Docker container.