Using Jenkins to build a Java application with Maven

This tutorial shows you how to use Jenkins to orchestrate building a simple Java application with Maven.

If you are a Java developer who uses Maven and who is new to CI/CD concepts, or you might be familiar with these concepts but don’t know how to implement building your application using Jenkins, then this tutorial is for you.

The simple Java application (which you’ll obtain from a sample repository on GitHub) outputs the string "Hello world!" and is accompanied by a unit test to check that the main application works as expected.

Duration: This tutorial takes 20-40 minutes to complete (assuming you’ve already met the prerequisites below). The exact duration will depend on the speed of your machine and whether or not you’ve already run Jenkins in Docker from another introductory tutorial.

You can stop this tutorial at any point in time and continue from where you left off.

Prerequisites

For this tutorial, you will require:

  • A macOS, Linux or Windows machine with:

    • 256 MB of RAM, although more than 512MB is recommended.

    • 10 GB of drive space for Jenkins and your Docker images and containers.

  • The following software installed:

    • Docker - Read more about installing Docker in the Installing Docker section of the Installing Jenkins page.
      Note: If you use Linux, this tutorial assumes that you are not running Docker commands as the root user, but instead with a single user account that also has access to the other tools used throughout this tutorial.

    • Git and optionally GitHub Desktop

Run Jenkins in Docker

In this tutorial, you’ll be running Jenkins as a Docker container from the jenkinsci/blueocean Docker image. Read more about these concepts in the Docker and Downloading and running Jenkins in Docker sections of the Installing Jenkins page.

Tip: If you’ve already run though this procedure (perhaps from another introductory tutorial), then you can skip this section and jump to the next. However, if it’s been a while since you last ran through this procedure, then it is recommended that you re-run docker run ... command below again (if you haven’t already done so recently) to acquire any updates to this Docker image.

On macOS and Linux

  1. Open up a terminal window.

  2. Run the jenkinsci/blueocean image as a container in Docker using the following docker run command (bearing in mind that this command automatically downloads the image if this hasn’t been done):

    docker run \
      --rm \
      -u root \
      -p 8080:8080 \
      -v jenkins-data:/var/jenkins_home \ (1)
      -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
      -v "$HOME":/home \ (2)
      jenkinsci/blueocean
    1 Maps the /var/jenkins_home directory in the container to the Docker volume with the name jenkins-data. If this volume does not exist, then this docker run command will automatically create the volume for you.
    2 Maps the $HOME directory on the host (i.e. your local) machine (usually the /Users/<your-username> directory) to the /home directory in the container.

    Note: If copying and pasting the command snippet above doesn’t work, try copying and pasting this annotation-free version here:

    docker run \
      --rm \
      -u root \
      -p 8080:8080 \
      -v jenkins-data:/var/jenkins_home \
      -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
      -v "$HOME":/home \
      jenkinsci/blueocean
  3. Proceed to the Setup wizard.

On Windows

  1. Open up a command prompt window.

  2. Run the jenkinsci/blueocean image as a container in Docker using the following docker run command (bearing in mind that this command automatically downloads the image if this hasn’t been done):

    docker run ^
      --rm ^
      -u root ^
      -p 8080:8080 ^
      -v jenkins-data:/var/jenkins_home ^
      -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock ^
      -v "%HOMEPATH%":/home ^
      jenkinsci/blueocean

    For an explanation of these options, refer to the macOS and Linux instructions above.

  3. Proceed to the Setup wizard.

Accessing the Jenkins/Blue Ocean Docker container

If you have some experience with Docker and you wish or need to access the Jenkins/Blue Ocean Docker container through a terminal/command prompt using the docker exec command, you can add an option like --name jenkins-tutorials (with the docker run above), which would give the Jenkins/Blue Ocean Docker container the name "jenkins-tutorials".

This means you could access the Jenkins/Blue Ocean container (through a separate terminal/command prompt window) with a docker exec command like:

docker exec -it jenkins-tutorials bash

Setup wizard

Before you can access Jenkins, there are a few quick "one-off" steps you’ll need to perform.

Unlocking Jenkins

When you first access a new Jenkins instance, you are asked to unlock it using an automatically-generated password.

  1. After the 2 sets of asterisks appear in the terminal/command prompt window, browse to http://localhost:8080 and wait until the Unlock Jenkins page appears.

    Unlock Jenkins page

  2. From your terminal/command prompt window again, copy the automatically-generated alphanumeric password (between the 2 sets of asterisks).

    Copying initial admin password

  3. On the Unlock Jenkins page, paste this password into the Administrator password field and click Continue.

Customizing Jenkins with plugins

After unlocking Jenkins, the Customize Jenkins page appears.

On this page, click Install suggested plugins.

The setup wizard shows the progression of Jenkins being configured and the suggested plugins being installed. This process may take a few minutes.

Creating the first administrator user

Finally, Jenkins asks you to create your first administrator user.

  1. When the Create First Admin User page appears, specify your details in the respective fields and click Save and Finish.

  2. When the Jenkins is ready page appears, click Start using Jenkins.
    Notes:

    • This page may indicate Jenkins is almost ready! instead and if so, click Restart.

    • If the page doesn’t automatically refresh after a minute, use your web browser to refresh the page manually.

  3. If required, log in to Jenkins with the credentials of the user you just created and you’re ready to start using Jenkins!

Stopping and restarting Jenkins

Throughout the remainder of this tutorial, you can stop the Jenkins/Blue Ocean Docker container by typing Ctrl-C in the terminal/command prompt window from which you ran the docker run ... command above.

To restart the Jenkins/Blue Ocean Docker container:

  1. Run the same docker run ... command you ran for macOS, Linux or Windows above.

  2. Browse to http://localhost:8080.

  3. Wait until the log in page appears and log in.

Fork and clone the sample repository on GitHub

Obtain the simple "Hello world!" Java application from GitHub, by forking the sample repository of the application’s source code into your own GitHub account and then cloning this fork locally.

  1. Ensure you are signed in to your GitHub account. If you don’t yet have a GitHub account, sign up for a free one on the GitHub website.

  2. Fork the simple-java-maven-app on GitHub into your local GitHub account. If you need help with this process, refer to the Fork A Repo documentation on the GitHub website for more information.

  3. Begin cloning your forked simple-java-maven-app repository (on GitHub) locally to your machine by opening up a terminal/command line window to the directory in which the repository will be cloned. This tutorial assumes that simple-java-maven-app will be cloned within the following directories on these platforms, which you should cd into now:

    • macOS - /Users/<your-username>/Documents/GitHub

    • Linux - /home/<your-username>/GitHub

    • Windows - C:\Users\<your-username>\Documents\GitHub

      where <your-username> is your user account’s name on your operating system.

      Note:

      • On a Windows machine, use a Git bash command line window (as opposed to the usual Microsoft command prompt).

      • Alternatively, and in particular if you have the GitHub Desktop app installed on your machine, in GitHub, you can click the green Clone or download button on your forked repository and follow the instructions to clone the repository locally. If you use GitHub Desktop, you can omit the following step.

  4. Run the following command to continue/complete cloning your forked repo:
    git clone https://github.com/YOUR-GITHUB-ACCOUNT-NAME/simple-java-maven-app
    where YOUR-GITHUB-ACCOUNT-NAME is the name of your GitHub account.

Create your Pipeline project in Jenkins

  1. Go back to Jenkins, log in again if necessary and click create new jobs under Welcome to Jenkins!
    Note: If you don’t see this, click New Item at the top left.

  2. In the Enter an item name field, specify the name for your new Pipeline project (e.g. simple-java-maven-app).

  3. Scroll down and click Pipeline, then click OK at the end of the page.

  4. ( Optional ) On the next page, specify a brief description for your Pipeline in the Description field (e.g. An entry-level Pipeline demonstrating how to use Jenkins to build a simple Java application with Maven.)

  5. Click the Pipeline tab at the top of the page to scroll down to the Pipeline section.

  6. From the Definition field, choose the Pipeline script from SCM option. This option instructs Jenkins to obtain your Pipeline from Source Control Management (SCM), which will be your locally cloned Git repository.

  7. From the SCM field, choose Git.

  8. In the Repository URL field, specify the directory path of your locally cloned repository above, which is from your user account/home directory on your host machine, mapped to the /home directory of the Jenkins/Blue Ocean container - i.e.

    • For macOS - /home/Documents/GitHub/simple-java-maven-app

    • For Linux - /home/GitHub/simple-java-maven-app

    • For Windows - /home/Documents/GitHub/simple-java-maven-app

  9. Click Save to save your new Pipeline project. You’re now ready to begin creating your Jenkinsfile, which you’ll be checking into your locally cloned Git repository.

Create your initial Pipeline as a Jenkinsfile

You’re now ready to create your Pipeline that will automate building your Java application with Maven in Jenkins. Your Pipeline will be created as a Jenkinsfile, which will be committed to your locally cloned Git repository (simple-java-maven-app).

This is the foundation of "Pipeline-as-Code", which treats the continuous delivery pipeline a part of the application to be versioned and reviewed like any other code. Read more about Pipeline and what a Jenkinsfile is in the Pipeline and Using a Jenkinsfile sections of the User Handbook.

First, create an initial Pipeline to download a Maven Docker image and run it as a Docker container (which will build your simple Java application). Also add a "Build" stage to the Pipeline that begins orchestrating this whole process.

  1. Using your favorite text editor or IDE, create and save new text file with the name Jenkinsfile at the root of your local simple-java-maven-app Git repository.

  2. Copy the following Declarative Pipeline code and paste it into your empty Jenkinsfile:

    pipeline {
        agent {
            docker {
                image 'maven:3-alpine' (1)
                args '-v /root/.m2:/root/.m2' (2)
            }
        }
        stages {
            stage('Build') { (3)
                steps {
                    sh 'mvn -B -DskipTests clean package' (4)
                }
            }
        }
    }
    1 This image parameter (of the agent section’s docker parameter) downloads the maven:3-apline Docker image (if it’s not already available in your Docker host) and runs this image as a separate container. This means that:
    • You’ll have separate Jenkins/Blue Ocean and Maven containers running locally in Docker.

    • The Maven container becomes the agent that Jenkins uses to build your Pipeline project. However, this container is short-lived - its lifespan is only that of the duration of your Pipeline’s execution.

    2 This args parameter creates a reciprocal mapping between the /root/.m2 (i.e. Maven repository) directories in the short-lived Maven Docker container and that of your Docker host’s filesystem. Explaining the details behind this is beyond the scope of this tutorial. However, the main reason for doing this is to ensure that the artifacts necessary to build your Java application (which Maven downloads while your Pipeline is being executed) are retained in the Maven repository beyond the lifespan of the Maven container. This prevents Maven from having to download the same artifacts during successive runs of your Jenkins Pipeline, which you’ll be conducting later on. Be aware that unlike the Docker data volume you created for jenkins-data above, the Docker host’s filesystem is effectively cleared out each time Docker is restarted. This means you’ll lose the downloaded Maven repository artifacts each time Docker restarts.
    3 Defines a stage called Build that appears on the Jenkins UI.
    4 This sh step (of the steps section) runs the Maven command to cleanly build your Java application (without running any tests).
  3. Save your amended Jenkinsfile and commit it to your local simple-java-maven-app Git repository. E.g. Within the simple-java-maven-app directory, run the commands:
    git add .
    then
    git commit -m "Add initial Jenkinsfile"

  4. Go back to Jenkins again, log in again if necessary and click Open Blue Ocean on the left to access Jenkins’s Blue Ocean interface.

  5. In the This job has not been run message box, click Run, then quickly click the OPEN link which appears briefly at the lower-right to see Jenkins building your Pipeline project. If you weren’t able to click the OPEN link, click the row on the main Blue Ocean interface to access this feature.
    Note: You may need to wait several minutes for this first run to complete. After making a clone of your local simple-java-maven-app Git repository itself, Jenkins:

    1. Initially queues the project to be built on the agent.

    2. Downloads the Maven Docker image and runs it in a container on Docker.

      Downloading Maven Docker image

    3. Executes the Build stage (defined in the Jenkinsfile) on the Maven container. During this time, Maven downloads many artifacts necessary to build your Java application, which will ultimately be stored in Jenkins’s local Maven repository (in the Docker host’s filesystem).

      Downloading Maven artifacts

    The Blue Ocean interface turns green if Jenkins built your Java application successfully.

    Initial Pipeline runs successfully

  6. Click the X at the top-right to return to the main Blue Ocean interface.

    Main Blue Ocean interface

Add a test stage to your Pipeline

  1. Go back to your text editor/IDE and ensure your Jenkinsfile is open.

  2. Copy and paste the following Declarative Pipeline syntax immediately under the Build stage of your Jenkinsfile:

            stage('Test') {
                steps {
                    sh 'mvn test'
                }
                post {
                    always {
                      junit 'target/surefire-reports/*.xml'
                    }
                }
            }

    so that you end up with:

    pipeline {
        agent {
            docker {
                image 'maven:3-alpine'
                args '-v /root/.m2:/root/.m2'
            }
        }
        stages {
            stage('Build') {
                steps {
                    sh 'mvn -B -DskipTests clean package'
                }
            }
            stage('Test') { (1)
                steps {
                    sh 'mvn test' (2)
                }
                post {
                    always {
                      junit 'target/surefire-reports/*.xml'
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
    1 Defines a new stage called Test that appears on the Jenkins UI.
    2 This sh step (of the steps section) executes the Maven command to run the unit test on your simple Java application.
  3. Save your amended Jenkinsfile and commit it to your local simple-java-maven-app Git repository. E.g. Within the simple-java-maven-app directory, run the commands:
    git stage .
    then
    git commit -m "Add 'Test' stage"

  4. Go back to Jenkins again, log in again if necessary and ensure you’ve accessed Jenkins’s Blue Ocean interface.

  5. Click Run at the top left, then quickly click the OPEN link which appears briefly at the lower-right to see Jenkins building your amended Pipeline project. If you weren’t able to click the OPEN link, click the top row on the Blue Ocean interface to access this feature.
    Note: You’ll notice from this run that Jenkins no longer needs to download the Maven Docker image. Instead, Jenkins only needs to run a new container from the Maven image downloaded previously. Also, if Docker had not restarted since you last ran the Pipeline above, then no Maven artifacts need to be downloaded during the "Build" stage. Therefore, running your Pipeline this subsequent time should be much faster.
    If your amended Pipeline ran successfully, here’s what the Blue Ocean interface should look like. Notice the additional "Test" stage. You can click on the previous "Build" stage circle to access the output from that stage.

    Test stage runs successfully (with output)

  6. Click the X at the top-right to return to the main Blue Ocean interface.

Add a final deliver stage to your Pipeline

  1. Go back to your text editor/IDE and ensure your Jenkinsfile is open.

  2. Copy and paste the following Declarative Pipeline syntax immediately under the Test stage of your Jenkinsfile:

            stage('Deliver') {
                steps {
                    sh './jenkins/scripts/deliver.sh'
                }
            }

    so that you end up with:

    pipeline {
        agent {
            docker {
                image 'maven:3-alpine'
                args '-v /root/.m2:/root/.m2'
            }
        }
        stages {
            stage('Build') {
                steps {
                    sh 'mvn -B -DskipTests clean package'
                }
            }
            stage('Test') {
                steps {
                    sh 'mvn test'
                }
                post {
                    always {
                      junit 'target/surefire-reports/*.xml'
                    }
                }
            }
            stage('Deliver') { (1)
                steps {
                    sh './jenkins/scripts/deliver.sh' (2)
                }
            }
        }
    }
    1 Defines a new stage called Deliver that appears on the Jenkins UI.
    2 This sh step (of the steps section) runs the shell script deliver.sh located in the jenkins/scripts directory from the root of the simple-java-maven-app repository. As a general principle, it’s a good idea to keep your Pipeline code (i.e. the Jenkinsfile) as tidy as possible and place more complex build scripting steps into separate shell script files like the deliver.sh file. This ultimately makes maintaining your Pipeline code easier, especially if your Pipeline gains more complexity.
  3. Save your amended Jenkinsfile and commit it to your local simple-java-maven-app Git repository. E.g. Within the simple-java-maven-app directory, run the commands:
    git stage .
    then
    git commit -m "Add 'Deliver' stage"

  4. Go back to Jenkins again, log in again if necessary and ensure you’ve accessed Jenkins’s Blue Ocean interface.

  5. Click Run at the top left, then quickly click the OPEN link which appears briefly at the lower-right to see Jenkins building your amended Pipeline project. If you weren’t able to click the OPEN link, click the top row on the Blue Ocean interface to access this feature.
    If your amended Pipeline ran successfully, here’s what the Blue Ocean interface should look like. Notice the additional "Deliver" stage. Click on the previous "Test" and "Build" stage circles to access the outputs from those stages.

    Deliver stage runs successfully

    Here’s what the output of the "Deliver" stage should look like, showing you the execution results of your Java application at the end.

    Deliver stage output only

  6. Click the X at the top-right to return to the main Blue Ocean interface, which lists your previous Pipeline runs in reverse chronological order.

    Main Blue Ocean interface with all previous runs displayed

Wrapping up

Well done! You’ve just used Jenkins to build a simple Java application with Maven!

The "Build", "Test" and "Deliver" stages you created above are the basis for building more complex Java applications with Maven in Jenkins, as well as Java and Maven applications that integrate with other technology stacks.

Because Jenkins is extremely extensible, it can be modified and configured to handle practically any aspect of build orchestration and automation.

To learn more about what Jenkins can do, check out:


Was this page helpful?

Please submit your feedback about this page through this quick form.

Alternatively, if you don't wish to complete the quick form, you can simply indicate if you found this page helpful?

    


See existing feedback here.