Using Docker container to run Mule ESB on Raspberry Pi3

Mule runtime is a lightweight, java based enterprise service bus (ESB) and integration platform. It allows the developers to connect with different systems and applications.

In Previous post, we learned how to install Mule ESB on Raspberry Pi3. It is a multi-step procedure to install and configure it.

In this post, we will use Docker container to run Mule on Raspberry Pi3 and run a simple application.

If you have not heard about Docker, then you have probably spent the last few years on some other planet of the Solar system.
— Andrey Redko
In Docker for Java Developers blog post on JavaCodeGeeks

What do we need?

This article assumes that you are familiar with Raspberry Pi and MuleSoft ESB server. Below are the pre-requisites for this installation -

  • Raspberry Pi 3 device with latest Raspberry Pi OS installed.

  • Access to internet

Installing Docker on Raspberry Pi3

Raspberry Pi officially supports Docker. To summarize the installation procedure, here are the commands to run on the console in Raspberry Pi3 -

  1. Run Docker installer with this command - curl -sSL | sh

  2. Register Docker to auto-start - sudo systemctl enable docker

  3. Docker can only be used by root or members of docker user group - sudo usermod -aG docker pi

  4. Start Docker daemon - sudo systemctl start docker

To verify that Docker is running, type docker version command on the console.

Print Docker Version

Docker Image for Mule

Docker containers are created from pre-built images. Once the image is built, it can be hosted on Docker hub which is a docker image registry maintained by Docker Inc.

I have created a Docker image containing Mule Community Runtime 3.8.1 on Raspberry Pi OS.

Always check Docker Hub here for latest Version of Mule image.
Mule ESB Imaegs in Docker Hub

Preparing Raspberry Pi For Mule

Our Mule ESB will be running inside a docker container and files from the container does not persist unless mapped to external volumes.

Let’s create some folders on Raspberry Pi to hold our applications, logs and configuration files so that they are persisted outside of our docker container.

$ mkdir -p ~/mule/apps
$ mkdir -p ~/mule/logs
$ mkdir -p ~/mule/conf

For demo purpose, we will be using a simple hello-world-application that exposes a http://localhost:8081/hello http endpoint.

You can download the source from github and build run mvn package to create zip.

Running the Mule ESB Image

To create the Mule ESB container from our image, run below command on console -

$ docker run -d --name mymule -p 8081:8081 -v ~/mule/apps:/opt/mule/apps -v ~/mule/logs:/opt/mule/logs javastreets/mule:raspberrypi3

flags -

  • -d - Run container in detached mode (i.e. in background)

  • --name - Name our container for easy access through other docker commands.

  • -p 8081:8081 - Expose the default http port and map it to 8081 port of the host.

  • -v {localpath}:{image mount point} - Map local directory to docker volume

Container’s timezone is defaulted to 'America/New_York'. To Change the timezone, you can pass timezone as environment variable while starting container - -e TZ=Europe/Amsterdam.

When the command is run, it will print the docker container id. To see if the container is running or not, enter docker ps command.

Run Mule ESB On Docker

Checking logs

Once the container is running, you can tail the logs by running docker logs -f mymule command.

Check Docker Logs for mule

As we have mapped the volume ~/mule/logs:/opt/mule/logs, you should also see logs generated at ~/mule/logs directory on the host. Check ~/mule/logs/mule.log file -

Docker Mule Logs tail

Mule is up and kicking!!

Deploying Application

Now, let’s try to deploy our hello world application. We have mapped ~/mule/apps to docker volume /opt/mule/apps. That means Mule ESB running inside our docker is using ~/mule/apps directory from the host as application directory.

Let’s copy the to ~/mule/apps folder on our raspberry pi3 host.

Once we drop the file there, it should immediately get deployed as Mule is already running. We can again check our mule.log to confirm that.

Deployed application

Hello World!

Now, since our application is deployed, we can access the HTTP endpoint exposed by the application.

To verify the port mapped to the host, run docker port mymule -

Docker ports

Open a web browser on raspberry pi3 host and access http://localhost:8081/hello

Hello World! From mule on Raspberry pi3


Mule ESB is a lightweight runtime and Docker makes it easy to pre-configure our runtime image and quickly run it on raspberry pi3.

References and further reading

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Lives on Java Planet, Walks on Java Streets, Read/Writes in Java, JCP member, Jakarta EE enthusiast, MuleSoft Integration Architect, MuleSoft Community Ambassador, Open Source Contributor and Supporter, also writes at Unit Testers, A Family man!