Docker Integration

Due to the large number of languages supported by Apache Thrift, docker containers are used to build and test the project on a variety of platforms to provide maximum test coverage.

Appveyor Integration

At this time the Appveyor scripts do not use docker containers. Once Microsoft supports Visual Studio Build Tools running inside nano containers (instead of Core, which is huge) then we will consider using containers for the Windows builds as well.

Travis CI Integration

The Travis CI scripts use the following environment variables and logic to determine their behavior:

Environment Variables

DISTROubuntu-bionicSet by various build jobs in .travis.yml to run builds in different containers. Not intended to be set externally.
DOCKER_REPOthrift/thrift-buildThe name of the Docker Hub repository to obtain and store docker images.
DOCKER_USER<none>The Docker Hub account name containing the repository.
DOCKER_PASS<none>The Docker Hub account password to use when pushing new tags.

For example, the default docker image that is used in builds if no overrides are specified would be: thrift/thrift-build:ubuntu-bionic


If you have forked the Apache Thrift repository and you would like to use your own Docker Hub account to store thrift build images, you can use the Travis CI web interface to set the DOCKER_USER, DOCKER_PASS, and DOCKER_REPO variables in a secure manner. Your fork builds will then pull, push, and tag the docker images in your account.


The Travis CI build runs in two phases - first the docker images are rebuilt for each of the supported containers if they do not match the Dockerfile that was used to build the most recent tag. If a DOCKER_PASS environment variable is specified, the docker stage builds will attempt to log into Docker Hub and push the resulting tags.

Supported Containers

The Travis CI (continuous integration) builds use the Ubuntu Bionic (18.04 LTS) and Xenial (16.04 LTS) images to maximize language level coverage.


  • bionic (stable, current)
  • artful (previous stable)
  • xenial (legacy)

Unsupported Containers

These containers may be in various states, and may not build everything. They can be found in the old/ subdirectory.


  • 7.3
    • make check in lib/py may hang in test_sslsocket - root cause unknown


Building like Travis CI does, locally

We recommend you build locally the same way Travis CI does, so that when you submit your pull request you will run into fewer surprises. To make it a little easier, put the following into your ~/.bash_aliases file:

# Kill all running containers.
alias dockerkillall='docker kill $(docker ps -q)'

# Delete all stopped containers.
alias dockercleanc='printf "\n>>> Deleting stopped containers\n\n" && docker rm $(docker ps -a -q)'

# Delete all untagged images.
alias dockercleani='printf "\n>>> Deleting untagged images\n\n" && docker rmi $(docker images -q -f dangling=true)'

# Delete all stopped containers and untagged images.
alias dockerclean='dockercleanc || true && dockercleani'

# Build a thrift docker image (run from top level of git repo): argument #1 is image type (ubuntu, centos, etc).
function dockerbuild
  docker build -t $1 build/docker/$1

# Run a thrift docker image: argument #1 is image type (ubuntu, centos, etc).
function dockerrun
  docker run -v $(pwd):/thrift/src -it $1 /bin/bash

Then, to pull down the current image being used to build (the same way Travis CI does it) - if it is out of date in any way it will build a new one for you:

thrift$ DOCKER_REPO=thrift/thrift-build DISTRO=ubuntu-bionic build/docker/

To run all unit tests (just like Travis CI does):

thrift$ dockerrun ubuntu-bionic
root@8caf56b0ce7b:/thrift/src# build/docker/scripts/

To run the cross tests (just like Travis CI does):

thrift$ dockerrun ubuntu-bionic
root@8caf56b0ce7b:/thrift/src# build/docker/scripts/

When you are done, you want to clean up occasionally so that docker isn't using lots of extra disk space:

thrift$ dockerclean

You need to run the docker commands from the root of the local clone of the thrift git repository for them to work.

When you are done in the root docker shell you can exit to go back to your user host shell. Once the unit tests and cross test passes locally, submit the changes, and if desired squash the pull request to one commit to make it easier to merge (the committers can squash at commit time now that GitHub is the master repository). Now you are building like Travis CI does!

Raw Commands for Building with Docker

If you do not want to use the same scripts Travis CI does, you can do it manually:

Build the image:

thrift$ docker build -t thrift build/docker/ubuntu-bionic

Open a command prompt in the image:

thrift$ docker run -v $(pwd):/thrift/src -it thrift /bin/bash

Core Tool Versions per Dockerfile

Last updated: October 1, 2017


Compiler/Language Versions per Dockerfile

as ofMar 06, 2018Jul 6, 2018
as3Not in CI
C++ gcc5.
C++ clang3.86.0
C# (mono)
cl (sbcl)1.4.9
cocoaNot in CI
delphiNot in CI
haxe3. avoid 3.4.2
jsUnsure how to look for version info?
lua5. 5.3: see THRIFT-4386
ocaml4.05.0THRIFT-4517: ocaml 4.02.3 on xenial appears broken
smalltalkNot in CI
swiftNot in CI