GROBID and containers (Docker)

NOTE: the support to Docker is still experimental.

Docker is an open-source project that automates the deployment of applications inside software containers. The documentation on how to install it and start using it can be found here.

GROBID can be instantiated and run using Docker. The image information can be found here.

The process for fetching and running the image is (assuming docker is installed and working):

  • Pull the image from docker HUB
> docker pull lfoppiano/grobid:0.4.1
  • Run the container:
> docker run -t --rm -p 8080:8080 lfoppiano/grobid:0.4.1

(alternatively you can also get the image ID)

> docker images | grep lfoppiano/grobid | grep 0.4.1
> docker run -t --rm -p 8080:8080 $image_id_from_previous_command
  • Access the service:
  • get the ip address of the container
> docker-machine ip default
  • open the browser at the address http://{machine_id}:8080


Out of memory while processing

This might be due to insufficient memory on the docker machine. Make sure your machine has enough:

> docker-machine inspect

You should see something like:

    "ConfigVersion": 3,
    "Driver": {
        "IPAddress": "",
        "MachineName": "default",
        "SSHUser": "docker",
        "SSHPort": 55933,
        "SSHKeyPath": "/Users/lfoppiano/.docker/machine/machines/default/id_rsa",
        "StorePath": "/Users/lfoppiano/.docker/machine",
        "SwarmMaster": false,
        "SwarmHost": "tcp://",
        "SwarmDiscovery": "",
        "VBoxManager": {},
        "HostInterfaces": {},
        "CPU": 1,
        "Memory": 2048,     #<---- Memory: 2Gb                   
        "DiskSize": 204800,
        "NatNicType": "82540EM",
        "Boot2DockerURL": "",
        "Boot2DockerImportVM": "",
        "HostDNSResolver": false,
        "HostOnlyCIDR": "",
        "HostOnlyNicType": "82540EM",
        "HostOnlyPromiscMode": "deny",
        "NoShare": false,
        "DNSProxy": true,
        "NoVTXCheck": false
    "DriverName": "virtualbox",
    "HostOptions": {
        "SwarmOptions": {
        "AuthOptions": {
    "Name": "default"

For more information see the GROBID main page.

Build caveat

NOTE: The following part is only for development purposes. We recommend you to use the official docker images.

Reminder: Before building the docker GROBID image, remember to build grobid using the profile docker, in order to correctly set up the grobid-home in the web.xml.

> mvn clean install -P docker

make sure the Dockerfile points to the right jars (TODO: add placeholders based on the version), launch the build:

> docker build -t lfoppiano/grobid:0.4.2 --build-arg GROBID_VERSION=0.4.2-SNAPSHOT .

In order to run the container of the newly created image:

> docker run -t --rm -p 8080:8080 lfoppiano/grobid:0.4.2 

For testing or debugging purposes, you can connect to the container with a bash shell:

> docker exec -i -t {container_name} /bin/bash