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Running KEEP with a Docker image

The KEEP Docker image is built on top of an HCL Domino Docker image, inspired by the open source templates. All configuration options found there can be applied to the KEEP Docker image. You will need to decide if you want to run a standalone server or an additional server in an existing Domino domain.

The KEEP Docker image contains a Domino server, you don’t need a separate Domino installation. The image is completely self contained. KEEP is a Domino service, using the network free C API. So there is no scenario where a “only KEEP” container would work


Running KEEP with a Docker image requires the following:

  • Docker Desktop. A Docker installation, both Docker (for servers) or Docker Desktop are suitable. Download and install Docker Desktop for your environment (Linux, Windows or macOS).
  • Docker Compose. When you install a Docker Desktop version (Windows, macOS), Docker compose is already included. For servers, it is an additional install.
  • Login to HCL’s instance of FlexNet using your credentials and download the KEEP Docker image as an archive file.
  • A valid Domino server id, when you want to run as additional server in your existing domain.
  • A Docker compose file from our resources. Select the matching one for either a standalone primary or an additional server.
  • A .env file. Download the sample.env from our resources. You must rename the file to .env, update the .env file with your values!

Docker Desktop License

Docker desktop recently became subject to a Docker subscription, make sure you are compliant or use the command line.

Getting Ready

A Domino server uses one persistent volume to store its data. This volume also stores log files and the server’s ID file. When you remove the container that volume remains and is reused when you start a new container instance.

Docker Consumption

Note When you want to run multiple servers, create separate volumes for each. DO NOT share volumes between running instances.

Store the following files in a folder:

  • server id. Make sure that your server id file is named
  • docker-compose.yml. Rename the compose file you downloaded from resources to docker-compose.yml.
  • .env . Edit the .env file from resources to update your values. You need to replace all values after the equal (=) sign.

You can configure multiple Domino servers in a single compose file. For details, check the Docker compose documentation. Keep in mind, each server needs its own volume.

Load the docker image that you’ve downloaded from prerequisites above. Make sure you unzip the tar.gz file first. :

docker load -i [name_of_tar_file].tar

Table of variables

Depending on the compose file you choose, a different set of variables needs to be replaced. If a variable isn’t in the compose file, you don’t need it. We keep the variable names in sync with One-touch Domino setup, thus in the compose file you will find gems like SERVERSETUP_SERVER_NAME: "${SERVERSETUP_SERVER_NAME}". This makes naming of variables consistent.

Please also refer to the official List of One-touch environment variables for reference.

Variable Example Remarks
CONTAINER_HOSTNAME Pro tip: use something.local for local testing
CONTAINER_IMAGE Check carefully for the current image name! :latest most likely need to be replaced. Use “docker images ls” to see the exact name
CONTAINER_NAME domino-keep-test02  
CONTAINER_VOLUMES domino_keep_notesdata no spaces or special chars
SERVERSETUP_SERVER_SERVERTASKS replica,router,update,amgr,adminp,http,keep Refer to the KEEP task page.

Running KEEP

Start KEEP using docker-compose on all supported platforms:

docker-compose up

Note: Start in the directory where the files and docker-compose.yml are located!

The setup can take a few minutes, depending on your hardware and the network speed to your primary server.

Pro Tip: DNS Setup

When you don’t have DNS setup, amend your hosts file for name resolution:

  • /etc/hosts on Linux or macOS
  • C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts on Windows
  • You can then use Docker desktop to start/stop the container.
  • Use docker-compose up -d to run docker in the background.
  • Do not run two KEEP containers sharing the same volume at the same time, alternate (e.g. debug/non-debug) or with 2 different volumes is OK.


To validate that an instance is successfully running on a container:

  • A docker container should be created and running on your docker machine. To check that the container is up, issue this command on a terminal:
docker ps
  • The container should be accessible via
docker exec -it $containername /bin/bash
  • Domino should be accessible on http://$host:80 (might need configuration).
  • KEEP should be accessible on http://$host:8880.
  • KEEP Management should be accessible on http://$host:8889.
  • Metrics should be accessible on http://$host:8890/metrics.

Alternate Docker cofiguration

When you run your Domino servers on Linux, you probably use the Nashcom startup script for Domino. On this foundation, the hosted Domino Docker project offers management scripts that allows easy management of your Docker container using a command domino_container.

Installation steps are as follows:

  1. Clone the domino-docker repository: git clone
  2. Change into the installations directory: cd start_script
  3. Run the installer ./install_domino_container (You might need sudo)

Now you have the command domino_container at your disposal:

  • use domino_container cfg to set your configuration
  • use domino_container env for the environment values
  • start Domino and KEEP using domino_container start
  • Learn more about the scripts using domino_container help