Docker, Marathon, Mesos

Running Mesos With Native Docker Support

In my previous blog, i’ve explained how to manage Docker cluster using Mesos and Marathon. Now Mesos has released 0.20 with Native Docker support. Till Mesos 0.19, we had to use mesosphere’s Deimos for running Docker containers on Mesos slaves. Now from Mesos 0.20, Mesos has the ability to run Docker containers directly. As per Mesos Documentation we can run containers in two ways. 1) as a Task and 2) as an Executor. Currently Mesos 0.20 supports only the host (–net=host) Docker networking mode.

Install the latest Mesos 0.20 using the mesosphere’s Mesos Debian package. Once we have setup the Zookeeper and Docker, we need to make a few changes to enable the Mesos Native Docker support. We need to start all the Mesos-Slave with --containerizers=docker,mesos flag. For enabling this flag, we need to create a file containerizers in /etc/mesos-slave/containerizers with content “docker,mesos”. Mesos slave process, when starting up, will read the folder and enable this flag.

$ echo 'docker,mesos' > /etc/mesos-slave/containerizers

$ service mesos-slave restart

I was trying to start a container with Port 9999 via Marathon REST API. But the task was keep on failing. Up on investigating the logs, i found that the slave when sends the allocatable resource details to mesos master was total allocatable: cpus():0.8; mem():801; disk():35164; ports():[31000-31099, 31101-32000]. So the allowed port range was [31000-31099, 31101-32000]. So if we wnat to use any other custom port, we need to define the same in the /etc/mesos-slave folder by creating a config file.

    $ echo "ports(*):[31000-31099, 31101-32000, 9998-9999]" > "/etc/mesos-slave/resources"

Now, my new allocatable resource details sent to the Mesos master became total allocatable: ports():[31000-31099, 31101-32000, 9998-9998]; cpus():0.7; mem():801; disk():35164. The above config is crucial if we want to allocate our own custom range of ports. So this gave a good idea on how to control my resource allocation by creating custom configuration files. Now let’s restart Mesos-slave process.

    $ service mesos-slave restart

    $ ps axf | grep mesos-slave | grep -v grep
     1889 ?        Ssl    0:26 /usr/local/sbin/mesos-slave --master=zk://localhost:2181,localhost:2182,localhost:2183/mesos --log_dir=/var/log/mesos --containerizers=docker,mesos --resources=ports(*):[31000-31099, 31101-32000, 9998-9999]
     1900 ?        S      0:00  \_ logger -p -t mesos-slave[1889]
     1901 ?        S      0:00  \_ logger -p user.err -t mesos-slave[1889]

Now we have the Mesos slave running with Native Docker support. But the current stable version of Marathon still don’t support the native Docker feature of Mesos. So we need to setup Marathon 0.7 from scratch. I’ve written a blog on upgrading Marathon from 0.6.x to 0.7. Once we have setup the Marathon 0.7, we can start using Mesos with the Native Docker support. Let’s create a new App in Marathon via its REST API.

create a JSON file in the new container format. say ubuntu.json

    "id": "jackex",
    "container": {
        "docker": {
            "image": "ubuntu:14.04"
        "type": "DOCKER",
        "volumes": []
    "cmd": "while sleep 10; do date -u +%T; done",
    "cpus": 0.2,
    "mem": 200,
    "ports": [9999],
    "requirePorts": true,
    "instances": 1

Now, we can use the Marathon API to launch the Docker task,

$ curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" localhost:8080/v2/apps -d@ubuntu.json

{"id":"/jackex","cmd":"while sleep 10; do date -u +%T; done","args":null,"user":null,"env":{},"instances":1,"cpus":0.2,"mem":200.0,"disk":0.0,"executor":"","constraints":[],"uris":[],"storeUrls":[],"ports":[9999],"requirePorts":true,"backoffSeconds":1,"backoffFactor":1.15,"container":{"type":"DOCKER","volumes":[],"docker":{"image":"ubuntu:14.04"}},"healthChecks":[],"dependencies":[],"upgradeStrategy":{"minimumHealthCapacity":1.0},"version":"2014-08-31T16:03:50.593Z"}

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND                CREATED             STATUS              PORTS               NAMES
25ba3950a9e1        ubuntu:14.04        /bin/sh -c 'while sl   2 minutes ago       Up 2 minutes                            mesos-a19af637-ffb9-4d3c-8b61-778d47087ace

Mesos UI

Marathon UI

With the new Native Docker support, Mesos is becoming more friendly with Docker. And this is a great achievement for people like me who are trying to use Mesos and Docker in our Infrastructure. A big kudos to Mesos and Mesosphere team for their great work 🙂


8 thoughts on “Running Mesos With Native Docker Support

  1. Mohit Arora says:

    Host Only network mode is a very big limitation for scaling real application containers? Do you have any thoughts around that?

    Let’s take a simple use case where i have a docker image for my tomcat application which listens on port 8080. If i have port 8080 hardcoded in image, second container will never start on same host when we scale, its going to always fail because of port conflicts.

    I know that in Mesos you can generate one or more arbitrary free ports for each application instance, pass zeros as port values. Each port value is exposed to the instance via environment variables $PORT0, $PORT1, etc. In most of the case, Even after having port environment variable it might not be possible to use it because the component where port is configured doesn’t let us use environment variables.

  2. Pingback: Docker-cluster | Wavecrest Content Engine

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