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Harness Container Quickstart

This guides you through deployment of Harness Server and CLI using published Docker containers with simple Docker-compose container management. This project is typically used as a quickstart in proof-of-concept type settings, not for high demand scalable production deployments.

Contact ActionML other deployment options.

Harness + UR

Note: this quickstart uses Harness-0.5.0-SNAPSHOT, which is in pre-release form and not recommended for production.

With Docker Compose, Harness and all dependent services run in Docker Containers, even the harness-cli is installed in its own container. This makes it very simple to install on a single machine or VM but is generally not sufficient for a high-demand production system.

The containers, by default, run in the following configuration:


It is good to become familiar with Docker and Docker Compose and how they work. We do not document them exhaustively here. Harness uses multiple containers and so is more complex than single container deployments.

On the machine you want to host Harness, install:

One-line Install of Harness + UR

If you are familiar with Docker and Docker Compose, here is our "one-liner":

git clone && cd harness-docker-compose && cp .env.sample .env && docker-compose up -d --build

At this point Harness and the UR are running on http://localhost:9090. Following the URL or executing curl localhost:9090 should display OK. harness-cli can be used by logging in to the harness-cli container. Read on for more about operating the system.

Note: this method for running Harness puts all dependencies in containers, so MongoDB and Elasticsearch are not installed natively on the host. If you already have these services on the host, extra care must be taken that they do not conflict with container versions. We suggest you shut down host installed Mongo and Elasticsearch while running container versions.

Detailed Installation


The composed containers can be customized via changes to .env or docker-compose.yml

One important thing to note is that in order to access files for harness-cli import ... or harness-cli add <some-engine.json> the file(s) must be accessible from the Harness Server or from the cli. By default we map a directory into the filesystems of both the harness and harness-cli containers:

Launch all Containers

With the docker tools installed:

Once deployed one or more containers in the collection can be updated. It is best to explore the docker-compose cli and options as well as docker commands. Some useful commands for updates are:


Once installed the containers work somewhat like a cluster of virtual machines all running on a single host. You can login to them, examine logs, and start and stop them.

Files and Container Persistence

The way Docker supports a composed filesystem uses a mapping of container internal filesystem to the host's filesystem. By default they will appear in harness-docker-compose/docker-persistence/... Be careful with these files, they will contain data for the database and elasticsearch so deleting them will destroy all data in Harness.

Harness CLI

The Harness-CLI is also started in a container. To use it, log-in.

Native Installation of the Harness-CLI

The harness-cli can also be installed on the host OS as desired. It uses the REST API to control Harness and so can be on any host.

This method requires more prerequisites on the host but can be more convenient than using the harness-cli container.


For fully scalable, clustered deployment of a high demand Harness (+ UR) system we maintain a customizable Kubernetes project that is flexible enough for just about any type of deployment. Because it requires customization, this is not supported as OSS, contact us if you'd like more information

Related Projects

These projects are related and can be used together:

  1. Harness Server Docker Image Use tag latest for the current latest stable release. Use develop for the current work-in-progress of the next release.
  2. Harness-CLI Docker Image The client command line interface for Harness.
  3. Harness Server This is the source code for building from source, not needed for container usage.
  4. Harness CLI and SDK Used to execute harness-cli or create Python clients.
  5. Harness Java/Scala Client SDK Useful for Java and Scala clients.
  6. The Harness Auth-Server Not required and not described here, see this README if you want to use the harness-auth-server