Building NRPCore Docker images

This page describes how to use the provided dockerfiles to build docker images containing nrp-core and necessary dependencies to run Engines or whole NRPCore experiments in them. For this purpose, the file docker-compose.yaml in the root folder can be used to build images from docker-compose. For example, the command below executed from the project root folder would build a docker image of name nrp-core/nrp-gazebo-nest-ubuntu20:latest containing the NRPCore libraries and executables plus the simulators gazebo and nest.

docker-compose build nrp-gazebo-nest

In the rest of the page the structure and usage of these dockerfiles are described in greated detail.

The next set of dockerfiles are provided:

  • base.Dockerfile provides the basic environment setup, like user/group definitions, directory creations and some basic utilities, like wget, git etc. Nothing related to NRP Core nor simulators is installed here. It’s also possible to specify the base image, e.g. regular Ubuntu or Ubuntu+NVidia/CUDA;

  • nrp-core.Dockerfile is a multi-stage Dockerfile, providing the NRP-core specific dependencies and compiling the NRP-core itself;

  • <simulator>.Dockerfile contain environments and executables needed to run different simulators. Generally there is one dockerfile per simulator, i.e. gazebo, opensim, nest, etc. All simulator Dockerfiles should be based on the NRP base image. It’s also possible to chain together multiple simulator images to create an image with multiple simulators (e.g. gazebo + nest).

The hierarchical structure allows to compile the Dockerfiles into a Docker image with almost any combination of the environment and simulators. The pattern for the naming of the resulting image is the following:

  • base-<...> is an image built from base.Dockerfile (derived from some standard image, i.e. Ubuntu 20.04);

  • <simulator(s)>-env is an image with the environment and the executables of the specified simulators, which is derived from some base image or other <...>-env image;

  • nrp-<simulators> is an image with the NRP-core installed in the environment with the specified simulators.


which can be exported before calling docker-compose

  • NRP_DOCKER_REGISTRY specifies the registry address (in a from “”, with slash)

  • NRP_CORE_TAG specifies the image tag (in the form “:tag”, otherwise latest is used)


  • BASE_IMAGE the base image that is used in the FROM directive in the Dockerfile (used for the images hierarchy)

  • CMAKE_CACHE_FILE defines the file with CMake parameters

Usage hints

  • without specifying NRP_DOCKER_REGISTRY, the images are build with the name “nrp-core/image-name”;

  • as a NRP_DOCKER_REGISTRY one can specify the user name at DockerHub (to be able to pull/push there) or private Docker registry;

  • if NRP_CORE_TAG is not defined, the images are built with latest tag;

  • in order to build the chain of images (the desired and all in the dependency), run docker-compose up --build <service-name>;

  • in order to push/pull to a specific registry, export the NRP_DOCKER_REGISTRY before running docker-compose

    `bash export NRP_DOCKER_REGISTRY=mydockerhub/ docker-compose pull gazebo-env docker-compose build nrp-gazebo docker-compose push nrp-gazebo `