Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Architecture Consultant specializing in open source frameworks.

The JHipster Mini-Book The JHipster Mini-Book is a guide to getting started with hip technologies today: AngularJS, Bootstrap, and Spring Boot. All of these frameworks are wrapped up in an easy-to-use project called JHipster.

This book shows you how to build an app with JHipster, and guides you through the plethora of tools, techniques and options you can use. Furthermore, it explains the UI and API building blocks so you understand the underpinnings of your great application.

For book updates, follow @jhipster-book on Twitter.


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Getting Started with JHipster on OS X

Last week I was tasked with developing a quick prototype that used AngularJS for its client and Spring MVC for its server. A colleague developed the same application using Backbone.js and Spring MVC. At first, I considered using my boot-ionic project as a starting point. Then I realized I didn't need to develop a native mobile app, but rather a responsive web app.

My colleague mentioned he was going to use RESThub as his starting point, so I figured I'd use JHipster as mine. We allocated a day to get our environments setup with the tools we needed, then timeboxed our first feature spike to four hours.

My first experience with JHipster failed the 10-minute test. I spent a lot of time flailing about with various "npm" and "yo" commands, getting permissions issues along the way. After getting thinks to work with some sudo action, I figured I'd try its Docker development environment. This experience was no better.

JHipster seems like a nice project, so I figured I'd try to find the causes of my issues. This article is designed to save you the pain I had. If you'd rather just see the steps to get up and running quickly, skip to the summary.

The "npm" and "yo" issues I had seemed to be caused by a bad node/npm installation. To fix this, I removed node and installed nvm. Here's the commands I needed to remove node and npm:

sudo rm -rf /usr/local/lib/node_modules
sudo rm -rf /usr/local/include/node
sudo rm /usr/local/bin/node

sudo rm -rf /usr/local/bin/npm
sudo rm /usr/local/share/man/man1/node.1
sudo rm -rf /usr/local/lib/dtrace/node.d
sudo rm -rf ~/.npm

Next, I ran "brew doctor" to make sure Homebrew was still happy. It told me some things were broken:

$ brew doctor
Warning: Broken symlinks were found. Remove them with `brew prune`:

I ran brew update && brew prune, followed by brew install nvm. Next, I added the following to my ~/.profile:

source $(brew --prefix nvm)/

To install the latest version of node, I ran the commands below and set the latest version as the default:

nvm ls-remote
nvm install v0.11.13
nvm alias default v0.11.13

Once I had a fresh version of Node.js, I was able to run JHipster's local installation instructions.

npm install -g yo
npm install -g generator-jhipster

Then I created my project:

yo jhipster

I was disappointed to find this created all the project files in my current directory, rather than in a subdirectory. I'd recommend you do the following instead:

mkdir ~/projectname && cd ~/projectname && yo jhipster

Before creating your project, JHipster asks you a number of questions. To see what they are, see its documentation on creating an application. Two things to be aware of:

In other words, I'd recommend using Java 7 + (cookie-based authentication with websockets) or (oauth2 authentication w/o websockets).

After creating my project, I was able to run it using "mvn spring-boot:run" and view it at http://localhost:8080. To get hot-reloading for the client, I ran "grunt server" and opened my browser to http://localhost:9000.

JHipster + Docker on OS X

I had no luck getting the Docker instructions to work initially. I spent a couple hours on it, then gave up. A couple of days ago, I decided to give it another good ol' college-try. To make sure I figured out everything from scratch, I started by removing Docker.

I re-installed Docker and pulled the JHipster image using the following:

sudo docker pull jdubois/jhipster-docker

The error I got from this was the following:

2014/09/05 19:43:38 Post http:///var/run/docker.sock/images/create?fromImage=jdubois%2Fjhipster-docker&tag=:
dial unix /var/run/docker.sock: no such file or directory

After doing some research, I learned I needed to run boot2docker init first. Next I ran boot2docker up to start the Docker daemon. Then I copied/pasted "export DOCKER_HOST=tcp://" into my console and tried to run docker pull again.

It failed with the same error. The solution was simpler than you might think: don't use sudo.

$ docker pull jdubois/jhipster-docker
Pulling repository jdubois/jhipster-docker
01bdc74025db: Pulling dependent layers
511136ea3c5a: Download complete

The next command that JHipster's documentation recommends is to run the Docker image, forward ports and share folders. When you run it, the terminal seems to hang and trying to ssh into it doesn't work. Others have recently reported a similar issue. I discovered the hanging is caused by a missing "-d" parameter and ssh doesn't work because you need to add a portmap to the VM to expose the port to your host. You can fix this by running the following:

boot2docker down
VBoxManage modifyvm "boot2docker-vm" --natpf1 "containerssh,tcp,,4022,,4022"
VBoxManage modifyvm "boot2docker-vm" --natpf1 "containertomcat,tcp,,8080,,8080"
VBoxManage modifyvm "boot2docker-vm" --natpf1 "containergruntserver,tcp,,9000,,9000"
VBoxManage modifyvm "boot2docker-vm" --natpf1 "containergruntreload,tcp,,35729,,35729"
boot2docker start

After making these changes, I was able to start the image and ssh into it.

docker run -d -v ~/jhipster:/jhipster -p 8080:8080 -p 9000:9000 -p 35729:35729 -p 4022:22 -t jdubois/jhipster-docker
ssh -p 4022 jhipster@localhost

I tried creating a new project within the VM (cd /jhipster && yo jhipster), but it failed with the following error:

                    throw err0;
Error: EACCES, permission denied '/jhipster/src'

The fix was giving the "jhipster" user ownership of the directory.

sudo chown jhipster /jhipster

After doing this, I was able to generate an app and run it using "mvn spring-boot:run" and access it from my Mac at http://localhost:8080. I was also able to run "grunt server" and see it at http://localhost:9000

However, I was puzzled to see that there was nothing in my ~/jhipster directory. After doing some searching, I found that the docker run -v /host/path:/container/path doesn't work on OS X.

David Gageot's A Better Boot2Docker on OSX led me to svendowideit/samba, which solved this problem. The specifics are documented in boot2docker's folder sharing section.

I shutdown my docker container by running "docker ps", grabbing the first two characters of the id and then running:

docker stop [2chars]

I started the JHipster container without the -v parameter, used "docker ps" to find its name (backstabbing_galileo in this case), then used that to add samba support.

docker run -d -p 8080:8080 -p 9000:9000 -p 35729:35729 -p 4022:22 -t jdubois/jhipster-docker
docker run --rm -v /usr/local/bin/docker:/docker -v /var/run/docker.sock:/docker.sock svendowideit/samba backstabbing_galileo

Then I was able to connect using Finder > Go > Connect to Server, using the following for the server address:


To make this volume appear in my regular development area, I created a symlink:

ln -s /Volumes/jhipster ~/dev/jhipster

After doing this, all the files were marked as read-only. To fix, I ran "chmod -R 777 ." in the directory on the server. I noticed that this also worked if I ran it from my Mac's terminal, but it took quite a while to traverse all the files. I noticed a similar delay when loading the project into IntelliJ.


Phew! That's a lot of information that can be condensed down into four JHipster + Docker on OS X tips.

  1. Make sure your npm installation doesn't require sudo rights. If it does, reinstall using nvm.
  2. Add portmaps to your VM to expose ports 4022, 8080, 9000 and 35729 to your host.
  3. Change ownership on the /jhipster in the Docker image: sudo chown jhipster /jhipster.
  4. Use svendowideit/samba to share your VM's directories with OS X.

Posted in Java at Sep 08 2014, 11:30:33 AM MDT 7 Comments

Since you had issues, I don't feel so bad. :) I tried it on Windows. To me, all the node and bower and etc is just to too much. I am just using JHipster for examples on how to use different things and to learn from. I'd rather use the WebJars like you did in your ionic project (well i think you did).

Posted by Mark on September 11, 2014 at 03:00 PM MDT #

Once you got everything up and running, which starting point did you end up using for the project? boot-ionic, RESThub, or JHipster. Did you find any to stand out as bing more productive than the others?

Posted by Ryan on September 15, 2014 at 05:17 PM MDT #

Ryan - that decision is still pending. I doubt it'll be boot-ionic since we have no current needs for a native mobile app. Next week, my colleague will give an architectural review of his RESThub implementation and I'll give an overview of my JHipster version. Then we'll let the team decide from there. I'll try and update this post after that decision.

Posted by Matt Raible on September 15, 2014 at 05:25 PM MDT #

Unfortunately, Docker is a great fit for Linux but is still a pain on OSX...

But JHipster is really a great platform to start a new project. 10 years ago, I was a BIG fan of AppFuse, putting together stuff like Spring, Hibernate, JUnit and XDoclet. I have the same feeling with JHipster mixing JS stuff with Spring boot and giving the right path for making this happen.

You should perseverate and give a second try to this project, Matt ! ;-)

Posted by Bertrand on September 23, 2014 at 11:04 AM MDT #

Good news! The JHipster team has updated their documentation to include these issues. Thanks guys!

Posted by Matt Raible on September 27, 2014 at 10:37 AM MDT #

After you create your project in JHipster with initial entities, how do you go about defining a different landing page and login dialogues than the built in JHipster page? I guess, how to move on after the initial successful launch?

Posted by Dhafir on January 02, 2016 at 07:41 PM MST #

Dhafir - it's best to post JHipster-related questions to Stack Overflow. If you use the jhipster tag, you'll likely get the answer you're looking for.

Posted by Matt Raible on January 04, 2016 at 10:08 AM MST #

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