Friday April 10, 2015 - tags:    rabbitmq, docker, MQTT, IOT

The Internet of things, Dockerising RabbitMQ and MQTT

![](/content/images/2015/05/docker.png) ![](/content/images/2015/05/rabbit.png)


Ths is the first post in a 2 part series, where I explore how to setup a dockerised RabbitMQ instance with MQTT support and outline how we can use RabbitMQ and its MQTT plugin to talk to devices with MQTT and AMQP in a polyglot manner.

Part two can be found here:

Source code can be found here:

MQTT is a machine-to-machine connectivity protocol, used by many to support the 'Internet of Things'. It was designed as an extremely lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport. RabbitMQ supports MQTT via plugin.

In this post

An MQTT enabled RabbitMQ docker image

I have created a docker image with MQTT enabled: andrewkeig/rabbitmq-mqtt-enabled, which is simply the official RabbitMQ docker image 3.5 as base, with MQTT and Management plugins enabled.

FROM rabbitmq:3.5.0

RUN rabbitmq-plugins enable --offline rabbitmq_management
RUN rabbitmq-plugins enable --offline rabbitmq_mqtt

EXPOSE 15672

Enable RabbitMQ ports on a mac for docker

If you are running on a mac, run the following commands to forward ports.

$ VBoxManage modifyvm "boot2docker-vm" --natpf1 "rb1,tcp,,1883,,1883"
$ VBoxManage modifyvm "boot2docker-vm" --natpf1 "rb2,tcp,,15672,,15672"
$ VBoxManage modifyvm "boot2docker-vm" --natpf1 "rb3,tcp,,5672,,5672"

Run RabbitMQ with docker-compose

In order to run the docker image you can use the following docker-compose file, which uses the image I created with MQTT enabled. We expose 3 ports:

  • Management plugin : 15672
  • AMQP: 5672
  • MQTT: 1883
  image: andrewkeig/rabbitmq-mqtt-enabled
    - /var/docker/rabbit:data
    - "15672:15672"
    - "5672:5672"
    - "1883:1883"

Now we have our docker-compose file setup we can simply run:

$ docker-compose up

RabbitMQ management console

If you would like to view the RabbitMQ management console; this can be found here:


  • username: guest
  • password: guest

Docker exposed environment variables

If you would like to use this image as part of your project, Docker exposes two RabbitMQ environment variables. We have to do a bit of url hacking in order to change the protocol contained in the docker url.

var mqttUrl = process.env.RB_PORT_1883_TCP.replace('tcp', 'mqtt');
var amqpUrl = process.env.RB_PORT_5672_TCP.replace('tcp', 'amqp');