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Hello World - Spring Boot Java

This guide describes the steps required to create the helloworld-java-spring sample app and deploy it to your cluster.

The sample app reads a TARGET environment variable, and prints Hello ${TARGET}!. If TARGET is not specified, World is used as the default value.

You can also download a working copy of the sample, by running the following commands:

git clone -b "release-0.24" knative-docs
cd knative-docs/docs/serving/samples/hello-world/helloworld-java-spring


  • A Kubernetes cluster with Knative installed and DNS configured. Follow the installation instructions.
  • Docker installed and running on your local machine, and a Docker Hub account configured.
  • Optional. The Knative CLI client kn can be used to simplify the deployment. Alternatively, you can use kubectl to apply YAML resource files.

Building the sample app

  1. From the console, create a new, empty web project by using the curl and unzip commands:
curl \
    -d dependencies=web \
    -d name=helloworld \
    -d artifactId=helloworld \

If you don't have curl installed, you can accomplish the same by visiting the Spring Initializr page. Specify Artifact as helloworld and add the Web dependency. Then click Generate Project, download and unzip the sample archive.

  1. Update the SpringBootApplication class in src/main/java/com/example/helloworld/ by adding a @RestController to handle the "/" mapping and also add a @Value field to provide the TARGET environment variable:
package com.example.helloworld;

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Value;
import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.GetMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RestController;

public class HelloworldApplication {

  String target;

  class HelloworldController {
    String hello() {
      return "Hello " + target + "!";

  public static void main(String[] args) {, args);
  1. Run the application locally:
./mvnw package && java -jar target/helloworld-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.jar

Go to http://localhost:8080/ to see your Hello World! message.

  1. In your project directory, create a file named Dockerfile and copy the code block below into it:

# Use the official maven/Java 8 image to create a build artifact:
FROM maven:3.5-jdk-8-alpine as builder

# Copy local code to the container image.
COPY pom.xml .
COPY src ./src

# Build a release artifact.
RUN mvn package -DskipTests

# Use the Official OpenJDK image for a lean production stage of our multi-stage build.
FROM openjdk:8-jre-alpine

# Copy the jar to the production image from the builder stage.
COPY --from=builder /app/target/helloworld-*.jar /helloworld.jar

# Run the web service on container startup.
CMD ["java", "", "-jar", "/helloworld.jar"]
For detailed instructions on dockerizing a Spring Boot app, see Spring Boot with Docker.

For additional information on multi-stage docker builds for Java see Creating Smaller Java Image using Docker Multi-stage Build.


Use Docker to build the sample code into a container. To build and push with Docker Hub, run these commands replacing {username} with your Docker Hub username.

  1. Use Docker to build the sample code into a container, then push the container to the Docker registry:
# Build the container on your local machine
docker build -t {username}/helloworld-java-spring .

# Push the container to docker registry
docker push {username}/helloworld-java-spring

Deploying the app

After the build has completed and the container is pushed to Docker Hub, you can deploy the app into your cluster.

  1. Create a new file, service.yaml and copy the following service definition into the file. Make sure to replace {username} with your Docker Hub username.

    kubectl apply -f - <<EOF
    kind: Service
      name: helloworld-java-spring
      namespace: default
            - image:{username}/helloworld-java-spring
                - name: TARGET
                  value: "Spring Boot Sample v1"

Ensure that the container image value in service.yaml matches the container you built in the previous step. Apply the configuration using kubectl:

kubectl apply --filename service.yaml

With kn you can deploy the service with

kn service create helloworld-java-spring{username}/helloworld-java-spring --env TARGET="Spring Boot Sample v1"

This will wait until your service is deployed and ready, and ultimately it will print the URL through which you can access the service.

During the creation of a Service, Knative performs the following steps:

  • Create a new immutable revision for this version of the app.
  • Network programming to create a Route, ingress, Service, and load balancer for your app.
  • Automatically scale your pods up and down, including scaling down to zero active pods.


  1. Find the domain URL for your service:
kubectl get ksvc helloworld-java-spring,URL:.status.url


NAME                      URL
kn service describe helloworld-java-spring -o url

  1. Make a request to your app and observe the result. Replace the URL below with the URL returned in the previous command.


Hello Spring Boot Sample v1!

# Even easier with kn:
curl $(kn service describe helloworld-java-spring -o url)


Add -v option to get more detail if the curl command failed.

Deleting the app

To remove the sample app from your cluster, delete the service.

kubectl delete -f service.yaml
kn service delete helloworld-java-spring
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