HTTP Health Check for Docker

I just published a little tool called htcheck (docker-health-go project) on github: . This being my first Go program, be kind to me, should there be better ways to implement it. 

It is intended as a very simple HTTP health check client for use in Docker health checks. Motivation, why this program?

When using docker directly or via docker-compose, you can and should define a health check, so that docker knows that the process it is running is doing well. There are a couple of libraries to provide a HTTP health endpoints for Go, such as [] and also Java offers with Spring Boot Actuator corresponding framework.

But on the client side, you still need to use curl or the outdated wget to perform the check. If you ever checked, which dependencies curl and thus libcurl4 brings with it, you might wonder if this is worth the ballast just to do a simple HTTP get with an exit code. Libcurl brings openldap libraries into the image and what not. So this little decent project provides a special-purpose HTTP client to use for health checks in docker or elsewhere instead of throwing a general-purpose HTTP client at the job.

It supports making a HTTP GET request to a URL and reading a JSON document back and checking for a value in it using a jq-like path expression.

Simple sample usage in Dockerfile:

COPY ./htcheck /usr/bin/

HEALTHCHECK --interval=5m --timeout=3s CMD htcheck -u http://localhost/ || exit 1

Sample usage for Spring Boot actuator health endpoint, which normally serve a JSON document in the form:

    "status" : "UP"
So using the JSON path feature, we can compare against a expected value:
COPY ./htcheck /usr/bin/

HEALTHCHECK --interval=5m --timeout=3s CMD htcheck -u http://localhost/health -p .status -v UP || exit 1

Licenses are checked and documented in the README. Thanks to the dependency projects [] and [] that were made use of. Probably some features are still missing, but as a first shot, it should serve. S’il vous plaît!

Trying to build packetbeat for Raspberry PI (arm64)

After my previous article on building filebeat for Raspberry PI 3 B+ (arm64), I now wanted to get a binary for packetbeat, the second most interesting module of elastic beats. I tried the same approach with cross-compiling using GOARCH=arm64 but it fails, while a straight compile for amd64 works. It fails with a message that it excludes all Go files due to build constraints. Issue is that there is probably native C code involved and you cannot cross-compile this beat. I searched posts and tried all options for 2 hours, it does not work.

I tried again on the PI directly, the build is running but if you do a “go install”, it finally gets out of memory (“cannot allocate memory”). Problem is that the PI 3 has only 1 GB of memory and that does not seem to be enough. I tried all kinds of tricks, like setting GOMAXPROC=1, GOGC=70 but njet. The problem also seems to be related to the C build using gcc. You need to install “libpcap-dev” for the “pcap.h” header file using “apt-get install”, otherwise one gets a compile error earlier.  If using “go build -v -x” directly you get this “cannot allocate memory” message from gcc. When using “make” the build gets killed instead. Nevertheless it’s rare are there are reports from people that compile Kubernetes on arm64 RPI 3B like mine. Probably K8s does not contain native C parts like the libpcap in packetbeat. So I finally gave up, because …

But … there is good news ahead! Since a few days, the new Raspberry PI 4 Model B has been released! With up to 4 GB memory that will hopefully work. Also it has now true GB LAN, which is for network sniffing, not a bad idea either, when attaching it to a real network tap. So that is a clear buying plan for Juli!