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Contributing to documentation

The Testcontainers for Java documentation is a static site built with MkDocs. We use the Material for MkDocs theme, which offers a number of useful extensions to MkDocs.

In addition we use a custom plugin for inclusion of code snippets.

We publish our documentation using Netlify.

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Using Docker locally

The root of the project contains a docker-compose.yml file. Simply run docker-compose up and then access the docs at http://localhost:8000.

Using Python locally

  • Ensure that you have Python 3.8.0 or higher.
  • Set up a virtualenv and run pip install -r requirements.txt in the testcontainers-java root directory.
  • Once Python dependencies have been installed, run mkdocs serve to start a local auto-updating MkDocs server.

PR Preview deployments

Note that documentation for pull requests will automatically be published by Netlify as 'deploy previews'. These deployment previews can be accessed via the deploy/netlify check that appears for each pull request.


The Gradle project under docs/examples is intended to hold compilable, runnable example code that can be included as snippets into the documentation at build-time.

As a result, we can have more confidence that code samples shown in the documentation is valid.

We use a custom plugin for MkDocs to include snippets into our docs.

A codeinclude block will resemble a regular markdown link surrounded by a pair of XML comments, e.g.:

[Human readable title for snippet](./ targeting_expression

Where targeting_expression could be:

  • block:someString or
  • inside_block:someString

If these are provided, the macro will seek out any line containing the token someString and grab the next curly brace delimited block that it finds. block will grab the starting line and closing brace, whereas inside_block will omit these.

e.g., given:

public class FooService {

    public void doFoo() {


If we use block:doFoo as our targeting expression, we will have the following content included into our page:

public void doFoo() {

Whereas using inside_block:doFoo we would just have the inner content of the method included:


Note that:

  • Any code included will be have its indentation reduced
  • Every line in the source file will be searched for an instance of the token (e.g. doFoo). If more than one line includes that token, then potentially more than one block could be targeted for inclusion. It is advisable to use a specific, unique token to avoid unexpected behaviour.

When we wish to include a section of code that does not naturally appear within braces, we can simply insert our token, with matching braces, in a comment. While a little ugly, this has the benefit of working in any context and is easy to understand. For example:

public class FooService {

    public void boringMethod() {

        // doFoo {
        // }