Mocking Nexus API for a Local Maven Repository

For the Roboconf project, the build of our Docker images relies on Sonatype OSS repository.
We use Nexus’ Core API to dynamically retrieve Maven artifacts. That’s really convenient. However, we quickly needed to be able to download local artifacts, for test purpose (without going through a remote Maven repository). Let’s call it a developer scope.

After searching for many solutions, we finally decided to mock Nexus’ API locally and specify to our build process where to download artifacts. We really wanted something light and simple. Besides, we were only interested by the redirect operation. Loading a real Nexus was too heavy. And we really wanted to use a local Maven repository, the same one that developers usually populate. The idea of volume was very pleasant.

So, we made a partial implementation of Nexus’ Core API.
We used NodeJS (efficient for I/O) and Restify. Restify allows to implement a REST API very easily. And NodeJS comes with a very small Docker image (we took the one based on Alpine).

The server class is quite simple.
We expect the local Maven repository to be loaded as a volume in the Docker container. We handle SHA1 requests specifically, as developers generally do not use the profile that generate hashes.

'user strict';
var restify = require('restify');
var fs = require('fs');

 * Computes the hash (SHA1) of a file.
 * <p>
 * By default, local Maven repositories do not contain
 * hashes as we do not activate the profiles. So, we compute them on the fly.
 * </p>
 * @param filePath
 * @param res
 * @param next
 * @returns nothing
function computeSha1(filePath, res, next) {

  var crypto = require('crypto'),
    hash = crypto.createHash('sha1'),
    stream = fs.createReadStream(filePath);

  stream.on('data', function (data) {
    hash.update(data, 'utf8')

  stream.on('end', function () {
    var result = hash.digest('hex');

 * The function that handles the response for the "redirect" operation.
 * @param req
 * @param res
 * @param next
 * @returns nothing
function respond(req, res, next) {

  var fileName = req.params.a +
  '-' + req.params.v +
  '.' + req.params.p;

  var filePath = '/home/maven/repository/' +
    req.params.g.replace('.','/') +
    '/' + req.params.a +
    '/' + req.params.v +
    '/' + fileName;

  fs.exists(filePath, function(exists){
    if (filePath.indexOf('.sha1', filePath.length - 5) !== -1) {
      filePath = filePath.slice(0,-5);
      computeSha1(filePath,res, next);

    else if (! exists) {
      res.writeHead(400, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
      res.end('ERROR File ' + filePath + ' does NOT Exists');

    else {
      res.writeHead(200, {
        'Content-Type': 'application/octet-stream',
        'Content-Disposition' : 'attachment; filename=' + fileName});

// Server setup

const server = restify.createServer({
  name: 'mock-for-nexus-api',
  version: '1.0.0'

server.get('/redirect', respond);

server.listen(9090, function() {
  console.log('%s listening at %s',, server.url);

Eventually, here is the Dockerfile, which ships NodeJS and our web application to be used with Docker.

FROM node:8-alpine

LABEL maintainer="The Roboconf Team" \

COPY ./*.* /usr/src/app/
WORKDIR /usr/src/app/
RUN npm install
CMD [ "npm", "start" ]

We then run…

docker run -d –rm -p 9090:9090 -v /home/me/.m2:/home/maven:ro roboconf/mock-for-nexus-api

And our other build process downloads local Maven artifacts from http://localhost:9090/redirect
You can find the full project on Github. If anyone faces the same problem, I hope this article will provide some hints.