Supported operating systems

The Infection Monkey Docker container works on Linux only. It is not compatible with Docker for Windows or Docker for Mac.


1. Load the docker images

  1. Pull the MongoDB v4.2 Docker image:

    sudo docker pull mongo:4.2
  2. Extract the Monkey Island Docker tarball:

    tar -xvzf monkey-island-docker.tar.gz
  3. Load the Monkey Island Docker image:

    sudo docker load -i dk.monkeyisland.VERSION.tar

2. Start MongoDB

  1. Start a MongoDB Docker container:

    sudo docker run \
        --name monkey-mongo \
        --network=host \
        --volume db:/data/db \
        --detach \

3a. Start Monkey Island with default certificate

By default, Infection Monkey comes with a self-signed SSL certificate. In enterprise or other security-sensitive environments, it is recommended that the user provide Infection Monkey with a certificate that has been signed by a private certificate authority.

  1. Run the Monkey Island server
    sudo docker run \
        --name monkey-island \
        --network=host \

3b. Start Monkey Island with user-provided certificate

  1. Create a directory named monkey_island_data. This will serve as the location where Infection Monkey stores its configuration and runtime artifacts.

    mkdir ./monkey_island_data
    chmod 700 ./monkey_island_data
  2. Run Monkey Island with the --setup-only flag to populate the ./monkey_island_data directory with a default server_config.json file.

    sudo docker run \
        --rm \
        --name monkey-island \
        --network=host \
        --user "$(id -u ${USER}):$(id -g ${USER})" \
        --volume "$(realpath ./monkey_island_data)":/monkey_island_data \
        guardicore/monkey-island:VERSION --setup-only
  3. Move your .crt and .key files to ./monkey_island_data.

  4. Make sure that your .crt and .key files are readable and writeable only by you.

    chmod 600 ./monkey_island_data/<KEY_FILE>
    chmod 600 ./monkey_island_data/<CRT_FILE>
  5. Edit ./monkey_island_data/server_config.json to configure Monkey Island to use your certificate. Your config should look something like this:

     2  "data_dir": "/monkey_island_data",
     3  "log_level": "DEBUG",
     4  "environment": {
     5    "server_config": "password",
     6    "deployment": "docker"
     7  },
     8  "mongodb": {
     9    "start_mongodb": false
    10 },
    11  "ssl_certificate": {
    12    "ssl_certificate_file": "/monkey_island_data/<CRT_FILE>",
    13    "ssl_certificate_key_file": "/monkey_island_data/<KEY_FILE>"
    14  }
  6. Start the Monkey Island server:

    sudo docker run \
        --name monkey-island \
        --network=host \
        --user "$(id -u ${USER}):$(id -g ${USER})" \
        --volume "$(realpath ./monkey_island_data)":/monkey_island_data \

4. Accessing Monkey Island

After the Monkey Island docker container starts, you can access Monkey Island by pointing your browser at https://localhost:5000.


Currently, there’s no “upgrade-in-place” option when a new version is released. To get an updated version, download it, stop the current container and run the installation commands again with the new file.

If you’d like to keep your existing configuration, you can export it to a file using the Export config button and then import it to the new Monkey Island.

Export configuration


The Monkey Island container crashes due to a ‘UnicodeDecodeError’

You will encounter a UnicodeDecodeError if the monkey-island container is using a different secret key to encrypt sensitive data than was initially used to store data in the monkey-mongo container.

UnicodeDecodeError: 'utf-8' codec can't decode byte 0xee in position 0: invalid continuation byte

Starting a new container from the guardicore/monkey-island:VERSION image generates a new secret key for storing sensitive information in MongoDB. If you have an old database instance running (from a previous instance of Infection Monkey), the data stored in the monkey-mongo container has been encrypted with a key that is different from the one that Monkey Island is currently using. When MongoDB attempts to decrypt its data with the new key, decryption fails and you get this error.

You can fix this in one of three ways:

  1. Instead of starting a new container for the Monkey Island, you can run docker container start -a monkey-island to restart the existing container, which will contain the correct key material.
  2. Kill and remove the existing MongoDB container, and start a new one. This will remove the old database entirely. Then, start the new Monkey Island container.
  3. When you start the Monkey Island container, use --volume monkey_island_data:/monkey_island_data. This will store all of Monkey Island’s runtime artifacts (including the encryption key file) in a docker volume that can be reused by subsequent Monkey Island containers.