Apache Karaf - Open source OSGi Container - Part 1

Introduction to Apache Karaf  - Open Source OSGi Container


OSGi is not as complicated as it sounds. If you've used eclipse then chances are that you used an OSGi application without even knowing it. OSGi lets you break up your application into bundles that can be reused across applications and lets you manage cross dependency. Eclipse uses Equinox as its OSGi framework. OSGi is also a part of SOA although many people think SOA is all about web services. Without restarting developers can set the state of a bundle to:
It lets you run multiple versions of the bundle in the same container. It lets you manage the life cycle of an application.

What is Apache Karaf?

  • OSGi-based runtime 
  • Light weight container but can scale
  • Multiples applications can be deployed on
  • Uses Apache Felix OSGi Framework by default or you can set it to use Eclipse Equinox OSGi framework


  • Hot deployment
  • Complete Console
  • Dynamic Configuration
  • Advanced Logging System
  • Provisioning
  • Management
  • Remote Access

Warning: If you install a bundle then exit Apache Karaf will remember.

Why use OSGi?

  • Easy reuse between applications
  • Solves dependency management problem in J2EE Web applications (WAR/EAR) when multiple applications that use the same third party jars with different version may cause a mess.
  • It encourages and enforces modular design, provides a version, enables dynamic module updates.


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