Image Overview: jre-fips

Overview: jre-fips Chainguard Image

OpenJDK JRE FIPS images with Bouncy Castle

This is a base image containing both the OpenJDK JRE and the Bouncy Castle crypto libraries for FIPS.

The FIPS verified version of Bouncy Castle is only compliant to the FIPS 140-2 standard when used in accordance with the Bouncy Castle Security Policy. When using the OpenJDK JRE Chainguard Image for FIPS compliance, please make sure to read the security policy and adequate your code as needed.

Note: In this document, the registry and repository path will be referred as <registry>/<repository>. Make sure to replace those with the correct path of where your image is located.

Available versions and variants

This image is currently available in the following versions and variants:

Java versionImage nameVariant
Java 11jre-fips:openjdk-11FIPS
Java 11jre-fips:openjdk-11-devFIPS, development
Java 17jre-fips:openjdk-17FIPS
Java 17jre-fips:openjdk-17-devFIPS, development

How are the java.policy and files configured?

An updated version of the configuration file is shipped under the default location ($JAVA_HOME/conf/security/ in this image and is configured as described below:

  • It excludes every default security provider except for the SUN provider, leaving only the following configuration:

    security.provider.1=org.bouncycastle.jcajce.provider.BouncyCastleFipsProvider C:DEFRND[SHA256];ENABLE{ALL};
    security.provider.2=org.bouncycastle.jsse.provider.BouncyCastleJsseProvider fips:BCFIPS
  • It loads the java.policy file shipped under /usr/lib/jvm/jdk-fips-config/java.policy as an additional policy file, at position 2, leaving the policy configuration as:


    The additional policy file is configured as described in the BCFIPS user manual:

    grant {
        permission java.lang.PropertyPermission "", "read";
        permission java.lang.RuntimePermission "";
        permission java.lang.RuntimePermission "getProtectionDomain";
        permission java.lang.RuntimePermission "accessDeclaredMembers";
        permission org.bouncycastle.crypto.CryptoServicesPermission "tlsAlgorithmsEnabled";
        permission org.bouncycastle.crypto.CryptoServicesPermission "exportKeys";
  • It configures the keystore.type as bcfks, in order for Keystores to be FIPS-compliant.

  • It sets the algorithms for the KeyManagerFactory and TrustManagerFactory as PKIX:

  • It sets BCFIPS to approved_only mode:


Using the provided Bouncy Castle libraries

TL;DR: FIPS configuration via environment variables is exported by default, but if the application requires more configuration these must be patched accordingly. All environment variables and/or command-line options must be configured before running the application.

The Bouncy Castle APIs must be used in accordance with the Security Policy provided for compliance. See the Bouncy Castle Security Policy for more information.

This image ships with the following components:

  • BouncyCastle libraries for FIPS, shipped under /usr/share/java/bouncycastle-fips:
    • bc-fips.jar v1.0.2.4
    • bctls-fips.jar v1.0.17
    • bcpkix-fips.jar v1.0.6
  • Java security configurations tailored to work with Bouncy Castle FIPS as established in the user guide and described in the previous section:
    • $JAVA_HOME/conf/security/
    • /usr/lib/jvm/jdk-fips-config/java.policy

This image ships with the following environment variables exported by default:

  • JDK_JAVA_FIPS_OPTIONS="--add-exports java.base/ --add-exports=java.base/"
  • JAVA_FIPS_CLASSPATH=/usr/share/java/bouncycastle-fips/*

Warning: These variable values must not be changed. If you need to use custom CLASSPATH or other JDK options, make sure to include these variables in your new variable declarations. Ensure that JAVA_TRUSTSTORE_OPTIONS is part of your JDK_JAVA_OPTIONS variable when using this image as a base image.

In addition, the following environment variables are also exported by default and can be updated as needed:


When updating your classpath variable, make sure to keep the path to the bouncycastle-fips folder in your classpath, so the Bouncy Castle libraries are discoverable:


When updating the JDK_JAVA_OPTIONS environment variable, make sure to specify the exports options required for Bouncy Castle to work properly:


If you need the use of the converted keystore, make sure to also add the JAVA_TRUSTSTORE_OPTIONS variable to your JDK_JAVA_OPTIONS:


Alternatively, these can be also set as an argument to the JVM tools via the --class-path/-cp and -D options. Please note these arguments take precedence over the environment variables:

jshell --class-path "${JAVA_FIPS_CLASSPATH}:." ${JDK_JAVAC_FIPS_OPTIONS}

Note: java -jar ignores classpath options. If your target application is a runnable jar, you will need to run it by including the jar in your classpath and invoking the main class. For example:

java -cp "${JAVA_FIPS_CLASSPATH}:.:./*:<path to your jar here>" org.example.Main

Checking the configuration is being loaded correctly

As part of the effort to build this image, a set of tests was created that validates that the BCFIPS and BCJSSE providers are in use.

These are provided in different Java source files:

  • verifies the following are true:
    • Cipher algorithms listed in section 3.1 of the Bouncy Castle FIPS Java API are available for use within the generated image.
    • Cipher algorithms listed in section 3.2 of the Bouncy Castle FIPS Java API are not available for use within the image.
    • Public key algorithms defined in section 4 are either not available, or available only for specific approved usages.
    • Prohibited SSL cipher algorithms are not available.
    • MD5 is unavailable.
  • checks that only approved key wrapping algorithms are available and working.
  • checks that only approved symmetric encryption algorithms are available and working.
  • checks that SecureRandoms work as expected.

The entrypoint for running tests is The main method in this entrypoint will run all the previously described tests.

Using this as a base image

Java 11 JRE

To consume this image as a base image, add it in the FROM statement of your Dockerfile. In order for the predefined environment variables to be correctly consumed, java -jar must not be used, as it overrides CLASSPATH options. Instead, add your jars to the CLASSPATH and invoke the main class directly:

FROM <registry>/<repository>/jre-fips:openjdk-11


CMD ["MyApp"]

This can also be worked into a multistage build using the JDK FIPS variant for compiling your application:

FROM <registry>/<repository>/jdk-fips:openjdk-11


RUN javac && \
    jar cvf my-app.jar *.class

FROM <registry>/<repository>/jre-fips:openjdk-11

COPY --from=builder /src/my-app.jar .

CMD ["MyApp"]

Java 17 JRE

The process is the same as Java 11, but using the tag openjdk-17 instead:

FROM <registry>/<repository>/jre-fips:openjdk-17
FROM <registry>/<repository>/jdk-fips:openjdk-17

Last updated: 2024-02-29 16:25