My CI pipeline needs to do the following:

  • log into a VM and have access to a bash terminal
  • run a bash script that launches a Docker container with parameters (e.g. -it mode or providing the IP address of the machine that the tests will attack)
  • from within that Docker container, launch a series of tests.

The Docker container is built in such a way that it maps the current directory of the VM from which I'm doing the docker run, and then it navigates to the tests folder and launches them.

What I currently have

I created a GitLab runner in shell mode. I'm able to launch the container throughout the script but as soon as it succeeded, it exits the container and therefore I can't run my tests.


I don't have the Dockerfile of this docker image, only the container. I can't edit the file to provide the parameters in it.

How could I run that docker container without having it to stop? I figured two ways of doing it but I didn't manage to make either of them work:

  1. Configure the runner to work with these input parameters → so far I didn't figure how to do this. In the gitlab-runner register all I seem to be able to do is to specify that this is a Docker container, I can't provide parameters on how to run the container.

  2. Prevent the line from exiting after having run the container successfully. This is a bash issue that I have been trying to fix but I can't seem to figure out how to do this.

For what it's worth here is the content of the bash script I'm using to launch the container:

SCRIPT_DIR=$( cd "$( dirname "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}" )" && pwd )


if [[ -z "$@" ]]; then
        docker run --rm -it -u username -v $SCRIPT_DIR/../..:/project $IMAGE
        for arg; do HOSTS+="--add-host=$arg "; done
        docker run --rm -it -u username -v $SCRIPT_DIR/../..:/project $HOSTS $IMAGE

And I call it like this:

./launch-docker-container.sh parameter:param_to_bind

How could I launch a docker container from within a GitLab Shell runner?