Creating your first Micronaut app

Learn how to create a Hello World Micronaut app with Java with a controller and a functional test.

Authors: Sergio del Amo

Micronaut Version: 2.3.0

1 Getting Started

This guide uses Micronaut 2.x. You can read this tutorial for Micronaut 1.x.

In this guide we are going to create a Micronaut app written in Java.

1.1 What you will need

To complete this guide, you will need the following:

  • Some time on your hands

  • A decent text editor or IDE

  • JDK 1.8 or greater installed with JAVA_HOME configured appropriately

1.2 Solution

We recommend you to follow the instructions in the next sections and create the app step by step. However, you can go right to the completed example.


Then, cd into the complete folder which you will find in the root project of the downloaded/cloned project.

2 Writing the App

Create an app using the Micronaut Command Line Interface.

mn create-app example.micronaut.complete

The previous command creates a micronaut app with the default package example.micronaut in a folder named complete.

By default, create-app creates a Java Micronaut app that uses the Gradle build system. However, you could use other build tools such as Maven or other programming languages such as Groovy or Kotlin.

If you are using Java or Kotlin and IntelliJ IDEA make sure you have enabled annotation processing.


3 Application is used when running the application via Gradle or via deployment. You can also run the main class directly within your IDE if it is configured correctly.

package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.runtime.Micronaut;

public class Application {

    public static void main(String[] args) {;

4 Controller

In order to create a microservice that responds with "Hello World" you first need a controller.

Create a Controller:

package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.http.MediaType;
import io.micronaut.http.annotation.Controller;
import io.micronaut.http.annotation.Get;
import io.micronaut.http.annotation.Produces;

@Controller("/hello") (1)
public class HelloController {
    @Get (2)
    @Produces(MediaType.TEXT_PLAIN) (3)
    public String index() {
        return "Hello World"; (4)
1 The class is defined as a controller with the @Controller annotation mapped to the path /hello
2 The @Get annotation is used to map the index method to all requests that use an HTTP GET
3 By default a Micronaut’s response uses application/json as Content-Type. We are returning a String not a JSON object. Because of that, we set it to text/plain.
4 A String "Hello World" is returned as the result

5 Test

Create a Junit test which verifies that when you do a GET request to /hello you get Hello World as a response:

package example.micronaut;

import static org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertEquals;
import static org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertNotNull;

import io.micronaut.http.HttpRequest;
import io.micronaut.http.client.RxHttpClient;
import io.micronaut.http.client.annotation.Client;
import io.micronaut.test.annotation.MicronautTest;
import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;

import javax.inject.Inject;

@MicronautTest (1)
public class HelloControllerTest {

    RxHttpClient client; (2)

    public void testHello() {
        HttpRequest<String> request = HttpRequest.GET("/hello"); (3)
        String body = client.toBlocking().retrieve(request);

        assertEquals("Hello World", body);
1 Annotate the class with @MicronautTest so Micronaut will initialize the application context and the embedded server.
2 Inject the RxHttpClient bean. It is used the execute an HTTP call to the controller.
3 Creating HTTP Requests is easy thanks to Micronaut’s fluid API.

6 Testing the Application

To run the tests:

$ ./gradlew test
$ open build/reports/tests/test/index.html

7 Running the Application

To run the application use the ./gradlew run command which will start the application on port 8080.

8 Generate a Micronaut app's Native Image with GraalVM

We are going to use GraalVM, the polyglot embeddable virtual machine, to generate a Native image of our Micronaut application.

Native images compiled with GraalVM ahead-of-time improve the startup time and reduce the memory footprint of JVM-based applications.

8.1 Native Image generation

The easiest way to install GraalVM is to use

$ sdk list java
Available Java Versions
 Vendor        | Use | Version      | Dist    | Status     | Identifier
 GraalVM       |     | 20.1.0.r11   | grl     | installed  | 20.1.0.r11-grl
               |     | 20.1.0.r8    | grl     |            | 20.1.0.r8-grl
               |     | 20.0.0.r11   | grl     |            | 20.0.0.r11-grl
               |     | 20.0.0.r8    | grl     | installed  | 20.0.0.r8-grl
               |     | 19.3.1.r11   | grl     | installed  | 19.3.1.r11-grl
               |     | 19.3.1.r8    | grl     |            | 19.3.1.r8-grl

# For Java 8
$ sdk install java 20.1.0.r8-grl

# For Java 11
$ sdk install java 20.1.0.r11-grl

You need to install the native-image component which is not installed by default.

$ gu install native-image

To generate a native image using Gradle run:

./gradlew nativeImage

The native image will be built to build/native-image/application and can be run with ./build/native-image/application

To generate a native image using Maven run:

./mvnw package -Dpackaging=native-image

The native image will be built to target/application and can be run with ./target/application.

You can execute the endpoint exposed by the native image:

$ curl localhost:8080/hello
Hello World

8.2 Native Image generation with Docker

To build a native image with Docker and Gradle run:

./gradlew dockerBuild

Or with Maven run:

./mvnw package -Dpackaging=docker-native

You can then run the Docker container with:

docker run -p 8080:8080 complete

9 Next steps

Read more about Micronaut testing.

10 Help with Micronaut

Object Computing, Inc. (OCI) sponsored the creation of this Guide. A variety of consulting and support services are available.

OCI is Home to Micronaut.

Meet the Team