Docker is an application container system for Linux. Under the hood it’s like FreeBSD jails, but on top of that it provides powerful image specification and indexing capabilities. Images are built up in layers; each image depends on some other image (down to a base image), so a particular image might be a small delta on some shared dependency.
In investigating ways to Dockerize FreeIPA, particularly for ease of sharing development builds, it makes sense to base builds on an image that contains all the build dependencies. Since the dependencies are the same for any build, they can be made available in a single image to shave down the build time and reduce the size of the final images.
So there will be one
Dockerfile for the builddeps image. But we will need another
Dockerfile for the build itself, which will depend on the builddeps image. Each
Dockerfile must reside in its own directory – there is no facility for specifying a different filename, e.g.
Dockerfile.builddep – yet each
Dockerfile needs to access some files in the root of the repository, e.g.
My initial approach is to have the builddep
Dockerfile live in the repository at
docker/freeipa-builddep/Dockerfile. The file consists of instructions specifying the image to build the new image
FROM, files to
ADD into the image, and commands to
RUN. The initial
FROM fedora:20 ADD ../../freeipa.spec.in freeipa.spec.in RUN cp freeipa.spec.in freeipa-builddep.spec RUN yum-builddep freeipa-builddep.spec
Let’s attempt to build the image:
% sudo docker build . Uploading context 3.072 kB Uploading context Step 0 : FROM fedora:20 ---> b7de3133ff98 Step 1 : ADD ../../freeipa.spec.in freeipa.spec.in 2014/05/19 16:34:21 ../../freeipa.spec.in: no such file or directory
The context of a build is the contents of the directory containing the
Dockerfile. Attempting to reference files outside the context fails. The
ADD instruction documentation does kindly mention this.
We certainly don’t want multiple copies of
freeipa.spec.in floating around, so perhaps we can use a symbolic link. The
Dockerfile now reads:
FROM fedora:20 ADD freeipa.spec.in freeipa.spec.in RUN cp freeipa.spec.in freeipa-builddep.spec RUN yum-builddep freeipa-builddep.spec
Creating the symlink and trying the build again:
% cd docker/freeipa-builddep/ % ln -s ../../freeipa.spec.in % docker build . Uploading context 3.072 kB Uploading context Step 0 : FROM fedora:20 ---> b7de3133ff98 Step 1 : ADD freeipa.spec.in freeipa.spec.in 2014/05/19 16:45:06 freeipa.spec.in: no such file or directory
Docker really does not like symlinks.
I’m not sure how to proceed from here, and will be seeking feedback from the other FreeIPA developers since the other options are either intrusive (different
Dockerfile = different branch) or hacky (e.g. pulling things in from URLs, or multiple copies of spec file in repository). Perhaps I am overlooking a nice solution, or perhaps one will come about soon given that Docker is still under heavy development.