Articles from Tom Sweeney

Buildah - build your containers from the ground up!

Since I’m relatively new to the world of containers and images, I was excited to learn about the Buildah tool. Especially since I’m a native New Englander and it’s a clever play on how we say Builder in these parts.

Buildah is a newly released command line tool for efficiently and quickly building Open Container Initiative (OCI) compliant images and containers. Buildah simplifies the process of creating, building and updating images while decreasing the learning curve of the container environment. It is easily scriptable and can be used in an environment where one needs to spin up containers automatically based on calls from your application. What’s really neat is there is no requirement for a container runtime daemon to be running on your system chewing up resources and complicating the build process.

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Buildah Blocks — Getting Fit

Like many other Americans, I am fighting the battle to stay fit and I’m not always winning. Staying fit can also be a problem in the container environment. A common problem people have with building container images with tools like Dockerfile and the run-time-based docker build command is the size of the image, as well as the number of build tools that end up inside of it. Another concern about these unnecessary tools is they can weaken your container by opening potential venues for hackers to take advantage.

A really nice feature about Buildah is you can strengthen your container making it “stronger and more fit”. By finely tuning the creation of the container, and then adding or removing pieces as you desire, you can control the size of your container and lessen its vulnerabilities. It’s all under your control.

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Buildah Blocks - OCI Shell Game

I’ve always been fascinated by the three shells and a pea game that street hustlers have used for years to make a bit of coin. I love watching a talented person running the game, but I know better than to bet on it! However, playing the game with Buildah leads to everyone being a winner.

I had a bit of time to play, so I tried out a variant of the shell game with Open Containers Initiative (OCI) containers. I made a quick example showing how you can create an OCI image with Buildah, saved the image to a repository on Docker Hub and then used both Docker and Buildah to run that image from Docker Hub. Nothing terribly fancy, but the video does illustrate that Buildah is OCI-compliant and the images it creates can be used by other OCI-compliant technologies.

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Buildah Alpha version 0.12 Release Announcement

We’re pleased to announce the release of Buildah Alpha version 0.12 on both Fedora 26 and Fedora 27. As always, the latest Buildah can also be acquired from GitHub for any other Linux distribution.

The Buildah project has been building some steam over the past several weeks, welcoming several new contributors to the mix, launching new functionality and creating a number of improvements and bug fixes. The major highlights for this release are:

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Open Source, What a Concept!

I recently joined Red Hat after many years working for another tech company whose three character symbol most would recognize, but I won’t name. While there, I developed a number of different software products that were all very successful in their spaces, but all very proprietary. Not only were we legally compelled to not share the software outside of the company, we often times didn’t share it within the company. To me at the time, that made complete sense. The company spent the time, energy and budget on developing the software, so they should then protect and then claim the rewards that were garnered for it.

Fast forward to a year ago when I joined Red Hat, and developed a completely different mindset. One of the first things I jumped into was the Buildah project. It facilitates building Open Container Initiative (OCI) images and it is especially good at allowing you to tailor the size of the image that is created. At that time Buildah was in its very early stages and there were some warts here and there that weren’t quite production ready.

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Buildah Alpha version 0.16 Release Announcement

Buildah Alpha version 0.16 Release Announcement

We’re pleased to announce the release of Buildah Alpha version 0.16 which is now available from GitHub for any Linux distro. We will be shipping this release on Fedora, CentOS and Ubuntu in the near future.

The Buildah project has continued to grow over the past several weeks, welcoming several new contributors to the mix, launching new functionality and creating a number of improvements and bug fixes.

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Problems Are Just Opportunities in Disguise

As a father who’s ushered one child through their teen years, and with two more in the teens now, I know about problems. Problems with the WiFi not working, or the shoes that are two months old and now two sizes too small. Those are the easy ones, the harder ones come in with sleepovers with their significant others, the broken down car after curfew or the death of a classmate. In my at-work life, I was explaining to my scrum master that I’d not been picking off any cards off our board in the past sprint because I’d spent all my time working on issues. He remarked that as a software engineer we’re not so much coders as we’re problem solvers. I guess I can’t escape problems either at work or at home.

Recently one of the folks that talks about Buildah, Podman, and other related container technologies at conferences sent me an email about a problem he was having with a demo script he was hoping to show.

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Buildah version 1.1 Release Announcement

Buildah version 1.1 Release Announcement

buildah logo

We’re pleased to announce the release of Buildah version 1.1 which is now available from GitHub for any Linux distro. We are shipping this release on Fedora, RHEL 7, CentOS and Ubuntu in the near future.

The Buildah project has continued to grow over the past several weeks, welcoming several new contributors to the mix, launching new functionality and creating a number of improvements and bug fixes.

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Buildah version 1.2 Release Announcement

Buildah version 1.2 Release Announcement

buildah logo

We’re pleased to announce the release of Buildah version 1.2 which is now available from GitHub for any Linux distro. We are shipping this release on Fedora, RHEL 7, CentOS and Ubuntu in the near future.

The Buildah project has continued to grow over the past several weeks, welcoming several new contributors to the mix. The highlights of this release are the added ability to control image layers when building an image, CVE’s Fixes, the initial support for user namespace handling and several other enhancements and bug fixes.

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