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The AWS Lambda container image converter tool (img2lambda) repackages container images (such as Docker images) into AWS Lambda layers, and publishes them as new layer versions.
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AWS Lambda Container Image Converter

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This container image converter tool (img2lambda) repackages container images (such as Docker images) into AWS Lambda layers, and publishes them as new layer versions to Lambda.

The tool copies all files under '/opt' in the Docker image, maintaining the individual Docker image layers as individual Lambda layers. The published layer ARNs will be stored in a file 'output/layers.json', which can be used as input when creating Lambda functions. Each layer is named using a "namespace" prefix (like img2lambda or my-docker-image) and the SHA256 digest of the Docker image layer, in order to provide a way of tracking the provenance of the Lambda layer back to the Docker image that created it.

If a layer is already published to Lambda (same layer name, SHA256 digest, and size), it will not be published again. Instead the existing layer version ARN will be written to the output file.

img2lambda Demo

Table of Contents


   img2lambda [options]

   --image value, -i value                 Name of the source container image. For example, 'my-docker-image:latest'. The Docker image must be pulled locally already.
   --region value, -r value                AWS region (default: "us-east-1")
   --output-directory value, -o value      Destination directory for command output (default: "./output")
   --layer-namespace value, -n value       Prefix for the layers published to Lambda (default: "img2lambda")
   --dry-run, -d                           Conduct a dry-run: Repackage the image, but only write the Lambda layers to local disk (do not publish to Lambda)
   --description value, --desc value       The description of this layer version (default: "created by img2lambda from image <name of the image>")
   --license-info value, -l value          The layer's software license. It can be an SPDX license identifier, the URL of the license hosted on the internet, or the full text of the license (default: no license)
   --compatible-runtime value, --cr value  An AWS Lambda function runtime compatible with the image layers. To specify multiple runtimes, repeat the option: --cr provided --cr python2.7 (default: "provided")
   --help, -h                              show help
   --version, -v                           print the version



Download pre-built binaries from the Releases Page.

From Source

$ mkdir -p $GOPATH/src/
$ git clone $GOPATH/src/
$ cd !$
$ make
$ ./bin/local/img2lambda --help


No credentials are required for dry-runs of the img2lambda tool. When publishing layers to Lambda, img2lambda will look for credentials in the following order (using the default provider chain in the AWS SDK for Go).

  1. Environment variables.
  2. Shared credentials file.
  3. If running on Amazon ECS (with task role) or AWS CodeBuild, IAM role from the container credentials endpoint.
  4. If running on an Amazon EC2 instance, IAM role for Amazon EC2.

The credentials must have the following permissions:

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Sid": "MinimalPermissions",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": [
                "arn:aws:lambda:<REGION>:<ACCOUNT ID>:layer:<LAYER NAMESPACE>-sha256-*",
                "arn:aws:lambda:<REGION>:<ACCOUNT ID>:layer:<LAYER NAMESPACE>-sha256-*:*"

For example:

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Sid": "MinimalPermissions",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": [


Build the example Docker image to create a PHP Lambda custom runtime:

cd example

docker build -t lambda-php .

The example PHP functions are also built into the example image, so they can be run with Docker:

docker run lambda-php hello '{"name": "World"}'

docker run lambda-php goodbye '{"name": "World"}'

Run the tool to create and publish Lambda layers that contain the PHP custom runtime:

./bin/local/img2lambda -i lambda-php:latest -r us-east-1

Create a PHP function that uses the layers:

cd function

zip src/hello.php

aws lambda create-function \
    --function-name php-example-hello \
    --handler hello \
    --zip-file fileb://./ \
    --runtime provided \
    --role "arn:aws:iam::XXXXXXXXXXXX:role/service-role/LambdaPhpExample" \
    --region us-east-1 \
    --layers file://../output/layers.json

Finally, invoke the function:

aws lambda invoke \
    --function-name php-example-hello \
    --region us-east-1 \
    --log-type Tail \
    --query 'LogResult' \
    --output text \
    --payload '{"name": "World"}' hello-output.txt | base64 --decode

cat hello-output.txt

License Summary

This sample code is made available under a modified MIT license. See the LICENSE file.

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