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About & Why

warning: experimental software, handle with caution

Beamwhale is an erlang library to replicate what docker does at a tiny scale. My goal for this project was to be able to list available tags for an image. Pull image to a local repository. And use the image to create an isolated resource (container)

Why? well to gain more knowledge in erlang and linux at the same time :) I am well aware that erlang isn't supposed to be used for these kind of tasks..

What I also realized among the way is that, I tried to develop and use this functionality with my standart user, but creating containers require superuser privileges, and i believe the way docker handles it is that they create a special user group with permissions and add your user to it so that you don't need superuser when using docker.

One simple example is that the unshare call ( will always fail for me in ubuntu 16.04 if i don't acquire superuser. Another example is that if you opt-in for building the root filesystem with overlayfs you again need superuser privileges.


============== Any erlang release in the past years should be fine. Also rebar3 is required but i provided a convenience with the make file that if you just try to use the make file it will fetch rebar3 from its official distribution point.


============== Do you really want to use it? It is not polished at all, in fact the last demo has errors in it.


Clone the repository and sudo make shell

get tags of a docker container image

(any available library on docker public registry)


pull the container image with the tag you would like

you can also choose to opt-out of providing a tag

in that case it will default to latest tag


create and run a command in a container

with the image you would choose (it pulls and sets it up for you)

beamwhale:start_container(ImageName, Tag, Command, Args, Options) options can be ommitted, there is a single option now and it is enable_overlay atom



minimal container runtime in erlang





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