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Minimizing the size of standard docker images

This utilities strips everything you do not need from an image and create a new image with just the bare necessities.


strip-docker-image 	-i image-name
			-t target-image-name
			[-p package]
			[-f file]
			[-x expose-port]


-i image-name		to strip
-t target-image-name	the image name of the stripped image
-p package		package to include from image, multiple -p allowed.
-f file			file to include from image, multiple -f allowed.
-x port			to expose.
-v			verbose.


creates a new Docker image which contains only selected packages and files from the source image.

Why is this useful?

  1. It minimizes the size of your docker images, which speeds up load times
  2. It minimizes the attack surface: if you get in the container, there is nothing there..


The following example strips the nginx installation from the default NGiNX docker image,

strip-docker-image -i nginx -t stripped-nginx  \
				   -x 80 \
				   -p nginx  \
				   -f /etc/passwd \
				   -f /etc/group \
				   -f '/lib/*/libnss*' \
				   -f /bin/ls \
				   -f /bin/cat \
				   -f /bin/sh \
				   -f /bin/mkdir \
				   -f /bin/ps \
				   -f /var/run \
				   -f /var/log/nginx \
				   -f /var/cache/nginx

Aside from the nginx package, I have added the files /etc/passwd, /etc/group and /lib//libnss shared libraries are necessary for getpwnam() to work correctly.

The directories /var/run, /var/log/nginx and /var/cache/nginx are required for NGiNX to operate.

In addition, I added the /bin/sh and a few handy utilities, just to be able to snoop around a little bit..

The stripped image has now shrunk to an incredible 5.4% of the original 132.8 Mb to just 7.3Mb and is still fully operational!

$ docker images | grep nginx
stripped-nginx                     latest              d61912afaf16        21 seconds ago      7.297 MB
nginx                              1                   319d2015d149        12 days ago         132.8 MB
nginx                              1.9                 319d2015d149        12 days ago         132.8 MB
nginx                              1.9.2               319d2015d149        12 days ago         132.8 MB

Just run the nginx container as you normally would!

docker run --name nginx -P -d --entrypoint /usr/sbin/nginx stripped-nginx  -g "daemon off;"
docker run --link nginx:stripped cargonauts/toolbox-networking curl -s -D - http://stripped


This utility requires bash, tar, readlink, ldd, and either dpkg or rpm to be installed in the container.

Note that on systems with rpm, you must specify full package names when using the -p switch, e.g. -p nginx-1.8.0-1.el7.ngx.x86_64


Utility to strip Docker images to their bare minimum size.




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