Docker image build for nextstrain/base
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Docker image for nextstrain/base

This is the source for creating the nextstrain/base Docker image. Currently the image is published as nextstrain/base.

Ideally most pathogen builds are supported by this base image without further customization. The possibility remains, however, for pathogens to define and use an image derived from this base layer. This would be desirable for pathogen builds requiring custom external software, like Python modules or tree-builders.

The image includes the standard Nextstrain components sacra, fauna, augur (modular), and auspice, as well as other bioinformatics tools like mafft, RAxML, FastTree, IQ-TREE, and TreeTime.

This image is best interacted with using the nextstrain command-line tool.



To build this image locally, first pull down the latest image from Docker Hub:


This will save you time by taking advantage of layer caching. Then build the image with:


On each subsequent change during your development iterations, you can run just the ./devel/build command again.

If you need to force the cached Nextstrain layers to rebuild to, for example, pick up a new version of augur or auspice, set the CACHE_DATE environment variable to a new timestamp first:

export CACHE_DATE=$(date --utc +%Y%m%dT%H%M%SZ)

Otherwise, letting the build process use the cached layers will save you time during development iterations.

Pushing images to Docker Hub

To push images you've built locally to Docker Hub, you can run:

./devel/push latest

This will publish your local nextstrain/base:latest image. This is also what happens if you run ./devel/push with no tags specified. If you have images with other tags, you may provide those tags in addition to or instead of latest.

Best practices

The smaller the image size, the better. To this end we build upon an Alpine Linux image (instead of Ubuntu) and use a multi-stage build where only artifacts are included in the final image without any of the software required only for compiling, installing, building, etc. The Alpine Linux package index is useful for finding what's installable through its package manager apk.

Try to follow Docker best practices for images, although not all apply to our use case, which is somewhat atypical.

The Dockerfile reference documentation is quite handy for looking up the details of each Dockerfile command (COPY, ADD, etc).

Continuous integration

Every push to this repository triggers a new build of the image on Travis CI. This helps ensure the image builds successfully with the new commits.

Images built from the master branch are additionally pushed to the Docker registry. The build instructions used by Travis are in this repo's .travis.yml.