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Atomic Developer Bundle

Atomic Developer Bundle (ADB) is a prepackaged development environment filled with production-grade, pre-configured tools, that makes container developers' lives easier. ADB supports the development of multi-container applications against different technologies and orchestrators while providing a path that promotes best practices.

Advantages of ADB

As a container developer, you want to use ADB for these reasons:

  • Pre-Configured: You don’t have to spend time building an environment and fighting configuration battles.

  • Multiple Environment Support: ADB works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. ADB supports several orchestrators (OpenShift, Kubernetes, Mesos, and plain Docker). ADB is language independent and supports multiple developer models (IDE, CLI, SSH containment).

  • Production-Grade: The components of ADB are configured to behave just as they will in production. Containers promise seamless delivery, but only if you test them in the right environment. This is that environment.

  • Self-Contained: ADB is ready to go once installed. It comes prepackaged with the most common components ready, in case they are needed.

  • Open Source: ADB leverages existing tools and technologies wherever possible to avoid pushing a developer into an environment that won’t be supportable in production or that is tied to a single vendor. This also means it benefits from the stability of existing projects instead of reinventing the wheel.

ADB is a virtual machine that is executed with Vagrant and some Vagrant plugins.

When would ADB typically be used?

A developer begins using ADB, in most cases, once they have a working application that has been decomposed into micro-services. They then follow this general outline of steps:

  1. Consider ways to divide your application into its component services or micro-services. For standard pieces, such as web servers, consider using pre-built containers from trusted sources. For truly unique pieces, build a custom container.

  2. Confirm the application works in ADB by manually launching the application’s container components or by using the instance of OpenShift in the container to launch the application.

  3. Build orchestration configurations that provide scaling and other required features, or complete the OpenShift application configuration. Alternatively, build a Nulecule description of the application.

  4. Test the application.

The Container Best Practices document in this project may also be of interest.

What is the typical usage pattern?

ADB supports three basic modes of usage. The modes vary by how much they rely on tools on the developer’s workstation. From most to least reliant, they are:

  • Host-based IDE Mode

    This mode uses ADB as a server resource for host-based IDE tools. In this mode, the user will run eclipse or other IDE tools that will access the resources of ADB.

  • Host-based CLI Mode

    This mode uses ADB as a server resource for host-based CLI tools. In this mode, the user will run docker and other CLI tools on their workstation and the result will be containers executed inside of ADB.

  • SSH Mode

    This mode uses ADB as a Linux virtual machine. The user will use the ssh command to log into ADB and will directly execute docker and other commands from the command line. This is similar to having installed a Linux virtual machine and then installing and configuring all of the software ADB ships with.

More information about using ADB is available.

ADB is built on top of CentOS 7 and the following projects:

  • Docker: container runtime and packaging

  • Atomic CLI: container usage assistance

  • Kubernetes: container orchestration

  • OpenShift Origin: a next generation PaaS for docker containers

  • openshift2nulecule: a tool that creates a Nulecule application from an existing OpenShift project

  • Mesos Marathon: a production-grade container orchestration platform for Mesosphere’s Datacenter Operating System (DCOS) and Apache Mesos

ADB supports Atomic App, an implementation of the multi-container application specification nulecule, for multi-container applications.

You need to use the customized Vagrantfiles provided in ADB project to set up the above mentioned environments. For further details refer to the Installation steps in the next section.

How do I install and run ADB?

Below is an installation overview using the most common options. Detailed installation instructions are available.

  1. Install VirtualBox for your operating system.

  2. Install Vagrant for your operating system.

  3. Install the vagrant-service-manager, vagrant-sshfs, and landrush Vagrant plugins.

    $ vagrant plugin install vagrant-service-manager vagrant-sshfs landrush

    Some operating systems may need additional dependencies to be installed before you proceed with the installation of the vagrant plugins. For details refer to the detailed Installation document.

  4. Download the customized Vagrantfiles provided by the ADB project. These Vagrantfiles will download ADB and automatically set up provider-specific container development environments. They are listed below and more details are available in the Installation document.

    To download ADB and set up a provider-specific container development environment:

    1. Create a directory for the Vagrant box.

      $ mkdir directory && cd directory
    2. Download any of the following vagrantfiles, to configure the development environment you need.

  5. Start ADB.

    vagrant up

    This will download ADB and set it up to work with the provider of choice, for use with host-based tools or via vagrant ssh. You may wish to review the Using Atomic Developer Bundle documentation before starting ADB, especially if you are using host-based tools.

Which features are included?

Currently, the box provides the following:

  • Docker support to unsupported platforms (i.e. Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, etc.)

  • Kubernetes orchestration for local testing of applications

  • Application definition using the Nulecule specification

Additional goals, objectives and work in progress can be found on the Project Atomic trello board.

What are the deliverables and where are they delivered?

ADB is delivered as a Vagrant box for various (currently libvirt and VirtualBox) providers. The boxes are built using the CentOS powered Community Build System. Boxes are delivered via Hashicorp’s Atlas and are available at These boxes differ from existing Vagrant boxes for CentOS as they have specific build requirements that are not enabled in those boxes.

Interested in Contributing to this project?

We welcome new ideas, suggestions, issues and pull requests. Want to be more involved, join us:

Documentation is written using ASCIIDoc. You can create and edit content in your favorite text editor with live preview.

For detailed information about contributing to the projects, see how to contribute.

Additional online resources


a prepackaged development environment filled with production-grade pre-configured tools that makes container development easier







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