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Getting Started

This is a thorough start guide to show you each detail of an Atomic App. Teaching you the basic commands as well as the generation of your first Atomic App.

Basic commands

The four basic commands of atomicapp are:

atomicapp fetch: Retrieving a packaged container and exporting it to a directory.

ex. atomicapp fetch projectatomic/helloapache

atomicapp run: Running a packaged container on a specified provider. Unless a directory is specified, run will also perform fetch.

ex. atomicapp run projectatomic/helloapache --provider=kubernetes

atomicapp stop: Stopping a deployed Nulecule on a specified provider. Whether you're using Kubernetes, OpenShift or Docker, Atomic App will stop the containers.

ex. atomicapp stop ./myappdir --provider=kubernetes

atomicapp genanswers: By examing the Nulecule file. Atomic App will generate an answers.conf file to be used for non-interactive deployment.

ex. atomicapp genanswers ./myappdir

For more detailed information as well as a list of all parameters, use atomicapp --help on the command line. Alternatively, you can read our CLI doc.

Atomic App on Project Atomic hosts

If you are on a Project Atomic host you can interact with atomicapp via the atomic cli command.

Some commands for atomicapp on an atomic host are a bit different.

However. Regardless of the atomic run command, a --mode can be passed to change the functionality of the command.

Atomic App Atomic CLI
atomicapp fetch projectatomic/helloapache atomic run projectatomic/helloapache --mode fetch
atomicapp run projectatomic/helloapache atomic run projectatomic/helloapache
atomicapp stop ./myappdir atomic stop projectatomic/helloapache ./myappdir
atomicapp genanswers ./myappdir atomic run projectatomic/helloapache ./myappdir --mode genanswers

Building your first Atomic App

A typical Atomic App or "Nulecule" container consists of the following files:

~/helloapache
▶ tree
.
├── answers.conf.sample
├── artifacts
│   ├── docker
│   │   └── hello-apache-pod_run
│   ├── kubernetes
│   │   └── hello-apache-pod.json
│   └── marathon
│       └── helloapache.json
├── Dockerfile
├── Nulecule
└── README.md

We will go through each file and folder as we build our first Atomic App container.

For this example, we will be using the helloapache example from the nulecule-library repo.

In order to follow along, fetch the container and cd into the directory:

atomicapp fetch --destination localdir projectatomic/helloapache
cd localdir

./localdir/Dockerfile

Atomic App itself is packaged as a container. End-users typically do not install the software from source, instead using the atomicapp container as the FROM line in a Dockerfile and packaging your application on top. For example:

FROM projectatomic/atomicapp

MAINTAINER Your Name <you@example.com>

ADD /Nulecule /Dockerfile README.md /application-entity/
ADD /artifacts /application-entity/artifacts

Within helloapache we specify a bit more within our labels:

FROM projectatomic/atomicapp:0.4.2

MAINTAINER Red Hat, Inc. <container-tools@redhat.com>

LABEL io.projectatomic.nulecule.providers="kubernetes,docker,marathon" \
      io.projectatomic.nulecule.specversion="0.0.2"

ADD /Nulecule /Dockerfile README.md /application-entity/
ADD /artifacts /application-entity/artifacts

Optionally, you may indicate what providers you specifically support via the Docker LABEL command.

NOTE: The Dockerfile you supply here is for building a Nuleculized container image (often called an 'Atomic App'). It is not the Dockerfile you use to build your upstream Docker image. The actual atomicapp code should already be built at this time and imported in the FROM projectatomic/atomicapp line.

./localdir/Nulecule

This is the Nulecule file for Atomic App. The Nulecule file is composed of graph and metadata in order to link one or more containers for your application.

---
specversion: 0.0.2
id: helloapache-app

metadata:
  name: Hello Apache App
  appversion: 0.0.1
  description: Atomic app for deploying a really basic Apache HTTP server

graph:
  - name: helloapache-app

    params:
      - name: image
        description: The webserver image
        default: centos/httpd
      - name: hostport
        description: The host TCP port as the external endpoint
        default: 80

    artifacts:
      docker:
        - file://artifacts/docker/hello-apache-pod_run
      kubernetes:
        - file://artifacts/kubernetes/hello-apache-pod.json
      marathon:
        - file://artifacts/marathon/helloapache.json
Spec and id information
---
specversion: 0.0.2
id: helloapache-app

Here we indicate the specversion of our Atomic App (similar to a v1 or v2 of an API) as well as our ID.

Metadata
metadata:
  name: Hello Apache App
  appversion: 0.0.1
  description: Atomic app for deploying a really basic Apache HTTP server

Optionally, a good metadata section will indiciate to a user of your app what it does as well as what version it's on.

Graph
graph:
  - name: helloapache-app

    params:
      - name: image
        description: The webserver image
        default: centos/httpd
      - name: hostport
        description: The host TCP port as the external endpoint
        default: 80

    artifacts:
      docker:
        - file://artifacts/docker/hello-apache-pod_run
      kubernetes:
        - file://artifacts/kubernetes/hello-apache-pod.json
      marathon:
        - file://artifacts/marathon/helloapache.json

Graph is the most important section. In here we will indicate all the default parameters as well as all associated artifacts.

params:
  - name: image
    description: The webserver image
    default: centos/httpd

There will likely be many parameters that need to be exposed at deployment. It's best to provide defaults whenever possible. Variable templating is used within artifact files. For example: $image within artifacts/kubernetes/hello-apache-pod.json becomes centos/httpd.

NOTE: Not providing a default variable will require Atomic App to ask the user. Alternatively, an answers.conf file can be provided.

artifacts:
  docker:
    - file://artifacts/docker/hello-apache-pod_run
  kubernetes:
    - file://artifacts/kubernetes/hello-apache-pod.json
  marathon:
    - file://artifacts/marathon/helloapache.json

In order to use a particular provider, name as well as a file location required. Each file is a variable-subtituted template of how your Atomic App container is ran. We go more into detail below.

kubernetes:
  - file://artifacts/kubernetes/hello-apache-pod.json
  - file://artifacts/kubernetes/hello-apache-service.json

Multiple files may also be specified. For example, specifying a pod, service and replication controller for the kubernetes provider.

./localdir/artifacts/docker/hello-apache-pod_run

docker run -d -p $hostport:80 $image

Each artifact uses variable replacement values. For our Docker provider, we substitute the port number with $hostport as indicated by our graph in our Nulecule file. The same as our $image variable.

./localdir/artifacts/kubernetes/hello-apache-pod.json

"image": "$image",
"name": "helloapache",
"ports": [
    {
        "containerPort": 80,
        "hostPort": $hostport,
        "protocol": "TCP"
    }

Similarly, the kubernetes provider uses both $image and $hostport variables for pod deployment.

./localdir/answers.conf.sample

answers.conf.sample is an answers file generated while fetching. It is a generated ini file that provides parameter answers for non-interactive deployments.

[helloapache-app]
image = centos/httpd
hostport = 80

[general]
namespace = default
provider = kubernetes

Default values such as the provider as well as the namespace can be provided.

In order to use an answers file, simply specify the location of the file when deploying:

cp answers.conf.sample answers.conf
sudo atomicapp run -a answers.conf .

Conclusion

Now you know how to build your very own first app! After you have created the necessary files go ahead and build/run it!

docker build -t myapp .
sudo atomicapp run myapp

Atomic App is portable and hence you can also deploy regardless of the host:

# Host 1
docker build -t myrepo/myapp .
docker push myrepo/myapp

# Host 2
docker pull myrepo/myapp
sudo atomicapp run myrepo/myapp

Although we have yet to cover every atomicapp command. Feel free to use atomicapp [run/fetch/stop] --help for a list of all options.

For an extended guide on the Nulecule file, read our extended Nulecule doc.

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