This page attempts to document how to create a Debian image for Docker.

You may use Debian images from Docker.io's Debian official repository if you trust their author, or you may prefer to create them yourself, using the methods described below.

The following is work in progress WITHOUT ANY WARANTY

Using (upstream provided "contrib" script) mkimage.sh

The docker.io package ships the /usr/share/docker.io/contrib/mkimage.sh script which may be used, alongside the companion script /usr/share/docker.io/contrib/mkimage/debootstrap to create a Docker image for Debian (or Ubuntu) using debootstrap, and with or without further tweaks.

You may create an image for the stable suite (using the minbase debootstrap variant) with :

sudo .../mkimage.sh -t $USER/minbase debootstrap --variant=minbase stable

The image may then be used with :

sudo docker.io run -i $USER/minbase echo "hello world"

Contrary to the former mkimage-debootstrap.sh (now deprecated, see below), contrib/mkimage/debootstrap does not need the mandatory variant parameter, and can invoke debootstrap without a specific variant, using its default settings.

Using mkimage-debootstrap.sh (now flagged as deprecated by upstream)

The docker.io package still ships the, now deprecated, /usr/share/docker.io/contrib/mkimage-debootstrap.sh script which may be used to create a Docker image for Debian (or Ubuntu) using debootstrap, and with or without further tweaks.

You may create an image for the stable suite (using the minbase debootstrap variant) with :

.../mkimage-debootstrap.sh $USER/minbase stable

The image may then be used with :

sudo docker.io run -i $USER/minbase:stable echo "hello world"

As an alternative to upstream's choices, you may modify the script so that it does not use the minbase variant by default (see for instance obergix's version and adjust to your needs), or use the newer mkimage.sh (see above).

Manual method

See also http://www.debian-administration.org/article/696/A_brief_introduction_to_using_docker#a2 if you want to use a manual debootstrap install (without the upstream's contrib script's tweaks).

Using the newly built image to create a test container

A dockerfile may then refer to your image using the following directive :

FROM YOURUSER/minbase:stable

You may test it with :

echo "FROM $USER/minbase:stable" | docker.io build -t $USER/test:stable -

References