Monday, January 23, 2017

Debugging Dockerfile builds

I often find myself in a situation where I'm building an image from some Dockerfile, and the build fails 10 or 15 lines in, and I want to dive in and debug what's going wrong with that failing line. Fortunately - that's easy to do.
Let's suppose you're trying to build an image with a Dockerfile like this:

$ cat Dockerfile
FROM alpine:3.5
RUN echo "Step 2"
RUN echo "Step 3" && exit 1
RUN echo "Step 4"

Of course the build fails on 'exit 1' like this:

$ docker build -t demo:1.0.0 .Sending build context to Docker daemon  60.6 MB
Step 1 : FROM alpine:3.5
 ---> 88e169ea8f46
Step 2 : RUN echo "Step 2"
 ---> Running in 7ec0de04622c
Step 2
 ---> 281d8cac4e45
Removing intermediate container 7ec0de04622c
Step 3 : RUN echo "Step 3" && exit 1
 ---> Running in a8a16cb6d591
Step 3
The command '/bin/sh -c echo "Step 3" && exit 1' returned a non-zero code: 1

Fortunately, the docker build saves an intermediate image after each command in the Dockerfile, and outputs the id of that image (---> 281d8cac4e45), so it's easy to do something like this to debug that failing command:

$ docker run --name debug -v '/home/reuben:/mnt/reuben' -it 281d8cac4e45 /bin/sh
/ # 

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