3.11. Running With Docker

Using docker with Amby makes it much easier to build bundles with multiple processes on multiple machines.

Ambry runs in docker with these containers:

  • A volume container, for holding downloaded files and built bundles
  • A postgres database container, which holds the library database and warehouses
  • One or more transient builders containers, to build bundles and run other Ambry commands.
  • A UI container, to run the web interface to the library.

These containers can be build and run using either the python setup.py docker command, or with docker compose. Additionally, the bambry docker command allows running Ambry commands in a transient container, automatically connected to the database and volume container.

3.11.1. Initial Setup

Of course, you will need to setup docker first. For development and testing on Max and Windows, it is easiest to use a destktop docker environment like Kitematic, while for Linux you can install docker directly.

After you have docker working, you will need to: - Build all of the Ambry docker images on yout host - Create a container group

3.11.2. Building Images

The python setup.py docker command is used to build and tag images for the various container types. The command has these options, each to build a different container type:

-- base, --B

Builds the base container, civicknowledge/base, used by other containers.

--build, -b

Builds the builder container, which is launched from bambry docker

  • --dev | -d Builds the same container as - --build, but installs some packages from git rather than pip, so it is easier to use in development.
  • --db | -D Builds the postgres database image
  • --tunnel | -t Builds the image for an SSH tunnel to access remote databases securely.
  • --ui | -u Builds the image for the web user interface to a library;
  • --volumes | -v Builds the image for containers that hold data for a group of related containers.

Or, just use -a to build everything.

The - --build | -b and - --dev | -d options build the same container, with the same tags, so only one is required. The dev image gets some very actively developed modules from github, while the build image gets them from pip, so the dev image is preferred for use in development.

3.11.3. Create a Container Group

A container group is a colelction of interacting Ambry container for a single library. You will create a container group for each seperate library you want to work with. The groups have a group name, which you can set with the -g | --groupname option, or you can let the system choose a random name.

To create a container group, run ambry docker init. If you are running in a non-public environment, use the -p | --public option to add a port marring for the database container. In a public environment – for instance, your docker host is at AWS or Digital Ocean – omit and -p | --public option. In this case, you will need to use the ambry docker tunnel command to create a secure SSH tunnel to remotely access your database, or perform Ambry operations from a container on the same host.

To create a container group for the group name demo, with a public database port, run:

$ ambry docker init -g demo -p -m'This is a demo library'

After the container group is created, you will need to configure the database DSN for the new database. You can either set the DSN that is print to the screen in the library.database config in your .ambry.yaml file, or you can set the AMBRY_DB environmental variable. Set the library.database if you only expect to work with one database, and set AMBRY_DB environmental variable if you expect to work with many.

If you have setup the ambry-aliases.sh file ( find it with which ambry-aliases.sh, then source it in your .bashrc or .bash_profile ) you can run the ambry_switch function to set the AMBRY_DB environmental variable to the DSN associated with a group name. For instance, after creating the demo group:

$ source `which ambry-aliases.sh`
$ ambry_switch demo
$ printenv AMBRY_DB

3.11.4. Configuration Environmental Variables

The docker container for building bundles uses several environmental variables to configure it’s operation.

  • AMBRY_DB Database DSN for the AMbry library
  • AMBRY_ACCOUNT_PASSWORD The password for decrypting account secrets
  • AMBRY_LIMITED_RUN When building in docker, use -L
  • AMBRY_COMMAND. Start the container with this ambry command, then exit. Ambry.yaml Configuration

The ambry.yaml file can have a few configuration items that effect operation of docker containers.

The docker.volumes_from config specifies a single argument for the --volumes-from argument when running bambry docker. The option allows for creating a volume container to hold build files. You’ll nearly always want to set this value; if it isn’t set, the files created during a build will be lost when the container exits.

The docker.ambry_image config specified the image that is used when running bambry docker. This config is useful to set bambry docker to use the image created with docker compose

If you use docker compose to create the docker images instead of python setup.py docker, these configuration values will be useful to ensure bambry docker uses the images created by docker compose.

The UI containers are hard to use if you have to run docker ps to find the host port, so it is more useful to setup a web proxy to rount we requests to the host to the UI containers. The jwilder/nginx-proxy is an easy way set up these proxies automatically. When the ui containers are created, a VIRTUAL_HOST environmental variable is automatically set, so the jwilder/nginx-proxy can automatically configure a proxy entry. When this proxy is in place, the docker.ui_domain is used for the root domain of the virtual host.

    volumes_from: ambrydocker_volumes
    ambry_image: ambrydocker_ambry
    ui_domain: barker.local

3.11.5. Other Issues UI Proxies

To run a UI proxy that will automatically configure from the UI containers’ VIRTUAL_HOST environmental variable:

$ docker run -d -p 80:80 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/tmp/docker.sock:ro jwilder/nginx-proxy