Dockerfile-based builds

For any source-based supply chains, that is, supply chains not taking a pre-built image, when you specify the new dockerfile parameter in a workload, the builds switch from using Kpack to using Kaniko. Kaniko is an open-source tool for building container images from a Dockerfile without the need for running Docker inside a container.

parameter name meaning example
dockerfile relative path to the Dockerfile file in the build context
docker_build_context relative path to the directory where the build context is
docker_build_extra_args list of flags to pass directly to Kaniko (such as providing arguments, and so on to a build)
- –build-arg=FOO=BAR

For example, assuming that you want to build a container image our of a repository named whose Dockerfile resides in the root of that repository, you can switch from using Kpack to building from that Dockerfile by passing the dockerfile parameter:

$ tanzu apps workload create foo \
  --git-repo \
  --git-branch dev \
  --param dockerfile=./Dockerfile

  Create workload:
        1 + |---
        2 + |apiVersion:
        3 + |kind: Workload
        4 + |metadata:
        5 + |  name: foo
        6 + |  namespace: default
        7 + |spec:
        8 + |  params:
        9 + |  - name: dockerfile
       10 + |    value: ./Dockerfile
       11 + |  source:
       12 + |    git:
       13 + |      ref:
       14 + |        branch: dev
       15 + |      url:

Similarly, if the context to be used for the build must be set to a different directory within the repository, you can make use of the docker_build_context to change that:

$ tanzu apps workload create foo \
  --git-repo \
  --git-branch dev \
  --param dockerfile=MyDockerfile \
  --param docker_build_context=./src

This feature has no platform operator configurations to be passed through tap-values.yaml, but if ootb-supply-chain-*.registry.ca_cert_data or shared.ca_cert_data is configured in tap-values, the certificates are considered when pushing the container image.


Despite that Kaniko can perform container image builds without needing either a Docker daemon or privileged containers, it does require the use of:

  • Capabilities usually dropped from the more restrictive SecurityContextContraints enabled by default in OpenShift.
  • The root user.

To overcome such limitations imposed by the default unprivileged SecurityContextConstraints (SCC), VMware recommends:

  1. Creating a more permissive SCC with just enough extra privileges for Kaniko to properly operate:

    kind: SecurityContextConstraints
      name: ootb-templates-kaniko-restricted-v2-with-anyuid
    allowHostDirVolumePlugin: false
    allowHostIPC: false
    allowHostNetwork: false
    allowHostPID: false
    allowHostPorts: false
    allowPrivilegeEscalation: false
    allowPrivilegedContainer: false
    allowedCapabilities: [CHOWN, FOWNER, SETUID, SETGID, DAC_OVERRIDE]
      type: RunAsAny
    groups: []
    readOnlyRootFilesystem: false
      - MKNOD
      type: RunAsAny
      type: MustRunAs
      - runtime/default
      type: RunAsAny
    users: []
      - configMap
      - downwardAPI
      - emptyDir
      - persistentVolumeClaim
      - projected
      - secret
  2. Creating a ClusterRole to permit the use of such SCC to any actor binding to that cluster role:

    kind: ClusterRole
      name: ootb-templates-kaniko-restricted-v2-with-anyuid
      - apiGroups:
          - ootb-templates-kaniko-restricted-v2-with-anyuid
          - securitycontextconstraints
          - use
  3. Binding the role to an actor, ServiceAccount, as instructed in Set up developer namespaces to use installed packages:

    kind: RoleBinding
      name: workload-kaniko-scc
      kind: ClusterRole
      name: ootb-templates-kaniko-restricted-v2-with-anyuid
      - kind: ServiceAccount
        name: default

With the SCC created and the ServiceAccount bound to the role that permits the use of the SCC, OpenShift accepts the pods created to run Kaniko to build the container images.


Such restrictions are due to well-known limitations in how Kaniko performs the image builds, and there is currently no solution. For more information, see kaniko#105.

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