This topic tells you how to configure Tanzu Buildpacks with pack CLI.

Configuration examples will use the Paketo sample applications.

Examples assume that the root of this repository is the working directory:

git clone
cd samples

The pack CLI is used throughout the examples. pack is just one of several Cloud Native Buildpack platforms than can execute builds with Tanzu Buildpacks.

Tanzu Build Service users are recommended to use the pack CLI for local development. For more information on how to use leverage the pack CLI to iterate locally, please reference documentation on how to build your applicaiton locally using kpack builders

Examples assume that the Paketo Base builder is the default builder:

pack config default-builder paketobuildpacks/builder:base

Types of Configuration

Tanzu buildpacks can be configured via the following mechanisms:

Environment Variables

Build-time Environment Variables

Users may configure the build by setting variables in the buildpack environment. The names of variables accepted by the Tanzu buildpacks at build-time are either prefixed with BP_ or have well-known conventional meanings outside of Tanzu (e.g. http_proxy).

The following example uses an environment variable to configure the JVM version installed by the Java Buildpack.

pack build samples/java  \
  --path java/jar \
  --env BP_JVM_VERSION=8

During the build process, a buildpack may invoke other programs that accept configuration via the environment. Users may configure these tools as they would normally. For example, the command below configures the JVM memory settings for the JVM running Maven using MAVEN_OPTS.

pack build samples/java  \
  --path java/maven \
  --env "MAVEN_OPTS=-Xms256m -Xmx512m"

Runtime Environment Variables

Users may configure runtime features of the app image by setting environment variables in the app container. The names of variables accepted by buildpack-provided runtime components (e.g. profile scripts and processes types) are prefixed with BPL_ or have well-known conventional meanings outside of Tanzu (e.g JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS).

The following example uses JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS to set the server port of the sample application:

docker run --rm --publish 8082:8082 --env "JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS=-Dserver.port=8082" samples/java
curl -s http://localhost:8082/actuator/health

Programs invoked at runtime, including the application itself, will accept environment as they would normally.

Image Embedded Environment Variables

Users may embed environment variables into the images created by using the Environment Variables buildpack. The Environment Variables buildpack looks for environment variables matching the pattern $BPE_*. When detected, the buildpack will modify the launch environment to adjust the specified variables. This is a good way to set non-sensitive configuration values such as defaults or modify environment variables that you do not need users to set.

The buildpack supports the following actions on environment variables:

Environment Variable Name Description
$BPE_<NAME> set $NAME to value (same as override)
$BPE_APPEND_<NAME> append value to $NAME
$BPE_DEFAULT_<NAME> set default value for $NAME
$BPE_OVERRIDE_<NAME> set $NAME to value
$BPE_PREPEND_<NAME> prepend value to $NAME

For more details on actions, you can refer to the environment variable modification rules from the buildpacks spec.

You can also change the delimiter used when appending or prepending by setting $BPE_DELIM_<NAME> for a particular variable name. It will default to an empty string (i.e. no delimiter). An example of using this would be to append to PATH or LD_LIBRARY_PATH, which are colon delimited.

DO NOT embed sensitive credentials or information using the environment variables buildpack. This information is added to the image generated by your build tool, so anyone with access to the image can see what you embed using this buildpack.


Many Tanzu buildpacks accept configuration from a buildpack.yml file if one is present at the root of the application directory.

For example, to configure the NodeJS version installed by the NodeJS Buildpack, create a file named buildpack.yml in the nodejs/yarn directory in the samples repo.

  version: 12.12.0

Next, execute the build as normal and observe the that the specified version of NodeJs is installed.

pack build samples/nodejs --path nodejs/yarn


Why bindings?

Some Tanzu Buildpacks and components installed by the Tanzu Buildpacks accept credentials and other secrets using bindings at build and runtime. Commonly, bindings provide the location and credentials needed to connect to external services.

Some categories of external services one might want to bind at build-time include:

  • Private artifact repositories.
  • SaaS security scanning tools.

For example, the Maven buildpack accepts the location and credentials need to connect to a private Maven repository in a binding.

Some categories of external services one might want to bind at runtime include:

  • APM servers.
  • Data Services.
  • OAuth2 providers.

For example, the Spring Boot Buildpack will install Spring Cloud Bindings which is capable of auto-configuring Spring Boot application configuration properties to connect the application to a variety of external services, when a binding is provided at runtime.

What is a binding?

A Binding contains:

  1. A name. Indentifies a particular binding. The name typically does not affect build or runtime behavior but may be used to reference a specific binding in output such as log messages.
  2. A type or kind. Indicates what type of credentials the binding contains. For example, a binding of type ApplicationInsights contains the credentials needed to connect to Azure Application Insights.
  3. An optional provider. Indicates the source of the binding. For example, in a PaaS context, a specific service broker might provide the binding.
  4. key-value pairs. These contain the configuration data. For example, an ApplicationInsights binding may contain a key-value pair with key InstrumentationKey.

Bindings must be presented to buildpacks as directories (typically volume mounted) on the container filesystem. The name of the directory provides the name of the binding. The contents of a binding can be provided using one of two specifications.

Tanzu Buildpacks will look for bindings in the /platform/bindings directory at build-time and in $SERVICE_BINDING_ROOT or $CNB_BINDINGS directory at runtime.

For example, the Java Buildpack accepts a binding with type equal to maven containing a key named settings.xml containing Maven settings. In the build container, the Maven Buildpack will use settings.xml if it finds either

└── bindings
    └── <name>
        ├── settings.xml
        └── type


└── bindings
        └── metadata
        |   └── kind
        └── secret
            └── settings.xml

on the filesystem, where either the type or kind file contains the string maven.

How to use bindings?

The workflow for creating a binding and providing it to a build will depend on the chosen platform. For example, pack users should use the --volume flag to mount a binding directory into the build or app containers.

Example: Providing a Binding to pack build

Given a directory containing a build-time binding, pack users can provide this binding to a Tanzu buildpack using the --volume flag.

pack build --volume <absolute-path-to-binding>:/platform/bindings/<binding-name> <image-name>

Example: Providing a Binding to docker run

Given a directory containing a runtime binding, docker users can provide the binding to the app image using the --volume and --env flags

docker run --env SERVICE_BINDING_ROOT=/bindings --volume <absolute-path-to-binding>:/bindings/<binding-name> <image-name>

Tanzu Procfile Buildpack

Tanzu users may override buildpack-provided types or augment the app-image with additional process types using a Procfile. Procfile support is provided by the Paketo Procfile Buildpack. The Procfile Buildpack will search for a file named Procfile at the root of the application. Procfiles should adhere to the following schema:

<type>: <command>

If a given language family buildpack does not contain the Procfile Buildpack it can be explicitly appended at runtime.

Example: A Hello World Procfile

The following adds a process with type equal to hello and makes it the default process.

echo "hello: echo hello world" > nodejs-app/yarn/Procfile
pack build nodejs-app \
  --path nodejs-app/yarn \
  --buildpack \
  --buildpack \
  --default-process hello
docker run samples/nodejs # should print "hello world"

Building Behind a Firewall

Proxy Configuration

Tanzu Buildpacks can be configured to route traffic through a proxy using the http_proxy, https_proxy, and no_proxy environment variables. pack will set these environment variables in the build container if they are set in the host environment.

Dependency Mappings

Tanzu Buildpacks may download dependencies from the internet. For example, the Java Buildpack with download the BellSoft Liberica JRE will from the Liberica github releases by default.

If a dependency URI is inaccessible from the build environment, a binding can be used to map a new URI to a given dependency. This allows organizations to upload a copies of vetted dependencies to an accessible location and provide developers and CI/CD pipelines with configuration pointing the buildpack at the accessible dependencies.

The URI mappings can be configured with one or more bindings of type dependency-mapping. Each key value pair in the binding should map the sha256 of a dependency to a URI. Information about the dependencies a buildpack may download (including the sha256 and the current default uri) can be found in the buildpack.toml of each component buildpack.

Example Mapping the JRE to an internal URI

For example, to make the Bellsoft Liberica JRE dependency accessible available to builds in an environment where Github is inaccessible, an operator should:

  1. Find the sha256 and default uri for the desired dependency in buildpack.toml of the Bellsoft Liberica buildpack. Example values:
    • sha256: b4cb31162ff6d7926dd09e21551fa745fa3ae1758c25148b48dadcf78ab0c24c
    • uri:
  2. Download the dependency from the uri and upload it to a location on the internal network that is accessible during the build.
  3. Create a binding with:
    • type equal to dependency-mapping
    • A key/value pair where the key is equal to the sha256 of the dependency and the value is equal to the new URI.
  4. Configure all builds with this binding.

CA Certificates

Additional CA certificates may be added to the system truststore using the Paketo CA Certificates Buildpack.

CA certificates can be provided at both build and runtime with a binding of type ca-certificates. Each key value pair in the binding should map a certificate name to a single PEM encoded CA certificates

├── <cert file name>
└── type

If a given language family buildpack does not contain the Paketo CA Certificates Buildpack it can be explicitly prepended at runtime.

Example: Adding a CA Certificate at Runtime

The samples repository contains a simple Golang application that will make a HEAD request to a provided URL.

Given a file <your-ca.pem> containing a single PEM encoded CA certificate needed to verify a TLS connection to an https URL <url>, add the CA certificate to the binding.

cp <your-ca.pem> ca-certificates/binding/

The provided sample contains a simple Golang application that will make a HEAD request to a provided URL. Build the application using the CA Certificates buildpack

pack build ca-certificates \
    --path ca-certificates \
    --buildpack \

Run the sample application, providing the binding, and passing the URL as a positional argument (should print SUCCESS!).

docker run --rm \
  --env SERVICE_BINDING_ROOT=/bindings \
  --volume "$(pwd)/ca-certificates/binding:/bindings/ca-certificates" \
  ca-certificates <url>

Deactivating CA Certificates

If a language family buildpack contains the Paketo CA Certificates Buildpack, the CA Certificates Buildpack will always pass detection so that certificates can be provided dynamically at runtime.

To opt out of this behavior all together, the BP_ENABLE_RUNTIME_CERT_BINDING environment variable can be set to false at build-time. This deactivates the ability to set certificates at runtime. The CA Certificates Buildpack will then only detect if a certificate binding is provided at build-time.

Applying Custom Labels

Tanzu users may add labels to the application image using the Image Labels Buildpack.

Environment variables prefixed with BP_OCI_ can be used to set OCI-specific. For example, if BP_OCI_AUTHORS is set at build-time, the Image Labels Buildpack will add a label to the image with key org.opencontainers.image.authors and value equal to the value of $BP_OCI_AUTHORS.

Users may contribute arbitrary labels by providing a collection of space-delimited key-value pairs with the BP_IMAGE_LABELS environment variable. Values containing spaces can be quoted.

If a given language family buildpack does not contain the Image Labels Buildpack it can be explicitly appended at runtime.

Example: Adding Custom Labels

pack build nodejs-app \
  --path nodejs-app/yarn \
  --buildpack \
  --buildpack \
  --env "BP_OCI_DESCRIPTION=Demo Application" \
  --env 'BP_IMAGE_LABELS=io.tanzu.example="Adding Custom Labels"'
docker inspect samples/nodejs | jq '.[].Config.Labels["org.opencontainers.image.description"]' # should print "Demo Application"
docker inspect samples/nodejs | jq '.[].Config.Labels["io.tanzu.example"]' # should print "Adding Custom Labels"

Configuring Locale

By default, an image created using Tanzu buildpacks will not have a specific locale set. If you run locale, you'll end up with these settings:


If you wish to set a locale, you may do so when you run the image by setting the corresponding environment variable. For example, with Docker one could execute docker run -e LANG=en_US.utf8 ... to change the locale.

This isn't always necessary but can impact output from your application. For example if you have an application that writes unicode characters to STDOUT/STDERR and you go to view those, possibly with docker logs, they will not display correctly unless you have a locale set that supports unicode, like UTF-8 in the example above.

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