Build container images on Kubernetes using img image builder

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Many people around the world look for ways to build container images in Kubernetes without the need to mount the docker socket or perform any other action that compromises security on your cluster. With the increased need, a famous software engineer, Jessie Frazelle saw the need to introduce Img image builder. This is an open-source, daemon-less, and unprivileged Dockerfile and OCI compatible container image builder. Img is a wrapper around the open-source BuildKit, a building technology embedded within Img.

There are many features associated with the img image builder. Some of them are:

  • Img CLI, a responsive CLI that provides a set of commands similar to Docker CLI commands when dealing with container image building, distribution, and image manipulation.
  • Rootless Builds: img can be run without requiring the –privileged Docker flag or the equivalent privileged: true security context in Kubernetes.
  • BuildKit: defined as one of the next generation build engines for container images.
  • Parallel Build ExecutionBuildKit assembles an internal representation of the build steps as a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), which enables it to determine which build steps can be executed in parallel.
  • Cross-Platform/OS Builds: it’s possible to build images for different combinations of architecture and OS on a completely different platform

In this guide, we will take a deep dive into how to build container images on Kubernetes using img image builder.

Setup Pre-requisites

This guide will work best if you have a Kubernetes cluster set up. Below is a list of dedicated guides to help you achieve this:

This guide will demonstrate how to build container images from Dockerfile using img image builder in Kubernetes with Github. So, you will also need:

  • Access to Kubernetes cluster with permissions to create, list, update and delete pods, jobs, and services
  • Github repository with a Dockerfile: we will use the repo URL as the path of the Dockerfile
  • Dockerhub account: to be able to authenticate and push the Docker image.

#1. Configure Build Contexts

For this guide, we will use a private GitHub repository as our build context. We need to configure it with the required Dockerfile.

The URL to my private git repository used in this article is:

In the repository, I will create a Dockerfile with the contents below:

FROM ubuntu
ENTRYPOINT ["/bin/bash", "-c", "echo hello"]

Now obtain a Personal Access Token to your git account.

#2. Create the Img Pod Manifest

We will have two containers:

  • Git-sync: an init container to clone the private git repository
  • img: that builds the docker image and pushes it to docker hub

These two containers share a volume git-repo mounted as emptyDir at /repo

Create a manifest for the pod.

vim pod.yml

Add the below lines to the manifest:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
    run: img
  name: img
  annotations: unconfined
    runAsUser: 1000
  - name: git-sync
    - name: git-repo
      mountPath: /repo
    - name: GIT_SYNC_REPO
      value: "" ##Private repo-path-you-want-to-clone
      value: "computingforgeeks"  ##The username for the Git repository
      value: "ghp_JilxkjTT5EIgJCV........" ##The Personal Access Token for the Git repository
    - name: GIT_SYNC_BRANCH
      value: "master" ##repo-branch
    - name: GIT_SYNC_ROOT
      value: /repo
    - name: GIT_SYNC_DEST
      value:  "hello" ##path-where-you-want-to-clone
    - name: GIT_SYNC_ONE_TIME
      value: "true"
      runAsUser: 0
  - image:
    imagePullPolicy: Always
    name: img
    workingDir: /repo/hello
    command: ["/bin/sh"]
      - -c
      - >-
          img build -t . &&  
          img login -u  -p  && 
          img push
    - name: cache-volume
      mountPath: /tmp
    - name: git-repo
      mountPath: /repo
  - name: cache-volume
  - name: git-repo
  restartPolicy: Never

In the above file, replace the values appropriately. You can also notice that the destination folder for git-sync is the working directory for img. If you are using a public git repository, you may not be required to provide the Personal Access Token for the Git repository.

#3. Run img image builder in Kubernetes

Using the manifest, run the pod using the command:

kubectl apply -f pod.yml

Now follow the image build and push process with the command:

kubectl logs img --follow



From the above output, we are safe to conclude that the image has been successfully pushed to DockerHub

#4. Pull and Test the Image

You can now pull and test the image using:

1. Docker

Ensure that Docker is installed on your system. The below guide can help you achieve this:

Now run a container with the image using the command:

docker run -it /

For example:

docker run -it klinsmann1/helloworld:latest

Sample output:


2. Kubernetes

The image pushed can still be used on Kubernetes. Pull and test the image as below;

$ vim deploy.yml 
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: hello-world
      app: hello 
  replicas: 1
        app: hello
      - name: hello-world
        image: klinsmann1/helloworld:latest

Apply the manifest:

kubectl apply -f deploy.yml

Check the status of the deployment:

$ kubectl get pods
NAME                           READY   STATUS      RESTARTS     AGE
hello-world-7f68776d79-h4h4z   0/1     Completed   1 (4s ago)   6s
img                            0/1     Completed   0            13m

Verify if the execution was successful.

$ kubectl logs  hello-world-7f68776d79-h4h4z --follow

The end!

We have successfully walked through how to build container images on Kubernetes using img image builder. I hope this was significant to you.


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A systems engineer with excellent skills in systems administration, cloud computing, systems deployment, virtualization, containers, and a certified ethical hacker.