Building .NET Core container images using S2I
Red Hat OpenShift implements .NET Core support via a source-to-image (S2I) builder. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how you can use that builder directly. Using S2I, you can build .NET Core application images without having to write custom build scripts or Dockerfiles. This can be useful on your development machine or as part of a CI/CD pipeline.
Containers for your builds
Container images provide an efficient mechanism to deploy self-contained applications in a portable way across clouds and OS distributions.
By building the application images themselves using a builder image, the application images can be built in a portable, reproducible way.
S2I is a toolkit for building reproducible application images. S2I uses builder images to produce application images from source code or pre-compiled applications.
application source/ +-------+ prebuilt application +--> | s2i | +--> application image +-------+ ^ builder image
On Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), you can obtain S2I by installing the
source-to-image package (
yum install source-to-image). If you are using another OS, including Windows and macOS, you can download S2I from github.com/openshift/source-to-image/releases. You’ll also need to install
git, which are used by
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.NET Core builder images
A builder image is available for each .NET Core version. These images are built from the Dockerfiles at github.com/redhat-developer/s2i-dotnetcore.
For .NET Core 2.1, these images are available as follows:
|OS base||Image Type||Image Name|
To use the RHEL 7 images, you need a Red Hat subscription. For development, you can use the free development subscription. Use the
docker login registry.redhat.io command to configure your credentials.
The sections below describe three ways you can build your images.
Building an application image from a git repository
As our first, example, we’ll build an application image named
mywebapp for the ASP.NET Core application at github.com/redhat-developer/s2i-dotnetcore-ex.
$ s2i build https://github.com/redhat-developer/s2i-dotnetcore-ex registry.redhat.io/dotnet/dotnet-21-rhel7:2.1 mywebapp -r dotnetcore-2.1 -e DOTNET_STARTUP_PROJECT=app -p always
When we run this command, we’ll see
s2i check out the sources and build the .NET Core application image. When the command finishes, we can run the newly created image:
$ docker run --rm -p 8080:8080 mywebapp
Let’s look at the parameters we’ve passed to the
|registry.redhat.io/dotnet-21-rhel7:2.1||S2I builder image|
|https://…/s2i-dotnetcore-ex||The git repository|
|-r dotnetcore-2.1||Branch in the repository|
|-e DOTNET_STARTUP_PROJECT=app||Folder in the repository that contains the application csproj file|
|-p always||Always pull the latest builder image|
-e DOTNET_STARTUP_PROJECT is an environment variable passed to the S2I builder. The builder supports a number of environment variables that allow you to customize its behavior. See the environment variables documentation for a complete list.
Building an application image from local sources
The source parameter for the
s2i command can also refer to a local folder that contains the source code. In the following example, we clone the repository locally and check out the appropriate branch into the
s2i-dotnetcore-ex folder. Then we build from that local folder.
$ git clone -b dotnetcore-2.1 https://github.com/redhat-developer/s2i-dotnetcore-ex $ s2i build s2i-dotnetcore-ex registry.redhat.io/dotnet/dotnet-21-rhel7:2.1 mywebapp -r dotnetcore-2.1 -e DOTNET_STARTUP_PROJECT=app -p always
We can run the image using the same
docker run command as before.
Building an application image from a pre-built application
The .NET Core builder can also be used to build an application image from a pre-built application.
$ git clone -b dotnetcore-2.1 https://github.com/redhat-developer/s2i-dotnetcore-ex $ cd s2i-dotnetcore-ex/app $ dotnet publish -c Release /p:MicrosoftNETPlatformLibrary=Microsoft.NETCore.App
We are specifying the
MicrosoftNETPlatformLibrary parameter to make the published application contain the ASP.NET Core shared framework assemblies. This is needed because the images don’t contain the shared framework.
To create the image, we pass the
publish folder as the source parameter of the
s2i build command. We can use the SDK builder images like before, but since the application is already built, we can use the smaller runtime image instead.
$ s2i build bin/Release/netcoreapp2.1/publish mywebapp registry.redhat.io/dotnet/dotnet-21-runtime-rhel7:2.1 -p always
In this article, you’ve learned how to create .NET Core application images using
s2i. These images can be built directly from a git repository, local sources, or a pre-built application.