Building in a Self-Contained Environment

Note

Abstract

Users building images with KIWI NG face problems if they want to build an image matching one of the following criteria:

  • build should happen as non root user.

  • build should happen on a host system distribution for which no KIWI NG packages exists.

  • build happens on an incompatible host system distribution compared to the target image distribution. For example building an apt/dpkg based system on an rpm based system.

  • run more than one build process at the same time on the same host.

This document describes how to perform the build process in a self contained environment using fast booting virtual machines to address the issues listed above.

The changes on the machine to become a build host will be reduced to the requirements of the KIWI NG boxed plugin

Requirements

Add the KIWI NG repo from the Open Build Service. For details see Installation from OBS. The following KIWI NG plugin needs to be installed on the build system:

$ sudo zypper in python3-kiwi_boxed_plugin

Building with the boxbuild command

The installation of the KIWI NG boxed plugin has registered a new kiwi command named boxbuild. The command implementation uses KVM as virtualization technology and runs the KIWI NG build command inside of a KVM controlled virtual machine. For running the build process in a virtual machine it’s required to provide VM images that are suitable to perform this job. We call the VM images boxes and they contain kiwi itself as well as all other components needed to build appliances. Those boxes are hosted in the Open Build Service and are publicly available at the Subprojects tab in the: Virtualization:Appliances:SelfContained project.

As a user you don’t need to work with the boxes because this is all done by the plugin and provided as a service by the KIWI NG team. The boxbuild command knows where to fetch the box and also cares for an update of the box when it has changed.

Building an image with the boxbuild command is similar to building with the build command. The plugin validates the given command call with the capabilities of the build command. Thus one part of the boxbuild command is exactly the same as with the build command. The separation between boxbuild and build options is done using the -- separator like shown in the following example:

$ kiwi-ng --type iso system boxbuild --box suse -- \
      --description kiwi-descriptions/suse/x86_64/suse-leap-15.1 \
      --target-dir /tmp/myimage

Note

The provided --description and --target-dir options are setup as shared folders between the host and the guest. No other data will be shared with the host.