packfor the journey
In this tutorial, we’ll explain how to use
pack and buildpacks to create a runnable app image from source code.
That means you’ll need to make sure you have
packis only one implementation of the Cloud Native Builpacks Platform Specification.
Before we set out, you’ll need to know the basics of buildpacks and how they work.
A buildpack is something you’ve probably leveraged without knowing, as they’re currently being used in many cloud platforms. A buildpack’s job is to gather everything your app needs to build and run, and it often does this job quickly and quietly.
That said, while buildpacks are often a behind-the-scenes detail, they are at the heart of transforming your source code into a runnable app image.
What enables buildpacks to go unnoticed is auto-detection. This happens when a platform sequentially
tests groups of buildpacks against your app’s source code. The first group that deems itself fit for your source code
will become the selected set of buildpacks for your app. Detection criteria is specific to each buildpack – for
instance, an NPM buildpack might look for a
package.json, and a Go buildpack might look for Go source files.
Let’s see auto-detection in action by running
pack build against a simple Java app.
Run the following commands in a shell to clone and build this simple Java app.
git clone [email protected]:buildpack/sample-java-app.git cd sample-java-app pack build myapp
NOTE: This is your first time running
myapp, so you’ll notice a couple of things:
A message about selecting a default builder. A builder is essentially an image containing buildpacks. Follow the provided instructions to select one, then run
pack build myappagain.
The build might take longer than usual. Subsequent builds will take advantage of various forms of caching. If you’re curious, try running
pack build myappa second time to see the difference in build time.
That’s it! You’ve now got a runnable app image called
myapp available on your local Docker daemon.
We did say this was a brief journey after all. Take note that your app was built without needing to install
a JDK, run Maven, or otherwise configure a build environment.
pack and buildpacks took care of that for you.
To test out your new app image locally, you can run it with Docker:
docker run --rm -p 8080:8080 myapp
localhost:8080 in your favorite browser and take a minute to enjoy the view.
pack uses buildpacks to help you easily create OCI images that you can run just about anywhere. Try
deploying your new image to your favorite cloud!
In case you need it,
pack buildhas a handy flag called
--publishthat will publish your app image to a Docker registry after building it.