Clarive rulebooks require Docker installed to run OS shell commands.

Docker is a great companion to your DevOps stack:

  1. Docker containers allow your project and repository rulebooks to run pipelines alongside any necessary infrastructure without requiring additional software packages to be installed in the Clarive server.

  2. Isolate your users from the server environment, so that they cannot break anything.

  3. Version your infrastructure packages, so that different versions of an app can run different versions of an image.

  4. Simplify your DevOps stack by having most of your build-test-deploy continuous delivery workflows to run in one server (or more, if you have a cluster of Clarive servers), instead of having to install runners for every project everywhere.

The default Docker container image

When you run a shell: op or one of its variations, Clarive will run the shell command in a Docker container.

If you don't specify the image name, Clarive will docker pull a Docker image from the Docker Hub called clarive/rulebook-runner which is available here.

Specifying the image:

The image: rulebook op configures which Docker container image will be used by Clarive to run commands.

# sets the python image as the default to entire rulebook

image: python
   - python --version  # this will run in the python container

You can also switch images inline.

   - image: python
   - python --version  # this will run in the python container

When you use an image for the first time, it may take from a few seconds to a few minutes (depending on your internet connection) for Clarive to docker pull and docker build the version of your image that will be used in your rulebook.

How do shell commands run

Every shell command in a rulebook runs within bash with a docker run command.

This is important as it means the container starts and ends with every command.

If you need to run a stable sequence of commands, just execute them as a single command:

    - image: python
    - |
         echo "print(123)" > /clarive/
         python /clarive/
         cd /tmp/
         ls -lart

Available volumes

Volumes are the directories mapped from host to container guest using the docker run -v command-line option.

Every container session has the following directory structure available as individual volumes:

 /clarive/.public     # files shared amongst all projects
 /clarive/.artifacts  # files here are loaded into the Clarive artifact repository

If you use the workspace: op to clone git repositories from your projects, there will be additional folders mapped inside. For instance:


Setting the container user

Every shell command sent is run using the default clarive user.

To run commands with a different user, pass the user: parameter to the image: op.

  name: python
  user: root
  - whoami     # root

The user is sent with the docker run -u|--user command line option. This option takes the argument as such: user|uid[:group:gid].

  name: python
  user: "0:0"   # this works too
  - whoami     # root again

Or set a different user for every command and container:

  - image:
      name: python
      user: root
         - whoami

  - image:
      name: ruby
      user: rubyuser
         - whoami

Setting the container image version

You can set the container image version in the name:

   - image: "python:latest"   # latest is actually the default
   - python --version
   - image: "ruby:1.7.2"

Setting the container shell runner

You can set the container image shell runner with the runner option:

     - image:
         name: python
         runner: bash       # or any other shell
     - pwd

Or you can specify the image outside do block:

  name: python
  runner: bash       # or any other shell
  - pwd

Setting container environment variables

You can send environment variables to the container.

  name: python
      MY_DIR: "/tmp"
   - ls -lart $MY_DIR

   # or, if you want to use the ${} notation in a bash shell
   # you need to escape it with double dollar `$${}`

   - ls -lart $${MY_DIR}

Or for a more evolved example using serverless and AWS, using variables defined using the Variables admin UI:

  name: laardee/serverless
      AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID: "{{ ctx.var('aws_key') }}"
      AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY: "{{ ctx.var('aws_secret') }}"
   - serverless deploy

The default Dockerfile

Clarive does not use the Docker image you set in image: as is.

After downloading the container image from the Docker Hub, Clarive runs docker build to create a new version of the image with a clarive-specific Dockerfile.

ARG image_name
FROM $image_name
RUN useradd -ms /bin/bash -u $UID clarive ; exit 0
RUN adduser -s /bin/bash -u $UID clarive ; exit 0

USER clarive
ARG workspace_dir
WORKDIR $workspace_dir

This is so that we always run Clarive with the same user within that image.

Images that are built using this Dockerfile are renamed clarive/imagename....

If you absolutely must modify the Clarive standard Dockerfile for your taste, add the following keys to your CLARIVE_BASE/config/yourconfig.yml:

    dockerfile: "path/to/your/dockerfile_folder/"  # <--- Dockerfile must reside in this folder


You can only modify the Dockerfile in the on-prem Clarive version. The cloud version is restricted to the standard Dockerfile.

Running commands on other servers

Clarive uses Docker for running shell commands locally.

But you can still run shell commands in other servers and systems, such as Linux, Windows, various Unixes flavors and other legacy systems (including the mainframe!) using the host: option in the shell: command.

    - shell:
         cmd: `service mariadb restart`
         host: "dbserver1"

This will run a command in that server using either a predefined node resource connection or with a clax agent/worker.

To setup a node, use the Resources admin UI interface.

How do I use my own containers

If the container is not available on the Clarive server, the Clarive rulebook downloads the container from Docker Hub.

So, to use your own containers, you have 2 options:

  1. upload them to Docker Hub. Then use them from your rulebook. Clarive will download it on the first run.

  2. [on-premise only] install it in your Clarive server. On the first run Clarive will build another version of your container based on Clarive's default Dockerfile, called clarive/yourcontainer. You don't need to prefix clarive/ into the name, that's done for you automatically.


We'll soon be releasing a built-in container registry in Clarive. So stay tuned!