Conf42: Cloud Native 2021


Compiling Containers

Adam Gordon Bell
Developer Advocate @ Earthly

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What happens when you take a Dockerfile and build it? How is the series of commands executed and turned into a docker image and then a container?

The answer is BuildKit. BuildKit is an OCI image builder and it is behind every docker build and the secret sauce in several other projects.

In this talk, I will explain how BuildKit works. We will learn it is a compiler and like many compilers, it has a frontend, a backend, and an internal representation (IR). As we will learn about this hidden gem we will also learn a little bit about compilers and containerization.

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