Creating a Docker image

The first step to getting your code to run on a provider node is preparing a Docker image. This image will define the virtual machine in which your logic is going to be executed by provider nodes.

The below diagram depicts a simplified flow of interaction between the requestor agent and images running in runtimes on providers:

Note that in the diagram the name "Docker container" is used for simplicity.

In reality, providers are not running Docker images directly. Instead, the .gvmi format is used (which is based on Docker images). More information on this can be found in Converting image from Docker to Golem.

Creating a Dockerfile

This tutorial assumes you are familiar with the basics of Docker (including how to write a simple Dockerfile).

If you need an introduction to Docker take a look at the official Getting Started guide or one of the many third-party resources covering this topic.

Let's start with the definition for our image. We're going to use the following Dockerfile:

FROM debian:latest
VOLUME /golem/input /golem/output
WORKDIR /golem/work


The FROM command specifies what existing image we want to use as our base. In this case we're using Debian Linux in its version tagged as latest. You can search for existing images using the Docker Hub.


The next line uses a single VOLUME command to define two volumes: /golem/input and /golem/output.

When a Golem virtual machine is started, for each volume defined there will be a new directory created in the host's file system. This directory will then be made available inside the VM under it's specified path (for example /golem/input).

An image intended to be used with Golem must specify at least one volume through the VOLUME command.


Finally, we specify a working directory. This will be the default directory to be used in shell commands once the VM is running.

Building the image

Having the above Dockerfile we can now build an image based on that file. To do so, we're going to use Docker's build command:

docker build -t golem-example .

The above command assigns the tag golem-example to its output image. Once it's finished we should see the message Successfully tagged golem-example:latest in the terminal's output.

To verify the image is created we can list all images available locally by running:

docker images

We've just built our custom Docker image, nice! The next step is to convert this image to a format the Docker VM runtime can handle.