Configuring builds

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Bake supports loading build definition from files, but sometimes you need even more flexibility to configure this definition.

For this use case, you can define variables inside the bake files that can be set by the user with environment variables or by attribute definitions in other bake files. If you wish to change a specific value for a single invocation you can use the --set flag from the command line.

Global scope attributes

You can define global scope attributes in HCL/JSON and use them for code reuse and setting values for variables. This means you can do a “data-only” HCL file with the values you want to set/override and use it in the list of regular output files.

# docker-bake.hcl
variable "FOO" {
  default = "abc"
}

target "app" {
  args = {
    v1 = "pre-${FOO}"
  }
}

You can use this file directly:

$ docker buildx bake --print app
{
  "group": {
    "default": {
      "targets": [
        "app"
      ]
    }
  },
  "target": {
    "app": {
      "context": ".",
      "dockerfile": "Dockerfile",
      "args": {
        "v1": "pre-abc"
      }
    }
  }
}

Or create an override configuration file:

# env.hcl
WHOAMI="myuser"
FOO="def-${WHOAMI}"

And invoke bake together with both of the files:

$ docker buildx bake -f docker-bake.hcl -f env.hcl --print app
{
  "group": {
    "default": {
      "targets": [
        "app"
      ]
    }
  },
  "target": {
    "app": {
      "context": ".",
      "dockerfile": "Dockerfile",
      "args": {
        "v1": "pre-def-myuser"
      }
    }
  }
}

From command line

You can also override target configurations from the command line with the --set flag:

# docker-bake.hcl
target "app" {
  args = {
    mybuildarg = "foo"
  }
}
$ docker buildx bake --set app.args.mybuildarg=bar --set app.platform=linux/arm64 app --print
{
  "group": {
    "default": {
      "targets": [
        "app"
      ]
    }
  },
  "target": {
    "app": {
      "context": ".",
      "dockerfile": "Dockerfile",
      "args": {
        "mybuildarg": "bar"
      },
      "platforms": [
        "linux/arm64"
      ]
    }
  }
}

Pattern matching syntax defined in https://golang.org/pkg/path/#Match is also supported:

$ docker buildx bake --set foo*.args.mybuildarg=value  # overrides build arg for all targets starting with "foo"
$ docker buildx bake --set *.platform=linux/arm64      # overrides platform for all targets
$ docker buildx bake --set foo*.no-cache               # bypass caching only for targets starting with "foo"

Complete list of overridable fields:

  • args
  • cache-from
  • cache-to
  • context
  • dockerfile
  • labels
  • no-cache
  • output
  • platform
  • pull
  • secrets
  • ssh
  • tags
  • target

Using variables in variables across files

When multiple files are specified, one file can use variables defined in another file.

# docker-bake1.hcl
variable "FOO" {
  default = upper("${BASE}def")
}

variable "BAR" {
  default = "-${FOO}-"
}

target "app" {
  args = {
    v1 = "pre-${BAR}"
  }
}
# docker-bake2.hcl
variable "BASE" {
  default = "abc"
}

target "app" {
  args = {
    v2 = "${FOO}-post"
  }
}
$ docker buildx bake -f docker-bake1.hcl -f docker-bake2.hcl --print app
{
  "group": {
    "default": {
      "targets": [
        "app"
      ]
    }
  },
  "target": {
    "app": {
      "context": ".",
      "dockerfile": "Dockerfile",
      "args": {
        "v1": "pre--ABCDEF-",
        "v2": "ABCDEF-post"
      }
    }
  }
}
build, buildx, bake, buildkit, hcl, json