debianEstimated reading time: 4 minutes
Debian is a Linux distribution that’s composed entirely of free and open-source software.
Supported tags and respective
Where to file issues:
Supported Docker versions:
the latest release (down to 1.6 on a best-effort basis)
What is Debian?
Debian is an operating system which is composed primarily of free and open-source software, most of which is under the GNU General Public License, and developed by a group of individuals known as the Debian project. Debian is one of the most popular Linux distributions for personal computers and network servers, and has been used as a base for several other Linux distributions.
About this image
debian:latest tag will always point the latest stable release (which is, at the time of this writing,
debian:stretch). Stable releases are also tagged with their version (ie,
debian:8 is an alias for
debian:7 is an alias for
The rolling tags (
debian:testing, etc) use the rolling suite names in their
/etc/apt/sources.list file (ie,
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian testing main).
The mirror of choice for these images is the deb.debian.org CDN pointer/redirector so that it’s as reliable as possible for the largest subset of users (and is also the default mirror for
debootstrap as of 2016-10-20). See the deb.debian.org homepage for more information.
If you find yourself needing a Debian release which is EOL (and thus only available from archive.debian.org), you should check out the
debian/eol image, which includes tags for Debian releases as far back as Potato (Debian 2.2), the first release to fully utilize APT.
Given that it is a faithful “minbase” install of Debian, this image only includes the
POSIX locales by default. For most uses requiring a UTF-8 locale,
C.UTF-8 is likely sufficient (
-e LANG=C.UTF-8 or
ENV LANG C.UTF-8).
For uses where that is not sufficient, other locales can be installed/generated via the
locales package. PostgreSQL has a good example of doing so, copied below:
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y locales && rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/* \ && localedef -i en_US -c -f UTF-8 -A /usr/share/locale/locale.alias en_US.UTF-8 ENV LANG en_US.utf8
How It’s Made
The rootfs tarballs for this image are built using the reproducible-Debian-rootfs tool,
debuerreotype, with an explicit goal being that they are transparent and reproducible. Using the same toolchain, it should be possible to regenerate (clean-room!) the same tarballs used for building the official Debian images.
Additionally, the scripts in https://github.com/debuerreotype/docker-debian-artifacts are used to create each tag’s
Dockerfile and collect architecture-specific tarballs into a single place (for placement into
dist-ARCH branches on the same repository, which also contain extra metadata about the artifacts included in each build, such as explicit package versions).
These tags are an experiment in providing a slimmer base (removing some extra files that are normally not necessary within containers, such as man pages and documentation), and are definitely subject to change.
debuerreotype-slimify script (
debuerreotype linked above) for more details about what gets removed during the “slimification” process.