Easy construction and packaging of docker containers using simple configuration scripts.

v1.3.0 2015-05-13 17:43 UTC

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Last update: 2022-06-25 06:08:00 UTC


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Assembler allows you to easily construct and package docker containers using existing config scripts. Currently you can build containers using saltstack only, but there are plans to add the ability to provision using any configuration management tool such as puppet, chef, and ansible.


  • Docker
  • PHP 5.4+
  • Salt


Via Composer

$ composer create-project indatus/assembler


Assembler uses Robo to run tasks on the command line. This allows Assembler to wrap docker commands, so you will need to have docker installed wherever you run it. There is a vagrant file in the root of this repo that will bootstrap ubuntu/trusty64 with docker and php5 which will allow you to run assembler. Additionally you will need to configure an ssh forward agent by:

vi ~/.ssh/config

then append:

    ForwardAgent yes

then run if you do not already have an id_rsa key:


then just call vagrant up.

If everything goes according to plan, you should be able to start running assembler.


This project extends a metaphor from manufacturing to building and deploying applications. Docker containers are stocked, fabricated, loaded, and packaged based on settings specified in a product line.

Product Line

A product line is simply a yaml file specifying the raw goods or base services that your product needs to run.

Consider the following example:

  - mysql:
    - user: root
    - password: password
  - php
userData: config/ # optional

The above yaml represents a product line that tells assembler you want a container with mysql that has a root user with a password of password. Additionally it tells assembler where to find those raw goods as suppliers. You will need salt states available for each of the raw goods to be provisioned onto the Docker container.


You stock goods by running assembler:stock and specifying a product line to stock example below:

$ robo assembler:stock my_webserver --goods-path=./goods

The above command will find the my_webserver.yml file git clone the raw goods and automatically generate a top.sls file for use by salt


You 'fabricate' containers based on a base image derived from a docker file for example:

$ robo assembler:fabricate /path/to/dockerfile/ mybaseimagename

The above command will build a base image based on the specified docker file.


You 'load' containers with the raw goods specified in your production line for example:

$ robo assembler:load mybaseimagename /path/to/goods/

The above command will load all of the goods from the specified path. The '/path/to/goods' would be the same path specified by --goods-path in the stock task.


You 'package' containers that have been stocked, fabricated, and loaded. For example:

$ robo assembler:package somecontainerid myrepo/name

This will commit the specified containerid into a docker image additionally if you specify the --push flag the package command will actually push the committed image to myrepo/name. To push you will need to specify your username, password, and email for the dockerregistry you are pushing to.


The make command will do everything in one fail swoop. For example:

$ robo assembler:make my_base_product

will stock, fabricate, load, and package your containers


The ship command will login to a Docker host server via SSH and pull a Docker image and run the container instance.

robo ship leftyhitchens/mysql:5.2 --ports="3306:3306" --remote_command="mysqld_safe" --sudo

The above command will login to the server via SSH and execute the following commands as sudo:

sudo docker pull leftyhitchens/mysql:5.2
sudo docker run -d --name leftyhitchens_mysql_5.2_<unit_timestamp> -p 3306:3306 mysqld_safe



You can specify which cloud provider assembler needs to ship the container to via the provisioning.yaml file. You will keep your public api token for individual providers here, along with any default ssh keys you like to be installed on the newly provisioned box. There is an example file in the config directory here, or you can look at the example below.

provider: digitalocean
   digitalocean: yoursuperlongapitoken111
    - 00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00
userData: config/ # optional

userData key provides a path to a DigitalOcean cloud config script. This will be executed during your droplet's creation and can be used for provisioning.


You can provision a server on digital ocean using the 'provision' command as below:

robo provision myhostname

The above will use the information in your config file to create a droplet on digital ocean with the specified hostname as 'my_host_name'. A .machine file will be created with the form .machinemyhostname and will contain data about the created machine below is an example

id: 5083234
hostname: myhostname
region: nyc3
size: 512mb
image: docker
backups: false
ipv6: false
privatenetworking: false

You can destroy the cloud server using the 'destroy' command as below:

robo destroy .machinemyhostname

Where the value .machinemyhostname is the path to the machine file provisioned before


$ phpunit


Please see CONTRIBUTING for details.


If you discover any security related issues, please email,, or instead of using the issue tracker.


The MIT License (MIT). Please see License File for more information.