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Software Exercise 1.3: Use Docker Containers in OSPool Jobs

Objective: Create a local copy of a Docker container, use it to submit a job.

Why learn this?: Same as the previous exercise; this may also be how you end up submitting your jobs if you can find an existing Docker container with your software.

Create Local Copy of Docker Container

While it is technically possible to use a Docker container directly in a job, there are some good reasons for converting it to a local Apptainer container first. We'll do this with the same python:3.10 Docker container we used in the first exercise.

To convert the Docker container to a local Apptainer container, run:

$ apptainer build local-py310.sif docker://python:3.10

The first argument after build is the name of the new Apptainer container file, the second argument is what we're building from (in this case, Docker).

Submit File and Executable

  1. Make a copy of your submit file from the previous container exercise or build from an existing submit file.

  2. Add the following lines to the submit file or modify existing lines to match the lines below:

    universe = container
    container_image = local-py310.sif
  3. Use the same executable as the previous exercise.

  4. Once these steps are done, submit the job.

Finding Docker Containers

There are a lot of Docker containers on Docker Hub, but they are not all created equal. Anyone can create an account on Docker Hub and share container images there, so it’s important to exercise caution when choosing a container image on Docker Hub. These are some indicators that a container image on Docker Hub is consistently maintained, functional and secure:

  • The container image is updated regularly.
  • The container image is associated with a well established company, community, or other group that is well-known.
  • There is a Dockerfile or other listing of what has been installed to the container image.
  • The container image page has documentation on how to use the container image. [^1]

  • Can you find a container on Docker Hub that would be useful for running Jupyter notebooks that use tensorflow?

  • Does your chosen image meet at least 2 of the criteria above?

[^1]: This list and previous text taken from Introduction to Docker