Friday, July 7, 2017

An Overview on s390x Base Images

For s390x, quite a few options for base images are available on Docker Hub/Docker Store these days. They vary from enterprise environments over community distributions to minimal images. This post gives an overview on what is provided by various sources.

This list puts enterprise distribution options next to their community flavours, and is in alphabetical order:
  • Alpine Linux, a minimal Linux distro (base image is 5MB in size): alpine
  • ClefOS, a build of CentOS for s390x -- community version of Red Hat's RHEL: clefos -- comparable and compatible to RHEL 7
  • Debian is one of the major free Linux distributions: debian
  • Fedora: a community distribution and incubator for features towards Red Hat Enterprise Linux: fedora
  • openSUSE: opensuse. For s390x, use the tumbleweed tag ("opensuse:tumbleweed")
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux is not provided on Docker Hub/Store, so RHEL users need to create their own images at this time, e.g. as described here
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server image are also not available not Docker Hub/Store. SLES users have two options:
    • SUSE's containers module (which also provides the Docker engine) offers RPMs to create SLES 11 and SLES 12 base images: use sle2docker and sles*-docker-image RPMs which are provided in the containers module; see SUSE's documentation for more information.
    • a script like this creates a base image based on the SLES host image
  • Canonical's Ubuntu is based on Debian: ubuntu
All the official images (not prefixed) are following the upstream work, so will always be maintained and up to date.

Note: in this list, the images' hyperlinks point to Docker Hub, which I currently find more convenient than Docker Store -- although Docker Store will probably be the future.

Update 2018/3/29: replaced all the links with multi-arch images that work on s390x as well as on most other platforms.
Update 2018/5/17: fedora:latest is now backed by s390x content


  1. Thank you for this consolidated info. Can you direct me to the fedora docker images for s390x

  2. Good point, I just updated the text. Please use "fedora:28". (It starts with F28, and latest still points to F27 which is not backed by s390x yet. As latest will move, you won't have to worry about special tags anymore).

    $ docker run -ti fedora:28 bash -c "cat /etc/os-release | head -2"
    VERSION="28 (Twenty Eight)"

    1. Thanks for the quick reply :)


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