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[atomic-devel] Breaking up our tools container image

Today we ship a “tools” container that’s *really* large, specifically it’s about 1.5 GB on disk. The feedback I’ve gotten from users is that it's too large to be useful and they try to avoid it. This of course makes me sad and I think we should take another look at it. Primarily this container contains debugging, performance, support utilities (sosreport), as well as man pages for packages only shipped on Atomic Host. I think splitting it up along these lines makes sense and will be intuitive for users. That said, there’s a fine line between some of the debugging and performance tools, so after looking at the package list, I think it makes sense to keep those together in the “2.0” tools container.

Here’s what I’m proposing and would love feedback on: 

1) Drop all packages from rhel-tools that exist only for documentation purposes. [1]

2) Trim down the included packages to this list: [2] 
Basically leaves the full capabilities and results in a 476M image which is a huge step in the right direction.

3) Create a dedicated image for sosreport utilities. 
Includes redhat-support-tool, sos, & strace and depending on which base image we use it’s either 120M (rhel7-atomic) or 212M (rhel7)
This may only be appealing on the rhel side of the house, but if there’s value for fedora & centos, it would be trivial to also offer it.

4) Optionally create a man pages container. 
I really want feedback to see if anyone thinks this is useful. RPM & yum provide a nodocs capability, but they lack a docs only setting which is what we need. It works quite well to tar up the man-db for our existing rhel-tools image and inject it in our minimal base image. This results in a docs only container that’s ~100M on disk. It would be a slight hacky process to release something like this, but we could do it. I just can’t answer the question if this is worth doing.

Let me know what you guys think.


[1] Drop the docs packages https://pastebin.com/0yFmZ06t
[2] debugging & perf packages https://pastebin.com/GVFVT0Dj 
[3] Existing package list for rhel-tools https://pastebin.com/mTUAA4Kc 


Ben Breard
Sr Technology Product Manager - Linux Containers
Mobile: 972-816-9081

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