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7 Using Pies as Entrypoint for Docker Container

Another use for pies is as an entrypoint in a docker container. This is similar to the init mode described in the previous chapter in that pies runs with PID 1. However, in this case pies uses its regular configuration file.

When started with PID 1 from a docker container, pies detects the fact automatically and switches to the entrypoint mode. Up to version 1.4.90, automatical detection was not implemented, and it was necessary to use the --no-init option to discern between the entrypoint and init modes. This is no longer the case. The option, however, is still retained.

The following Dockerfile fragment illustrates how to configure pies to be run from a container:

COPY pies.conf /etc
ENTRYPOINT [ "/usr/sbin/pies", "--foreground", "--stderr" ]

It is supposed, of course, that the configuration file pies.conf is available in the same directory as Dockerfile.

It is a common practice to supply configuration settings via the environment variables. To implement it in pies.conf, use either expandenv or shell flag (see Early Environment Expansion). For example:

  flags expandenv;
  command "syslogd -n -R $LOGHOST";

This will expand the environment variable LOGHOST and pass its value as one of the arguments to syslog. The usual shell syntax is supported. For example, to provide a default value for the -R option above (in case LOGHOST is empty or undefined), use:

  flags expandenv;
  command "syslogd -n -R ${LOGHOST:-}";

Configuration preprocessing (see Preprocessor) can be used to conditionally enable parts of the pies.conf file, depending on the value of an environment variable. The technique described below assumes that you use GNU m4 as preprocessor.

Define the following two M4 macros:

M4 macro: CF_WITH_ENVAR name text

Expands the environment variable name within text. The macro does so by temporarily redefining the symbol name to the value of the environment variable name and expanding text.

The definition of the macro is:

`m4_pushdef(`$1',m4_esyscmd(printf "$`$1'"))m4_dnl

This macro allows you to use environment expansion where it is not normally supported. Consider, for example, this fragment:

component {

If you set WORKDIR=/var/wd prior to invoking pies, it will actually expand to

component {
  chdir "/var/wd";

See chdir, for details about the chdir statement.

M4 macro: CF_IF_ENVAR name if-set if-unset

If the environment variable name is defined and has a non-empty value, expand if-set, otherwise expand if-unset. Expand each occurrence of name in if-set to the actual value of the environment variable.

Following is the definition of this macro:


This macro makes it possible to conditionally enable configuration file fragments depending on whether some environment variable is defined. E.g.:

component logger { 
  command "syslogd -n -R LOGHOST;

Place both macros in a single file and include it at the top of your pies.conf using the m4_include command. Alternatively, you can place them in the pp-setup file (see pp-setup), in which case they will be included automatically.

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