Manage pods, containers, and container images.

This project is maintained by the containers organization.

Subscribe to the blog feed.

podman logo

Easy Development Dependency Management With Podman and Tent

By Farhan Hasin Chowdhury GitHub Twitter

Installing and managing development dependencies for various project is a chore and one thing that can improve your everyday workflow is the usage of containers.

Tent is a CLI tool for running development dependencies such as MySQL, Mongo, ElasticSearch etc inside pre-configured containers using simple one-liners.

Running containers can be accessed via their exposed ports and can be paired with any other application on your system.

Starting a service such as mysql is as simple as executing tent start mysql and you’ll never have to look back at it.

But mysql is not the only available service. A list of all the available services can be found on: services.go

Tent is heavily inspired from tighten/takeout and is an experimental project. Hence, care should be taken if you’re using it in a critical environment.

Dependencies

If you have Podman installed, you can start the system service as follows:

## starts the podman system service
systemctl --user start podman.socket

## enables the podman system service, so it doesn't close on every reboot
systemctl --user enable podman.socket

## stops the podman system service
systemctl --user stop podman.socket

## disables the podman system service, so it doesn't start on every reboot
systemctl --user disable podman.socket

Tent assumes that you’re running the service in non-root mode, hence the --user argument is necessary in the above commands.

Installation

Visit the tent release page and download the tent binary to your computer. Open up your terminal where you’ve donwloaded the file and execute following commands:

chmod +x ./tent

sudo mv ./tent /usr/local/bin

Now the tent command should be available everywhere in your system.

Build From Source

If you’re on a Fedora system, the following command should install the necessary development dependencies.

sudo dnf groupinstall "Development Tools" -y && sudo dnf install golang btrfs-progs-devel gpgme-devel device-mapper-devel -y

And on a Ubuntu system, the following command should install the necessary development dependencies.

sudo apt install build-essential golang-go libbtrfs-dev libgpgme-dev libdevmapper-dev -y

If you’re on a different system you, may look for equivalent package on the respective package repositories.

Now build and install the application as follows:

git clone https://github.com/fhsinchy/tent.git ~/tent

cd ~/tent

make install

Usage

The tent binary has following commands:

Most of the services in tent utilizes volumes for persisting data, so even if you stop a service, it’s data will be persisted in a volume for later usage. These volumes can listed by executing podman volume ls and can be managed like any other podman volume.

Start a Service

The generic syntax for the start command is as follows:

tent start <service name>

## starts mysql and prompts you where necessary
tent start mysql

## starts redis and mongo and prompts you where necessary
tent start redis mongo

Start Service with Default Configuration

The --default flag for the start command can be used to skip all the prompts and start a service with default configuration

tent start <service name> --default

## starts mysql with the default configuration
tent start mysql --default

## starts redis and mongo with default configuration
tent start redis mongo --default

Stop a Service

The generic syntax for the stop command is as follows:

tent stop <service name>

## stops mysql and removes the container
## prompts you if multiple containers are found
tent stop mysql

## stops all mysql containers and removes them
tent stop mysql --all

## stops redis and mongo then removes the containers.
## prompts you if multiple containers are found for any of the given services.
tent stop redis mongo

## stops all redis and mongo conainers and then removes them
tent stop redis mongo --all

Stop all Services

The --all flag for the stop command can be used to stop and remove all running tent containers at once

tent stop --all

Running Multiple Versions

Given all the services are running inside containers, you can spin up multiple versions of the same service as long as you’re keeping the port different.

Run tent start mysql twice; the first time, use the --default flag, and the second time, put 5.7 as tag and 3307 as host port.

Now, if you run tent list, you’ll see both services running at the same time.

+--------------+----------------+---------------+---------------+
| CONTAINER              | Image               | PORTS          |
+--------------+----------------+---------------+---------------+
| tent-mysql-5.7-3307    | docker.io/mysql:5.7 | 3307->3306/tcp |
| tent-mysql-latest-3306 | docker.io/mysql:5.7 | 3306->3306/tcp |
+--------------+----------------+---------------+---------------+

Container Management

Containers started by tent are regular containers with some pre-set configurations. So you can use regular podman commands such as ls, inspect, logs etc on them. Although tent comes with a list command, using the podman commands will result in more informative results. The target of tent is to provide plug and play containers, not to become a full-fledged podman cli.

Contribution

Tent is an open-source project and contributions are more than welcomed. If you’re a Go programmer do take some time to go through the source-code, see if you can improve any part of the program, the maintainer will be more than happy to co-operate. And if you like the project, don’t forget to leave a star and share with other fellow developers to show your appreciation.