Skip to main content

Distributing OCI Layouts

The directory structure for OCI content-addressable blobs and location-addressable references (refs) is called the OCI Image Layout. An OCI Image needs to include:

  • blobs directory: Each hash algorithm's directory and its children, which make up the object names in the blobs subdirectories, will hold the real content.

  • oci-layout file: This JSON object indicates the base of an Open Container Image Layout and provides information about the current image-layout version.

  • index.json file: The image index is a multi-descriptor entry point.

Creating an OCI Image

Step 1: Writing in the Dockerfile

Put the following commands in the Dockerfile in order to run an image of Alpine Linux.

FROM alpine
CMD echo 'hello world!'

Our image is based on alpine and runs the command echo hello world!.

Step 2: Building the image using docker

docker buildx create —use

This command is used to create a new instance of a builder with a single node based on the current configuration.

docker buildx build . -f Dockerfile -o type=oci,dest=hello-world.tar -t hello-world:v1

Expected output:

[+] Building 7.0s (7/7) FINISHED                 docker-container:hungry_wilson
 => [internal] booting buildkit                                            3.0s
 => => pulling image moby/buildkit:buildx-stable-1                         2.5s
 => => creating container buildx_buildkit_hungry_wilson0                   0.5s


 => => exporting manifest sha256:3fd491e6dc3ce66cae989d23b3f3d5752314cd17  0.0s
 => => exporting config sha256:5e9872dc690060c52e4ea6e9357aaebb9d9187b44a  0.0s
 => => sending tarball                                                     0.0s

This command has multiple parts to break down:

build is needed to build the OCI Image based on the Dockerfile we provide. hello-world:v1 is the name and tag associated with the image built.

file or -fName of the Dockerfile (default: PATH/Dockerfile)
output or -oOutput destination (format: type=local,dest=path)

Step 3: View the OCI Image

If you would like to view the image, you will need to extract the .tar file first.

mkdir hello-world
tar -xf ./hello-world.tar -C hello-world

Push the OCI Image to a Repository

You may use oras copy to push the OCI Image from your local disk to a repository.

In the following example, we are pushing the image to a local registry like zot:

oras cp --from-oci-layout ./hello-world.tar:v1 localhost:5000/hello-artifact:v1

Expected output:

Copied [oci-layout] ./hello-world.tar:v1 => [registry] localhost:5000/hello-artifact:v1
Digest: sha256:3fd491e6dc3ce66cae989d23b3f3d5752314cd1793d0c580d3fd8bb280d07809

Pull the OCI Image from a Repository

You can pull the OCI image using the oras pull command.

oras pull localhost:5000/hello-artifact:v1

Expected Output:

Downloaded empty artifact
Pulled [registry] localhost:5000/hello-artifact:v1
Digest: sha256:3fd491e6dc3ce66cae989d23b3f3d5752314cd1793d0c580d3fd8bb280d07809

If you would like to access the artifact files from the OCI layout archive, you may run:

oras pull --oci-layout hello-world.tar:v1

Expected Output:

Downloaded empty artifact
Pulled [oci-layout] hello-world.tar:v1
Digest: sha256:3fd491e6dc3ce66cae989d23b3f3d5752314cd1793d0c580d3fd8bb280d07809