Chapter 10. Running special container images

This chapter provides information about some special types of container images. Some container images have built in labels called runlabels that allow you to run those containers with preset options and arguments. The podman container runlabel <label> command, allows you to execute the command defined in the <label> for the container image. Supported labels are install, run and uninstall.

10.1. Opening privileges to the host

There are several differences between privileged and non-privileged containers. For example, the toolbox container is a privileged container. Here are examples of privileges that may or may not be open to the host from a container:

  • Privileges: A privileged container disables the security features that isolate the container from the host. You can run a privileged container using the podman run --privileged <image_name> command. You can, for example, delete files and directories mounted from the host that are owned by the root user.
  • Process tables: You can use the podman run --privileged --pid=host <image_name> command to use the host PID namespace for the container. Then you can use the ps -e command within a privileged container to list all processes running on the host. You can pass a process ID from the host to commands that run in the privileged container (for example, kill <PID>).
  • Network interfaces: By default, a container has only one external network interface and one loopback network interface. You can use the podman run --net=host <image_name> command to access host network interfaces directly from within the container.
  • Inter-process communications: The IPC facility on the host is accessible from within the privileged container. You can run commands such as ipcs to see information about active message queues, shared memory segments, and semaphore sets on the host.

10.2. Container images with runlabels

Some Red Hat images include labels that provide pre-set command lines for working with those images. Using the podman container runlabel <label> command, you can use the podman command to execute the command defined in the <label> for the image.

Existing runlabels include:

  • install: Sets up the host system before executing the image. Typically, this results in creating files and directories on the host that the container can access when it is run later.
  • run: Identifies podman command line options to use when running the container. Typically, the options will open privileges on the host and mount the host content the container needs to remain permanently on the host.
  • uninstall: Cleans up the host system after you finish running the container.

10.3. Running rsyslog with runlabels

The rhel8/rsyslog container image is made to run a containerized version of the rsyslogd daemon. The rsyslog image contains the following runlabels: install, run and uninstall. The following procedure steps you through installing, running, and uninstalling the rsyslog image:

Procedure

  1. Pull the rsyslog image:

    # podman pull registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog
  2. Display the install runlabel for rsyslog:

    # podman container runlabel install --display rhel8/rsyslog
    command: podman run --rm --privileged -v /:/host -e HOST=/host -e IMAGE=registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest -e NAME=rsyslog registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest /bin/install.sh

    This shows that the command will open privileges to the host, mount the host root filesystem on /host in the container, and run an install.sh script.

  3. Run the install runlabel for rsyslog:

    # podman container runlabel install rhel8/rsyslog
    command: podman run --rm --privileged -v /:/host -e HOST=/host -e IMAGE=registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest -e NAME=rsyslog registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest /bin/install.sh
    Creating directory at /host//etc/pki/rsyslog
    Creating directory at /host//etc/rsyslog.d
    Installing file at /host//etc/rsyslog.conf
    Installing file at /host//etc/sysconfig/rsyslog
    Installing file at /host//etc/logrotate.d/syslog

    This creates files on the host system that the rsyslog image will use later.

  4. Display the run runlabel for rsyslog:

    # podman container runlabel run --display rhel8/rsyslog
    command: podman run -d --privileged --name rsyslog --net=host --pid=host -v /etc/pki/rsyslog:/etc/pki/rsyslog -v /etc/rsyslog.conf:/etc/rsyslog.conf -v /etc/sysconfig/rsyslog:/etc/sysconfig/rsyslog -v /etc/rsyslog.d:/etc/rsyslog.d -v /var/log:/var/log -v /var/lib/rsyslog:/var/lib/rsyslog -v /run:/run -v /etc/machine-id:/etc/machine-id -v /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime -e IMAGE=registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest -e NAME=rsyslog --restart=always registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest /bin/rsyslog.sh

    This shows that the command opens privileges to the host and mount specific files and directories from the host inside the container, when it launches the rsyslog container to run the rsyslogd daemon.

  5. Execute the run runlabel for rsyslog:

    # podman container runlabel run rhel8/rsyslog
    command: podman run -d --privileged --name rsyslog --net=host --pid=host -v /etc/pki/rsyslog:/etc/pki/rsyslog -v /etc/rsyslog.conf:/etc/rsyslog.conf -v /etc/sysconfig/rsyslog:/etc/sysconfig/rsyslog -v /etc/rsyslog.d:/etc/rsyslog.d -v /var/log:/var/log -v /var/lib/rsyslog:/var/lib/rsyslog -v /run:/run -v /etc/machine-id:/etc/machine-id -v /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime -e IMAGE=registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest -e NAME=rsyslog --restart=always registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest /bin/rsyslog.sh
    28a0d719ff179adcea81eb63cc90fcd09f1755d5edb121399068a4ea59bd0f53

    The rsyslog container opens privileges, mounts what it needs from the host, and runs the rsyslogd daemon in the background (-d). The rsyslogd daemon begins gathering log messages and directing messages to files in the /var/log directory.

  6. Display the uninstall runlabel for rsyslog:

    # podman container runlabel uninstall --display rhel8/rsyslog
    command: podman run --rm --privileged -v /:/host -e HOST=/host -e IMAGE=registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest -e NAME=rsyslog registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest /bin/uninstall.sh
  7. Run the uninstall runlabel for rsyslog:

    # podman container runlabel uninstall rhel8/rsyslog
    command: podman run --rm --privileged -v /:/host -e HOST=/host -e IMAGE=registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest -e NAME=rsyslog registry.redhat.io/rhel8/rsyslog:latest /bin/uninstall.sh
Note

In this case, the uninstall.sh script just removes the /etc/logrotate.d/syslog file. It does not clean up the configuration files.