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Spencer Krum
Spencer Krum

Posted on

PSA on Docker Images

I was surprised to find that the ubuntu:latest tag was actually quite old.

The way it seems to work is this:

ubuntu:latest points to the last LTS release (now 18.04 which is pretty outdated)
ubuntu:rolling points to the last released version of ubuntu (currently 19.10).
ubuntu:devel points to the next to-be-released version of ubuntu (currently 20.04)

My thoughts on when to use each:

Broadly ubuntu as a base image isn't what I'd use for applications anyways, I'd use a base image like node or if making something myself I'd use an alpine base image. I mostly use ubuntu base images for docker images that I'll be using short term or interactively.

ubuntu:latest I probably won't use this ever again.
ubuntu:rolling I'll use this pretty much every time. Latest packages. Won't change on me. Drops support "soon" but if it does drop support I can just rebuild and I'll be on a supported image.
ubuntu:devel I'd only use this if I was specifically trying to get access to a bleeding-edge version of a package, probably on my way to getting something else to work.

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