Our Docker image is extremely convenient because it includes many software dependencies that you would need to install manually otherwise. Off the shelf, the Docker image brings an environment with a3m and its dependencies installed and ready to use.

We’re going to describe a couple of different ways in which you can make use of our Docker image.

Download the image

Download the latest version with:

docker pull

Or download a specific version of your choice with:

docker pull

Or use the latest code in main (unstable) with:

docker pull

CLI with bundled server container

This section shows the a3m CLI with the processing engine embedded. Using Docker volumes, we’re going to inject a transfer source directory and a destination for the AIPs that we’re creating to ease its extraction.

Prepare the local directories that will host the volumes:

mkdir -p /tmp/demo/transfers /tmp/demo/completed

Prepare a dummy transfer:

mkdir -p /tmp/demo/transfers/transfer1 && touch /tmp/demo/transfers/transfer1/hola.txt

Submit /tmp/demo/transfers/transfer1 to an ephemeral a3m container:

docker run \
  --interactive --tty --rm \
  --volume="/tmp/demo/transfers:/tmp/demo/transfers" \
  --volume="/tmp/demo/completed:/home/a3m/.local/share/a3m/share/completed" \
  --entrypoint=python \ \
  -m a3m.cli.client --name=transfer1 file:///tmp/demo/transfers/transfer1
AIP f733d3e8-cede-4e9c-93ee-5728b32f0b7b is being generated...

Success! You can find the AIP under:


Client and server in separate containers

This section shows the client-server mode. We are going to create a Docker network so our server and client can talk to each other.

Create the virtual network:

docker network create a3m-network

Run the gRPC server in detached mode listening locally on port 7000:

docker run --rm --network a3m-network --name a3md --detach --publish 7000:7000 \

Submit a new transfer using the gRPC client:

docker run --rm --network a3m-network --name a3mc --interactive --tty --entrypoint=python \ \
        -m a3m.cli.client --address=a3md:7000 \

We have produced an AIP that is stored inside the a3md container. The previous demo in this document shows how we can use Docker volumes to retrieve the AIP.

Don’t forget to clean up before leaving:

docker stop a3md
docker network remove a3m-network


Remember that when --address is not included, a3m.cli.client embeds its own instance of the a3m server, i.e. you do not need to run the server separately.

Custom images

Our image can be used as a parent image. Say you’re building a new application embedding a3m and you need a few extra dependencies installed. Instead of building a new image from scratch, you can base your image on ours.

For demonstration purposes, we’re going to add a new set of self-signed certificates issued by a local CA. This is all managed by a tool called mkcert that we’re going to install.


COPY /a3m

USER root

RUN set -ex \
	&& apt-get update \
	&& apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends libnss3-tools \
	&& rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/* \
	&& curl -Ls "" > /usr/bin/mkcert \
	&& chmod +x /usr/bin/mkcert \
	&& mkcert -install \
	&& mkcert "*" example.test localhost ::1

USER a3m

ENTRYPOINT ["python", ""]

Let’s build it and run it:

docker build -f Dockerfile -t a3m-webapp:latest
docker run --rm a3m-webapp:latest

That’s all. You’re now running a new Python application embedding a3m. It was just an example, but the possibilities are endless! Refer to Docker’s documentation to know more about this technique.