How to create a manifest

Writing a manifest is really simple. It's just a list of commands you want to be able to run, and the containers that can run them. A manifest is a yaml file which includes a manifest_name (which is the activation key for bulker activate MANIFEST_NAME, and also the default name of the folder where the executables will be saved). Then you add a commands section which lists the commands and a few attributes.

  name: demo
  version: 1.0.0
  - command: cowsay
    docker_image: nsheff/cowsay
    docker_command: cowsay
    docker_args: "-i"
  - command: fortune
    docker_image: nsheff/fortune
    docker_command: fortune
  1. command is the executable name; this is what the user will type in to run the command (e.g. cowsay).

  2. docker_args is any additional arguments required by this tool. You should add -i for tools that need to read/write piped output to/from stdin and stdout, and add -t for commands like python or R that allocate a user interface.

  3. docker_image is the location of the image.

  4. docker_command is the command that will be executed inside the container. This is often the same as the command itself for the user, but it doesn't have to be. If you leave this out, bulker will use the value of the command attribute by default.

That's it. If you want your manifest to specify specific versions of images, make sure you include the tags in your docker_image strings.


Check out these examples at


Real-life manifests: