Docker for beginners and WEB UI

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at
Sat Mar 7 15:43:01 UTC 2015

On 6 March 2015 at 23:15, Colin Walters <walters at> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 6, 2015, at 05:03 AM, Bohuslav Kabrda wrote:
>> This makes me wonder how DevAssistant should approach this. Up until now, DevAssistant just added the invoking user to the "docker" group and then communicated with docker using docker-py library. Now, if we're not supposed to add the user to "docker" group, we can't use the library, because all the calls will fail - or we'd need to ask user to run DevAssistant as root, which is IMO wrong.
>> AFAIK there's no way to elevate DevAssistant permissions temporarily just to do the docker call. So what is the recommended approach to do this? (This is a general problem, I think, for code that needs to communicate with local Docker server.)
> There's no easy answer.  Historically, most *local* daemons have been using DBus and PolicyKit for authorization.  Docker is HTTP-based, which means it's easier to remote, but on the other hand, there's no way to do system-local authorization in HTTP.

What level of granularity of "system-local authorization" are you
referring to there? The reason I ask is because my understanding is
that the FreeIPA folks are aiming to enable at least user level local
authorization for web services through sssd. An Apache-focused
write-up of the overall scheme is at

Now, the nature of FreeIPA means that's more focused at *org* level
authentication and authorization than local system auth, but it does
provide some interesting possibilities for tinkering with
authorization at the HTTP level. Since Docker really *wants* to be
treated as a remote web service, perhaps it would be feasible to teach
DevAssistant to talk to a local Docker daemon over HTTP, and use some
of the FreeIPA (and perhaps iptables) tooling to automate setting up
appropriate local permissions for it to do that?

Or am I missing something fundamental that makes this an inherently
unworkable idea? (I know its an overly *complicated* idea, but I don't
think "simple" is one of the options on the table at this point)


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at   |   Brisbane, Australia

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