Lab 1 Details for MPCS 51221

Each lab will consist of a small problem and details of  how to proceed. Each lab is intended to give every student hands-on experience with the core technologies utilized during the course.  A student may concentrate, as a team member, on one technology over another for the final project, but labs are designed to give each and every student exposure to all the technologies that come into play.  You need to submit labs to the TAs for grading--see submission instructions below.  Generally, unless otherwise specified, you will have one week to complete each assigned lab.

See the syllabus for information on grading.  Turning in lab assignments on time is required, without exception, and all late deliveries will be penalized, regardless of cause.  Submit your assignments to the subversion repository according to the directions on the syllabus page.

You may write these solutions in either Java or C++...your choice.

Lab 1   Due: 5:00 pm, Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Problem 1:  Installing and Playing With Docker: 


Like all programming problems, learning a new technology is not an exercise in reading but rather and exercise in typing.  This lab is designed to give you hands-on experience in (a) getting Docker and (b) installing Docker and (c) gaining some rudimentary skills in Docker.  You will generally find the References section below helpful in addition to the required and recommended reading.  When we talk about "Docker", we are talking specifically about the Stable Community Edition of Docker, which is the version we will be using in this class.  The Stable Community Edition provides the basic container engine and built-in orchestration, networking, and security.



First of all, you need to decide on the environment within which you wish to work.  You have several different options, and none are specifically pre- or pro-scribed.  Essentially, your core options are to:

1.  Run everything directly on your laptop.
2.  Run a virtual machine on your laptop and do all your work inside that virtual machine.
3.  Do some combination of the above.

Professor Shacklette will discuss these options in some detail the first day of class.  If you choose to work directly on your own laptop (MAC or Windows 10 or Linux), see Option I below.  If you choose to work within a virtual machine, see Option II below.  If you're interested in a combination of the above, see Option III below.  Note that each option begins with the phrase, "If yyou have the space."  By this we mean both disk space, memory, and number of core processors.  There are no absolutes here, and there are too many variable combinations to delineate, but in general, you will want at least 100 Gig of free disk space, and at least 8 Gig of memory on your laptop, and a minimum of 2 cores, 4 or more being ideal.  If your laptop or workstation cannot satisfy these minimum guidelines, talk to the TAs and they will be able to give you guidance.  Note that trying to do this work on the Linux Cluster in the MPCS labs may prove less than ideal, as the available diskspace to students is based on a quota.  Nonetheless, if this is your only, or even preferred, option, talk to Professor Shacklette and something might be able to be done to work that out.

Option I:  Run everything directly on your laptop

If you have the space, you may wish to install and run docker and all images and containers direclty on your laptop.  Docker is available for most platforms, including MacOS, Windows, and Linux.  This is a relatively easy option and straigtforward.  The only downside to this option is that your 51212 development environment is not "contained" and separate from your working laptop environment as would be the case in Option II below.  If you choose to go this route, do the following:

1.  Download and Install docker directly onto your laptop

To install docker directly on a Mac, begin here to install the Stable version.  I would suggest following the instructions on installing the Docker Application natively (aka "Docker for Mac"), as opposed to using the older Docker Toolbox.  You may find a discussion of the differences here.  To install docker directly on Windows 10, begin here to install the Stable version.  Docker for Windows requires 64bit Windows 10 Pro with Hyper-V. Take a look here for more information on requirements for Windows.  If you prefer to install Docker on Linux, you may, as Ubuntu, CentOS, RedHat, etc. are variously supported.  See here for instructions for Ubuntu (but see next sentence!) and here for instructions for RedHat (Fedora).  Further instructions for all platforms can be found here.  NOTE:  If you are installing on ubuntu,  you will find these simple steps much easier:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install
$ sudo service docker status [this will verify that docker has been installed and is running]
$ sudo adduser USERNAME docker [replace "USERNAME" with your own ubuntu username]

Once you have installed docker, run the docker "Hello World" container to verify the sanity of your installation (depending on OS and environment, you may need to manually start Docker (i.e. /Applications/, etc.) or even reboot your Windows machine.  Here is an example of what you should see (on MacOS) when you run the Hello World exmaple (you type the command "docker run hello-world"):

$ docker run hello-world
Unable to find image 'hello-world:latest' locally
latest: Pulling from library/hello-world
5b0f327be733: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:1f19634d26995c320618d94e6f29c09c6589d5df3c063287a00e6de8458f8242
Status: Downloaded newer image for hello-world:latest

Hello from Docker!
This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.

To generate this message, Docker took the following steps:
 1. The Docker client contacted the Docker daemon.
 2. The Docker daemon pulled the "hello-world" image from the Docker Hub.
 3. The Docker daemon created a new container from that image which runs the
    executable that produces the output you are currently reading.
 4. The Docker daemon streamed that output to the Docker client, which sent it
    to your terminal.

To try something more ambitious, you can run an Ubuntu container with:
 $ docker run -it ubuntu bash

Share images, automate workflows, and more with a free Docker ID:

For more examples and ideas, visit:

The key is to see that lovely "Hello from Docker!" output (although yours probably won't be in purple!).  Once you see that, congratulations, you're off to the races.  Pay no attention to the "Unable to find image" warning, that's normal and par for the course, because that's the first time you ran hello-world and no image was local in your local repository, so it was downloaded from the docker hub.

Option II:  Run a virtual machine and do all your work inside that virtual machine

If you have the space, you may wish to install and run docker and all images and containers within a virtual machine, such as VirtualBox, on your laptop.  Doing so will involve firstdownloading VirtualBox (or VMWare, etc.) onto your laptop, and installing a core operating system within that VM.  These instructions will walk you through installing VirtualBox, then Ubuntu Linux, and then finally docker, which of course is available for most platforms, including Ubuntu Linux.  This is a slightly more complex option than Option I above.  The advantage to this option is that your 51212 development environment is completely "contained" and separate from your working laptop environment, which among other things will keep your laptop working as it currently is and will allow you to "throw away" the 51212 workspace and virtual machine after the class is over if you so desire.  If you don't care about keeping your current laptop environment pristine, go with the simpler Option I above.

If you choose to go this route, do the following:

First, obtain a virtual machine environment.  There are several choices.  If you happen to have a paid VMWare account, you can use VMWare.  But you're better off using the free VirtualBox from Oracle.  You can download it here (choose the right platform for your laptop).  Once downloaded, install VirtualBox onto your system.  Launch VirtualBox and make sure it is running. 

Next, download Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS to your local hard drive's downloads folder and save it.  You can find the Ubuntu download page here.  You can also find detailed installation instructions here.  The file you download (for the Mac) should be named "ubuntu-16.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso."  Now return to your VirtualBox, and click on New to create a new virtual machine.  Choose a Linux machine type and version Ubuntu 64-bit and name it whatever you want (I happen to have named it "Ubuntu16.04.3"), as in this screenshot:

Follow the installation instructions here, and use the following initial settings as you go through the installation in VirtualBox:

Memory Size:  2048 Mb

Hard Disk:  Choose to create a virtual hard disk now, and click on Create

At the next screen, choose Expert Mode.  Then, if you have the space, choose to create a 100 Gig virtual disk, as in this screenshot:

Note that the 100 GB is virual and will be dynamically allocated on demand....that is, the initial virtual disk size will be much less than that, likely well under 10 Gig and closer to 2 Gig.  Nonetheless, your disk can dynamically grow if and as necessary.  If you don't have 100 Gig available, use as much as you do have, minus 5 Gig (e.g. if you only have 50 Gig available, choose a 45 Gig VDI).

Save all that, and you now have a new virtual machine.  Now choose your new virtual machine and click on run.  At the next screen, you will be prompted which disk image you wish to load into the virtual CD Rom drive, as in this screenshot:

Here choose the ubuntu iso image you downloaded earlier, which should be in your downloads folder, which is where VirtualBox will expect to find it.  In the above image, I've selected the ubuntu-16.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso image I previously downloaded (as I'm running VirtualBox on a Mac).  Once your VirtualBox boots up, it will install Ubuntu from the iso image you supplied.  After installing the Ubuntu operating system in your virtual machine, follow these instructions to install the guest additions.  Also, make sure you select, under settings,

Option III:  Do some combination of the above

If you have the space, you may choose to do some combination of the above.  This may be the preferred route, as it allows you to "simulate" multiple networks.  For example, you can expose RabbitMQ running in a container and hit a message queue from your laptop's native browser (i.e., Safari, etc.).

Note that not all team members have to do the same approach...this is one of the many advantages to working within a dockerized environment.


Create a personal docker hub ID and repository

The next step is to get real...that is, join the docker community.  Go here and sign up on the Docker Hub and create your own Docker ID.  Signing up on the hub will give you space on the docker hub where you can store your own working containers, and leverage more than 100,000 containers and images that other developers have already created (hello-world is one). 


General intro to images and containers with a few examples

For this first lab, we are going to simply run a few commands and make sure that they work, which will also give you a taste of working within Docker.  First, you will need to document your exercises, and to do this, you will use a Unix program called script.  There are two shell scripts that you will use (that utilize the script command), one if you're working on linux, and the other if you're working on MacOS.  Contact the TA if you're working on Windows.  We will be looking to see if you have successfully run all the commands required in the lab.  Note that you may "play around" further with options and other commands, even as you work through the lab.  Therefore if your script output shows additional commands etc., that's perfectly fine (in fact it's great!).  We will simply be grading the subset of required commands that you are to follow when working through the this lab and subsequent labs, and will ignore any output that we see that is not part of the lab requirements.

First, make sure docker is running either on your laptop (Option I above) or in your VM (Option II) above.  If you are working in a VM, do the following commands inside your Ubuntu VirtualBox VM.

Create a working directory (perhaps something like "~/mpcs51212/lab1" and in that directory type either or  That will launch a new shell (in your same window), but all  your commands and output will be recorded in a file with an extension of "*.out".  Once you are finished with Step 3 of this lab, simply type "exit" or press "^d" and you will exit the subshell and your activity will be saved in the script output.  Your script output will be saved in a file with your login id and a date-time stamp.  The filename will look something like "mark.Tue.Sep.19.17-59-26.CDT.2017.out".  Your userid and time stamp will of course be different.  This is the file you will submit for grading per the submission instructions below.

Ok, the first thing you're going to do is type "docker".  Docker will print out it's help file, which gives the various flags and commands you can pass to docker.  This is a fairly robust list of options, but it will give you an idea of the wealth of things Docker can do.  Beside each of the flags and commands, you will see a short description of what each flag and command does.  For example, beside the "exec" command, Docker prints out "Run a command in a running container."  Thus, the "exec" command can be used to run a container.  We will talk about images and containers in class.

Now type "docker exec --help".  Docker will print out the help for the "docker exec" command.  This will list the Usage pattern along with all the options and will again repeat what the command does, i.e., "Run a command in a running container."  You can pass in the --help option with any docker command.  Try getting help on the run command:  type "docker run --help". 

Now let's get to the meat of it.  type "docker images".  When you give the docker images command, it will print out all the Docker images that you have downloaded locally into your repository.  In your case, you will likely have only one image, something like this:

$ docker images
REPOSITORY                                   TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
hello-world                                  latest              05a3bd381fc2        7 days ago          1.84kB

This shows that in your local repository you have an image called "hello-world" and its Tag is "latest" and its Image ID is 05a3bd381fc2 and the size if 1.84 kilobytes.  We will talk about tags and Image IDs in class. 

Now that we've seen our Docker images, let's look at some containers.  Type "docker ps -a".  This will list all of the instantiated containers you have created (yes, even without your  knowing it).  When I run that command, I see this:

$ docker ps -a
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                   COMMAND          CREATED              STATUS                          PORTS      NAMES
ef60e564f68e        hello-world             "/hello"         20 seconds ago       Exited (0) 19 seconds ago                  vibrant_benz
7b06f097a37a        hello-world             "/hello"         About a minute ago   Exited (0) About a minute ago              suspicious_yonath
2c377206d2d1        hello-world             "/hello"         18 hours ago         Exited (0) 18 hours ago                    serene_edison
45406c7c504a        hello-world             "/hello"         18 hours ago         Exited (0) 18 hours ago                    youthful_feynman
17342cabc340        hello-world             "/hello"         18 hours ago         Exited (0) 18 hours ago                    thirsty_shaw

This is a listing of all the containers I have executed.  Wow, that's a lot of containers.  Every time I execute the docker run command, I get a new container!  How wonderful.  It even gives my new container an interesting name, such as youthful_feynman.  It also lists the Container ID for each container, the Image that the container is based on ("hello-world"), and when I created it, it's exit status (or if it's still running), any ports the container has bound (we'll see this later), and the container's working Name.  Note that I know that none of the containers is currently running.  I know that because they've all exited.  I can also type "docker ps" by itself.  When I do this, I'm asking Docker to print out all running containers I have.  There are none, so that command wiill not print anything out if I don't have any currently-running containers.  It prints out something like this:

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                   COMMAND          CREATED              STATUS                          PORTS      NAME

Well, great.  Let's get a real image down that can actually run for a while, why don't we?  Type the following command:  "docker run -it ubuntu:14.04 /bin/bash".  Now be careful here and notice your NEW PROMPT:

$ docker run -it ubuntu:14.04 /bin/bash
Unable to find image 'ubuntu:14.04' locally
14.04: Pulling from library/ubuntu
bae382666908: Pull complete
29ede3c02ff2: Pull complete
da4e69f33106: Pull complete
8d43e5f5d27f: Pull complete
b0de1abb17d6: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:32c87496025f5cdc5e56b5e5393a4df102b14dd4928f702b2019b18faf1ec48a
Status: Downloaded newer image for ubuntu:14.04

Your prompt is a tad different.  It appears your username is now "root" and your prompt is a root #.  Congratulations.  You are IN the ubuntu container.  Which container?  In the container with the Container ID of 0fc3e8b45816.  You can verify all this by bringing up a separate xterm window and running the following command:

$ docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND             CREATED             STATUS              PORTS               NAMES
0fc3e8b45816        ubuntu:14.04        "/bin/bash"         3 minutes ago       Up 3 minutes                            determined_hawking

There's your Container ID listed 0fc3e8b45816.  It's status is "Up 3 minutes".  That means your container is running!  You can play around all you want in your new Ubuntu container.  Play around by typing a few commands at the # prompt, such as ls -la, ps -ef, echo $SHELL, df, date, etc.  Try running "apt-get update" now, which will update your ubuntu (debian) packages to the latest and greatest.  Amazing.  You just modified the contents of your container.  Now type "exit" or press "^d" and you'll be back at your original $ prompt.  Try typing "docker ps" again.  Notice nothing is currently running.  That's because you exited your container, and it stopped running the /bin/bash shell.  Type "docker ps -a" again.

$ docker ps -a
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE            COMMAND          CREATED             STATUS                          PORTS       NAMES
0fc3e8b45816        ubuntu:14.04     "/bin/bash"      10 minutes ago      Exited (0) About a minute ago               determined_hawking
ef60e564f68e        hello-world      "/hello"         2 hours ago         Exited (0) 2 hours ago                      vibrant_benz
7b06f097a37a        hello-world      "/hello"         2 hours ago         Exited (0) 2 hours ago                      suspicious_yonath
2c377206d2d1        hello-world      "/hello"         20 hours ago        Exited (0) 20 hours ago                     serene_edison
45406c7c504a        hello-world      "/hello"         20 hours ago        Exited (0) 20 hours ago                     youthful_feynman
17342cabc340        hello-world      "/hello"         20 hours ago        Exited (0) 20 hours ago                     thirsty_shaw

This ends lab 1.  Submit  your saved script as per the instructions below.


You may find the following references helpful:

General Docker Tutorial Links

Learn Docker in 12 Minutes Youtube

Demystifying Docker Youtube

TutorialsPoint:  Docker Tutorial for Absolute Beginners

Docker Overview

Create a Bitbucket Repository called Lab 1. Upload your lab 1 script output and any supporting materials to this repo. Make sure that the user name "johnhb" has access to this repo.  Please include a README text file that contains any instructions for the TAs to assist with grading, and design notes are often the most useful thing you can provide. We do not usually need any info on how to compile your code unless your code layout is arcane.