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11/23/2014: Is using "lsb_release -cs" a good idea inside a debian:wheezy Dockerfile?

Update from Jan 2015: The Zulu team added formal Debian support last October, I just did not know about it. Look at the version history for Zulu 8.4, 7.7, and 6.6 at http://www.azulsystems.com/zulurelnotes. Also look on DockerHub for their 8.4.x Docker files. They don't use lsb_release -cs in Debian Dockerfiles anymore, and instead allow the Zulu repository to honor 'stable' as release name. 'stable' always pushes the highest level for a Java major version. - I am paraphrasing the comments from Matthew Schuetze below.

I saw the following line in a Dockerfile

RUN echo "deb http://repos.azulsystems.com/ubuntu `lsb_release -cs` main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/zulu.list

The lsb_release program is not part of the wheezy standard programs. But we can install it:

$ apt-get update && apt-get install -y lsb

How many files were created by that install?

$ docker diff 09 | wc -l

Over 30,000 files!

I next tried being a bit more specific with

$ apt-get update && apt-get install -y lsb-release

How many files were created by that install?

$ docker diff 23 | wc -l

I conclude that hard-coding "wheezy" is better than using lsb_release in a Dockerfile. At least when using Debian as the base operating system.

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