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Bringing Shipwright to Beta – and Beyond!

By November 3, 2022November 9th, 2022Blog, Project

Contributed by Adam Kaplan, Red Hat (originally posted on

Recently, the Shipwright community came together to define a beta API for the Build project with stronger support guarantees. We have come a long way since our launch two years ago, as “a framework for building container images on Kubernetes.” During the workshop, the community found itself coming back to a fundamental question, “What is Shipwright?” And more importantly, “What do we want Shipwright to be?”

What Should Shipwright Become?

We concluded that Shipwright is and should remain a framework for building container images. Shipwright will continue to make it simple to build a container image from source, using tools that are actively maintained by a community of experts. Our separation of [build strategy]({{% ref “/docs/build/buildstrategies” %}}) from build definition and execution will remain a cornerstone of the Shipwright framework.

However, we realized that building the image is just the starting point to delivering software on the cloud. Software supply chain security is a topmost concern of teams large and small. Artifacts like image scans, signatures, Software Bill of Materials, and provenance are needed to build modern software for the cloud. Shipwright can, and should, rise up to meet these demands.

We also decided that Shipwright will continue to run on cloud-native infrastructure, powered by Kubernetes and Tekton. We can go further, though, and plug Shipwright into the vast cloud-native ecosystem, through integrations with CDEventsArgoCD, and more. Shipwright is just getting started in this effort through the Triggers and Image sub-projects.

Core Values

Over the past two years, the Shipwright community has coalesced around three core values: simplicity, flexibility, and security.

Simplicity means that we provide an experience that is intuitive and consistent. It also means that we shouldn’t be afraid to take an opinionated stance on common tasks, or features that we want to add to the project. We discovered in the Beta API workshop areas where our APIs were not consistent or intuitive, and we identified changes to fix these problem areas. These include single sources for builds and maintaining our opinionated steps to obtain source code.

Flexibility means that we provide space for teams to bend Shipwright to fit their needs. This started with the build strategy model itself, which we are keeping at the core of the API. We continued with the Parameters API, which provides avenues for customization between build strategies and build executions. We also took steps in our beta workshop to ensure our API is tool agnostic, such that we can help grow the ecosystem of build tools. This meant that some fields that were only used by specific build tools were dropped.

Lastly, Shipwright aims to meet the security needs for cloud-native applications. Security for Shipwright starts with the transparent pod security contexts built into the build strategy API. This encourages the continued evolution of tooling away from privileged and “root” containers, both of which are potential security risks. As a community, we have started experimenting with tools like Trivy to make the security of Shipwright-built images more transparent. We hope to continue these efforts with emerging software security tools in the future.

shipwright beta and beyond banner

Bringing Shipwright to Beta

Starting in version 0.12, Shipwright will introduce the beta Build API and begin phasing out the current alpha API. We encourage current and future users to provide feedback as we roll this new API out.

You can provide feedback by:

We look forward to hearing from you!