Advanced Tagging

The OTA_LITE_TAG variable can be used in a few ways to add advanced tagging capabilities to a factory.


Platform Build - A build created by a change to the LMP/OE. This is the base OS image.

Container Build - A build created by a change to containers.git.

Target - This an entry in a factory’s TUF targets.json file. It represents what should be thought of as an immutable combination of the Platform build’s OSTree hash + the output of a Container build.

Tag - A Target has a “custom” section where with a list of Tags. The tags can be used to say things like “this is a development build” or this is a “production” build.


The OTA_LITE_TAG determines what tag a target will get when a container or platform build is performed. The format is:


Scenario 1: A new platform build that re-uses containers

Consider the case where a factory might have a tag called “postmerge” defined for both the lmp.yml and containers.yml builds. A new branch is added to the LMP called “postmerge-stable” that’s going to be based on older, more stable code. However, this new build will use the containers found in the most recent “postmerge” target. This can be expressed in lmp.yml with:

OTA_LITE_TAG: "postmerge-stable:postmerge"

However, this means that changes to containers.git will now also need to produce a new “postmerge-stable” target. So containers.yaml would need to be update with:

OTA_LITE_TAG: "postmerge,postmerge-stable"

Consider this pseudo targets example:

    ostree-hash: DEADBEEF
    docker-apps: foo:v1, bar:v1
    tags: postmerge-stable
    ostree-hash: GOODBEEF
    docker-apps: foo:v2, bar:v2
    tags: postmerge

If a change to the postmerge-stable branch was pushed to the LMP, a new target, build-3, would be added. The build logic would then look through the targets list to find the most recent “postmerge” target so that it can copy those docker-apps. This would result in a new target:

  ostree-hash: NEWHASH
  docker-apps: foo:v2, bar:v2
  tags: postmerge-stable

On the other hand, there might also be a new container build for “postmerge”. In this case the tag specification postmerge,postmerge-stable would tell the build logic to produce two new targets:

build-4:  # for postmerge-stable it will be based on build-3
  ostree-hash: NEWHASH
  docker-apps: foo:v3, bar:v3
  tags: postmerge-stable

build-4:  # for postmerge, it will be based on build-2
  ostree-hash: GOODBEEF
  docker-apps: foo:v3, bar:v3
  tags: postmerge

Scenario 2: Multiple container builds using the same platform

This scenario is the reverse of the previous one. A factory might have a platform build tagged with “devel-X”. However, there are two versions of containers being worked on: “devel-X” and “devel-Y”. This could be handled by changing lmp.yml to:

OTA_LITE_TAG: "devel-X,devel-Y"

and containers.yml to:

OTA_LITE_TAG: "devel-X,devel-Y:devel-X"

Scenario 3: Multiple teams, different cadences

Some organizations may have separate core platform and application teams. In this scenario, it may be desirable to let each team move at their own decoupled paces. Furthermore, the applications team might have stages(branches) of development they are working on. This could be handled by changing lmp.yml to:

OTA_LITE_TAG: "devel-core"

Then each branch of development for the containers could have things like:

# For the "app-dev" branch of containers.git
OTA_LITE_TAG: "app-dev:devel-core"

# For the "app-qa" branch of containers.git
OTA_LITE_TAG: "app-qa:devel-core"

This scenario is going to produce devel tagged builds that have no containers, but can be generically verfied. Then each containers.git branch will build targets and grab the latest “devel-core” tag to base its platform on. NOTE: Changes to devel-core don’t cause new container builds. In order to get a container’s branch updated to the latest devel-core a user would need to push an empty commit to containers.git to trigger a new build. eg:

# from branch app-dev
git commit --allow-empty -m 'Pull in latest devel-core changes'