I want to create an instance container with a Wordpress image.

I can create the container with:

gcloud compute instances create-with-container test-container --container-image=registry.hub.docker.com/library/wordpress --tags=http-server --zone=europe-west1-b --machine-type=n1-standard-1

How do I also pass the environment variables of the image?


Can I do this with a flag in my create-with-container statement and how?


Similarly to the docker run command that allows passing environment variables:

$ docker run [OPTIONS] IMAGE [COMMAND] [ARG...]
  --env , -e        Set environment variables
  --env-file        Read in a file of environment variables

gcloud compute instances create-with-container supports similar functionality and command line parameters:

$ gcloud compute instances create-with-container INSTANCE_NAMES [INSTANCE_NAMES …]

  --container-env=[KEY=VALUE, …,…]
    Declare environment variables KEY with value VALUE passed to container. 
    Only the last value of KEY is taken when KEY is repeated more than once. 
    Values, declared with --container-env flag override those with the same KEY from file, provided in --container-env-file. 

    Declare environment variables in a file. 
    Values, declared with --container-env flag override those with the same KEY from file.
    File with environment variables in format used by docker (almost). This means:
    • Lines are in format KEY=VALUE.
    • Values must contain equality signs.
    • Variables without values are not supported (this is different from docker format).
    • If # is first non-whitespace character in a line the line is ignored as a comment.
    • Lines with nothing but whitespace are ignored.

For example

CloudShell:$ gcloud compute instances create-with-container nginx-container --container-image gcr.io/cloud-marketplace/google/nginx1:1.14 --zone=europe-west3-c --tags=nginx --container-env=MYVAR1=myval1,MYVAR2=myval2

Alternatively, you may create a shell script like the create-vm.sh below:

set -x
gcloud compute instances create-with-container nginx-container --container-image gcr.io/cloud-marketplace/google/nginx1:1.14 --zone=europe-west3-c --tags=nginx --container-env=MYVAR1=$1,MYVAR2=$2

launch it with the variables passed in the command line:

CloudShell:$ chmod +x create-vm.sh
CloudShell:$ ./create-vm.sh myval1 myval2

then connect via SSH to the newly created VM instance nginx-container and check variables within the Docker container:

nginx-container:$ sudo docker ps
CONTAINER ID    IMAGE                   COMMAND         CREATED     STATUS  NAMES 
8637cbacf2e1    gcr.io/cloud-marketplace/google/nginx1:1.14             "/usr/local/bin/dock…"  4 minutes ago   Up 4 minutes    klt-nginx-container-ikrz 
nginx-container:$ sudo docker exec 8637cbacf2e1 printenv MYVAR1 MYVAR2

Docker Doc > Command-line reference > Docker CLI (docker) > docker run

Developer Tools > Cloud SDK: Command Line Interface > Doc > Reference > gcloud compute instances create-with-container

  • I tried this also but I'm probably doing it wrong. I used --container-env=[WORDPRESS_DB_HOST=$1,WORDPRESS_DB_USER=wordpress, WORDPRESS_DB_PASSWORD=test,WORDPRESS_DB_NAME=$2,WORDPRESS_TABLE_PREFIX=wp_] With and without [] en also with "" and without. I still got the message :ERROR: (gcloud.compute.instances.create-with-container) unrecognized arguments: – kabouter Jun 8 '20 at 14:51
  • A working example has been added to the answer. – mebius99 Jun 26 '20 at 11:41

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