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The main activity of the developer in the Nua system is to create / adapt / maintain packages.

The nua_build python package is designed to facilitate this task


  • Eventually different container formats will be available to deploy applications. The first format taken into account is a Docker image.

  • If the software configuration to be packaged is simple, then the configuration files and the overall packaging process must remain simple.

As a result, the application configuration should have reduced adhesion with the
chosen container format and rely on reasonable defaults.

The configuration is based on:

  • A nua-config.toml settings file.

  • Python scripts, at least a build script to constrtuct the package and a start script to start the application,

  • For Docker, a minimal dockerfile is proposed by default and can be used as is for many applications. Indeed the choice is made to use python as a priority for the configuration operations, which simplifies the dockerfile accordingly.

The nua_buil package provides utilities to help the packager:

  • contains wrappers of basic Unix commands like cat or mkdir -p.

  • contains wrappers above os.execvpe, for example exec_as_nua() or exec_as_nua().

  • uses the two previous ones to carry out tasks like apt_get_install() or pip_install()

nua_build contains both the tools allowing the developer to package the application and a bootstrap which will be installed in the container.

Some basic example

Please note the format will change during the development phase, this is not a tutorial

Example of a `nodejs-basic package, containing no real application but only the installation of Nodejs. The build directory containes only 3 files, whose one is empty.

File nua-config.toml

id = "nodejs-basic"
version = "1.6"
title = "Node.js JavaScript runtime"
author = "Nodejs authors"
tagline = "Node.js JavaScript runtime"
website = ""
tags = ["javascript", "nodejs"]
licence = "MIT"
profile = ["generic"]
release = 1


The [build] tag is empty:

  • by default, the files in the build directory will be used to build the package (a “manifest” tag could have been used).

  • Other options take reasonable default values: by default we are looking for a build script named…, a startup file named, and we use the default dockerfile.


from nua_build.actions import install_nodejs
from nua_build.nua_config import NuaConfig

def main():
    # note: the config file is not needed here,
    # the code to show how to load it:
    config = NuaConfig(".")



And finally the start.pyfile is empty (there is no application to start).

File Dockerfile

The Docker images are based on a “Nua” image containing the Nua base, this Nua image
is itself based on an Ubuntu distribution with python 3.10 installed.
Hence the default dockerfile that will be used:

ARG nua_builder_tag
FROM ${nua_builder_tag} AS compile-image

RUN apt-get install -y build-essential git
RUN python -m pip install poetry \
    && cd /nua/nua_build \
    && poetry install --no-dev \
    && nuad_self_setup

FROM ${nua_builder_tag} AS runtime-image
COPY --from=compile-image /nua /nua

# app build:
COPY . /nua/build
RUN nuad_setup_app /nua/build

ARG nua_expose
EXPOSE ${nua_expose}
CMD ["python", "/nua/scripts/"]

Nuad command

Other commands will complete the nuad tool, today it only contains one command: “build”.

nuad --help
Usage: nuad [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

  Nua build CLI inferface.

  -V, --version         Show Nua version and exit.
  -v, --verbose         Write verbose output.
  --install-completion  Install completion for the current shell.
  --show-completion     Show completion for the current shell, to copy it or
                        customize the installation.
  --help                Show this message and exit.

  build  Build Nua package from some 'nua-config.toml' file.