Container image types

Most images in the Red Hat Ecosystem Catalog fall into one of the following categories:

  • Operator bundle image

  • Operator image

  • Standalone image

  • Component image

  • Builder image

  • Intermediate image

  • Flatpak

Operator-specific images

An operator bundle image is a non-runnable container image that stores the Kubernetes manifests and Operator metadata. Storage and distribution of the bundle image is then managed using existing container tools like podman and docker and container registries such as Quay.

Operator metadata can include:

  • information that identifies the Operator, for example its name and version.

  • additional information that drives the UI, e.g. icon and example custom resources (CRs)

  • required and provided APIs

  • related images

An operator image is a standalone container image that deploys an operator which manages other images and services.

General use images

A standalone image is a ready-to-run container image that provides services or end-user applications that you can execute in your own container environment.

A component image is an image reserved and deployed by a service or end-user application. Images labeled as a component image should not be deployed or run except by the service or end-user application that uses them.

A base image is a parent image used to provide a secure and stable base to build services and end-user applications.

A builder image is an image used to build other images.

An intermediate image is a layered image that add tools and libraries to base images, allowing you to develop particular types of applications. Software Collections Images include containers for specific runtime environments, including node.js, Perl, ruby, rails, python and PHP. The .NET Core container images provide the only commercially supported .NET core platform available on Linux for building and running .NET Core applications.

Specialized images

A flatpak image ("flatpak") is a desktop application packaged as a container image to be reliably used across different operating systems and versions. As with server-side containers, Flatpak isolates applications from the operating system. Each application uses its own libraries, not the operating system’s libraries.

An Ansible playbook bundle (APB) is a lightweight application definition consisting of several named playbooks and a metadata file. An APB defines a short lived container capable of orchestrating the deployment of applications to an OpenShift Origin cluster running the Ansible Service Broker. The short lived container holds a copy of the APB, plus an Ansible runtime environment, and any files required to perform the orchestration, including: playbooks, roles, and dependencies.

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