Docker containers for one and all

Google Cloud Container Builder is here for all of your Docker builds

Jane Elizabeth

The Google Cloud Container Builder is finally here! Creating Docker containers is easier than ever thanks to this new Google tool.

Containers make the world go round, whether it’s shipping goods from China or making cat videos on YouTube work properly on your smartphone. Yesterday, Google announced that their Cloud Container Builder is finally available for general use after a year of running the Google App Engine behind “gcloud app deploy”. Now you can build your Docker containers right in the Google Cloud Platform!

Google describes the Cloud Container Builder as “a stand-alone tool for building container images regardless of deployment environment.” Calling it faster and more reliable, Google hopes that users will find it more flexible with its command-line interface, automated build triggers, and build-steps. According to their blog notes, this will help “empower a tighter release process for teams, more reliable build environment across workspaces and frees you from having to manage your own scalable infrastructure for running builds.”

Build Docker containers in the cloud

This new Container Builder should bring even more people under the aegis of Google’s Cloud Platform environment. While it is built into Docker, there are open-source builder options available for those hold-outs still using “common languages and tasks like npm, git, go and the gcloud command line interface”. Not to worry though, Maven, Gradle, and Bazel all work straight out of the box.

So, how does it work? The Container Builder allows users to build their Docker containers on the Google Cloud Platform. Users can create Docker container images from application source code located in the Google Cloud Storage. These container images are then automatically stored in the Google Container Registry. The build artifacts will work wherever you can run applications from Docker containers, as well as a whole host of Google services, including the Container Engine, Compute Engine, or the App Engine flexible environment.

Google boasts that their build steps will let users run any Docker image as part of their build. This helps users package their tools to move their existing builds onto the Google Cloud Platform. There’s no requirement that user’s builds produce a container as output, but it will be easier to take advantage of the Google Cloud Platform if they do.

SEE MORE: Docker 1.13 is here

New specs

Features of the Container Builder include a REST API for programmatically creating and managing builds. It also includes a glcoud command line interface for working with builds from CLI.

Cloud Builder also supports two brands new UIs, build triggers and build history. Build triggers allow you to set up automated CI/CD workflows, which will start new builds on source code changes. These triggers work with GitHub, Cloud Source Repository, and Bitbucket on pushes to your repository based on branch or tag. Build history helps users track their history by showing details for each build including logs.


Google is enticing programmers with a sweet deal of 120 free build minutes for day. So if you’re quick with code, you can probably get away scott free. Google noted that most of their alpha program users could move their builds onto the Container Builder within that time restriction.

However, if you go over 120 minutes, builds cost $.0034 per minute. So an extra hour will run you $.204. Probably won’t break your budget, but it’s good to keep aware of this just in case.


Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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