I use a series of Docker containers as VMs for unit/integration testing. I have some Ansible roles which I use for configuring my elementary OS systems. (Full disclosure: I'm a SRE nerd)

In order to run my tests against elementary OS, I'd like to bake a Docker image for elementary. The only way I can see to do this is to base the image on Ubuntu 16.04 and somehow transform the system into elementary OS.

How can I go about doing this? Is there a list of repositories I need to install? If I just install elementary-desktop, is that all that is needed? I'm assuming that some lsb-release hacks need to happen too.

EDIT: I'm attempting to do so here on GitHub. Fingers crossed!

2 Answers 2


I may be misunderstanding, but it sounds like you want an Elementary base image. You could always try rolling your own following these instructions:


I would guess (though I don't know), that you might be able to use the mentioned debootstrap tool to create one given it also works with Ubuntu - ie, what Elementary extends.


I believe this already exists?

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