Reducing Docker image size with multi-stage builds

Reducing Docker image size with multi-stage builds

There's been some posts appearing as of lately on and other blogs extolling the virtues of multi-stage builds in Docker, a feature that was not available as of 3 years ago (a long time in development).

So since I spend a lot of time rebuilding my own images, I decided to give this staged build methodology a try. I'm happy to report that the results are stunning:

docker images

REPOSITORY                                                       TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
alexanderallen/ghost                                             latest              27c381f1a7c7        3 minutes ago       322MB
alexanderallen/ghost                                             stable              0720120629a0        3 days ago          809MB

My Ghost Docker image went from 809MB to a paltry 322MB !

As an added side-effect, now instead of having to jump between a build and a runtime image, a common image build pattern, everything is in a single Dockerfile. But the Dockerfile is also larger. I do find it easier to debug rather than having two editor windows open for each build file.