Updating Shifter

Version 18.03.1

The parameter –no-xattrs is used when creating the squashed file. This option may not be supported on older OSs such as RedHat 6 variants. To disable this behavior, add the following section to your imagemnager.json config file.

‘ConverterOptions’: {‘squashfs’: []}

Version 17.04 to 18.03

Release 18.03 dropped the dependency on celery. This removes the need to run Redis and simplifies the overall installation. Deployments that had relied on this to run in a distributed mode where the workers ran on a different set of nodes from the API server will need a deployment change. It is recommended to run the API service on the node used for the worker. Broker configuration parameter is no longer and there is no longer a need to launch separate celery workers. The API service will launch a number of local threads to process pull and remove requests. The number of threads can be controlled with the “WorkerThreads” parameter in imagemanager.json. In local mode, the API service must have direct acccess to the shared file system. In remote mode, the API service will copy the completed images via scp which requires RSA keys to be configured.

Version 16.08 to 17.04

Configurations should be backwards compatible. There are new optional parameters that have been added.


  • New optional parameter (Metrics). True/False parameter to enable basic image metrics.

If private images are pulled, the resulting metadata will be incompatible with previous versions of the shifter runtime. Set an environment variable called DISABLE_ACL_METADATA to a value in order to enable backwards compatibility. Note that this means some access checks in the runtime will not be enforced and a determined user could use this to access a private image they should not have access to. So this option should only be used as a temporary bridge and sites should inform the users of the potential risks.

Version 15.12.0 to 16.08.1


  • siteFs format changed from space separated to semicolon separated. Now requires that both “to” and “from” locations be specified. Recommend using same in most cases:


    siteFs now also supports recursive bind mounts (as well as a few other less common mount options).

  • Recommended Setting: defaultImageType=docker This will allow shifter commands (shifter, shifterimg, Slurm integration) to assume, unless otherwise noted, that images requested are docker images. This enables the user to do:

    shifter --image=ubuntu:14.04

    Instead of:

    shifter --image=docker:ubuntu:14.04


The sshd is no longer started by default by the Slurm integration. Add “enable_sshd=1” to plugstack.conf if you want it.

CCM mode is no longer enabled by default in the Slurm integration. Add “enable_ccm=1” to plugstack.conf if you want it.

If the sshd is configured to run via the WLM, the sshd runs as the user. If you have an existing udiImage directory that you want to keep using, be sure to update the port in sshd_config and ssh_config to use port 1204 (or some other port that makes sense for your site).

Image Manager API

We recommend that you install and run the image manager via gunicorn. This is much more scalable than the Flask development server started by the older (now considered for debug-only) imagemngr.py.

To start with gunicorn do:

/usr/bin/gunicorn -b --backlog 2048 \
    --access-logfile=/var/log/shifter_imagegw/access.log \
    --log-file=/var/log/shifter_imagegw/error.log \

Handling Unicode

The workers have been updated to do a better job of efficiently converting Docker images into Shifter’s preferred squashfs format. Start the gateway with the included sitecustomize.py in your PYTHONPATH. This is typically installed in the libexec directory (in Redhat), or the lib directory (in SuSE).


export PYTHONPATH=/usr/libexec/shifter