How to build Docker Flower images locally#

Flower provides pre-made docker images on Docker Hub that include all necessary dependencies for running the SuperLink. You can also build your own custom docker images from scratch with a different version of Python or Ubuntu if that is what you need. In this guide, we will explain what images exist and how to build them locally.

Before we can start, we need to meet a few prerequisites in our local development environment.

  1. Clone the flower repository.

    $ git clone && cd flower
  2. Verify the Docker daemon is running.

    Please follow the first section on Run Flower using Docker which covers this step in more detail.

Currently, Flower provides two images, a base image and a superlink image. The base image, as the name suggests, contains basic dependencies that the SuperLink needs. This includes system dependencies, Python and Python tools. The SuperLink image is based on the base image, but it additionally installs the SuperLink using pip.

The build instructions that assemble the images are located in the respective Dockerfiles. You can find them in the subdirectories of src/docker.

Both, base and SuperLink image are configured via build arguments. Through build arguments, we can make our build more flexible. For example, in the base image, we can specify the version of Python to install using the PYTHON_VERSION build argument. Some of the build arguments have default values, others must be specified when building the image. All available build arguments for each image are listed in one of the tables below.

Building the base image#

Build argument





Version of python to be installed.




Version of pip to be installed.




Version of setuptools to be installed.




Version of the official Ubuntu Docker image.

Defaults to 22.04.

The following example creates a base image with Python 3.11.0, pip 23.0.1 and setuptools 69.0.2:

$ cd src/docker/base/
$ docker build \
  --build-arg PYTHON_VERSION=3.11.0 \
  --build-arg PIP_VERSION=23.0.1 \
  --build-arg SETUPTOOLS_VERSION=69.0.2 \
  -t flwr_base:0.1.0 .

The name of image is flwr_base and the tag 0.1.0. Remember that the build arguments as well as the name and tag can be adapted to your needs. These values serve as examples only.