IDF Docker Image
IDF Docker image (
espressif/idf) is intended for building applications and libraries with specific versions of ESP-IDF, when doing automated builds.
The image contains:
Common utilities such as git, wget, curl, zip.
Python 3.7 or newer.
A copy of a specific version of ESP-IDF (see below for information about versions).
IDF_PATHenvironment variable is set, and points to ESP-IDF location in the container.
All the build tools required for the specific version of ESP-IDF: CMake, ninja, cross-compiler toolchains, etc.
All Python packages required by ESP-IDF are installed in a virtual environment.
The image entrypoint sets up
PATH environment variable to point to the correct version of tools, and activates the Python virtual environment. As a result, the environment is ready to use the ESP-IDF build system.
The image can also be used as a base for custom images, if additional utilities are required.
Setting up Docker
Before using the
espressif/idf Docker image locally, make sure you have Docker installed. Follow the instructions at https://docs.docker.com/install/, if it is not installed yet.
If using the image in CI environment, consult the documentation of your CI service on how to specify the image used for the build process.
Building a project with CMake
In the project directory, run:
docker run --rm -v $PWD:/project -w /project espressif/idf idf.py build
The above command explained:
docker run: runs a Docker image. It is a shorter form of the command
docker container run.
--rm: removes the container when the build is finished
-v $PWD:/project: mounts the current directory on the host (
/projectdirectory in the container
espressif/idf: uses Docker image
latest(implicitly added by Docker when no tag is specified)
idf.py build: runs this command inside the container
To build with a specific Docker image tag, specify it as
espressif/idf:TAG, for example:
docker run --rm -v $PWD:/project -w /project espressif/idf:release-v4.4 idf.py build
You can check the up-to-date list of available tags at https://hub.docker.com/r/espressif/idf/tags.
Using the image interactively
It is also possible to do builds interactively, to debug build issues or test the automated build scripts. Start the container with -i -t flags:
docker run --rm -v $PWD:/project -w /project -it espressif/idf
Then inside the container, use
idf.py as usual:
idf.py menuconfig idf.py build
Commands which communicate with the development board, such as
idf.py flash and
idf.py monitor will not work in the container unless the serial port is passed through into the container. This can be done with Docker for Linux with the device option. However currently this is not possible with Docker for Windows (https://github.com/docker/for-win/issues/1018) and Docker for Mac (https://github.com/docker/for-mac/issues/900). This limitation may be overcome by using remote serial ports. An example how to do this can be found in the following using remote serial port section.
Using remote serial port
The RFC2217 (Telnet) protocol can be used to remotely connect to a serial port. For more information please see the remote serial ports documentation in the esptool project. This method can also be used to access the serial port inside a Docker container if it cannot be accessed directly. Following is an example how to use the flash command from within a Docker container.
On host install and start
On Windows, package is available as a one-file bundled executable created by pyinstaller and it can be downloaded from the esptool releases page in a zip archive along with other esptool utilities:
esp_rfc2217_server -v -p 4000 COM3
On Linux/MacOS, package is available as part of esptool which can be found in ESP-IDF environment or by installing using pip:
pip install esptool
And then starting the server by executing:
esp_rfc2217_server.py -v -p 4000 /dev/ttyUSB0
Now the device attached to the host can be flashed from inside a Docker container by using:
docker run --rm -v <host_path>:/<container_path> -w /<container_path> espressif/idf idf.py --port rfc2217://host.docker.internal:4000?ign_set_control flash
Please make sure that
<host_path> is properly set to your project path on the host and
<container_path> is set as a working directory inside the container with the
-w option. The
host.docker.internal is a special Docker DNS name to access the host. This can be replaced with host IP if necessary.
Building custom images
The Dockerfile in ESP-IDF repository provides several build arguments which can be used to customize the Docker image:
IDF_CLONE_URL: URL of the repository to clone ESP-IDF from. Can be set to a custom URL when working with a fork of ESP-IDF. Default is
IDF_CLONE_BRANCH_OR_TAG: Name of a git branch or tag use when cloning ESP-IDF. This value is passed to
git clonecommand using the
--branchargument. Default is
IDF_CHECKOUT_REF: If this argument is set to a non-empty value,
git checkout $IDF_CHECKOUT_REFcommand will be performed after cloning. This argument can be set to the SHA of the specific commit to check out, for example if some specific commit on a release branch is desired.
IDF_CLONE_SHALLOW: If this argument is set to a non-empty value,
--depth=1 --shallow-submodulesarguments will be used when performing
git clone. This significantly reduces the amount of data downloaded and the size of the resulting Docker image. However, if switching to a different branch in such a “shallow” repository is necessary, an additional
git fetch origin <branch>command must be executed first.
IDF_INSTALL_TARGETS: Comma-separated list of IDF targets to install toolchains for, or
allto install toolchains for all targets. Selecting specific targets reduces the amount of data downloaded and the size of the resulting Docker image. Default is
To use these arguments, pass them via the
--build-arg command line option. For example, the following command will build a Docker image with a shallow clone of ESP-IDF v4.4.1 and tools for ESP32-C3, only:
docker build -t idf-custom:v4.4.1-esp32c3 \ --build-arg IDF_CLONE_BRANCH_OR_TAG=v4.4.1 \ --build-arg IDF_CLONE_SHALLOW=1 \ --build-arg IDF_INSTALL_TARGETS=esp32c3 \ tools/docker