Best Docker base image Linux distros?

So docker base images can be quite big. Consider using the Alpine Linux base to make the images slimmer. You can typically shave off at least 30% – which is significant. Sometimes the base image is less than 50MB!


Wow, just saw this post from last year and they’re saying as low as 5mb.

What other base image distros have people experimented with?


They get quite insane. I ran out of disk space because the base images filled my disk up. It is also worth nothing that Alpine Linux is actually based on busybox.


I created Docker images for the current release of the Reference Application using Debian and Alpine. The image sizes are as follows:

Base Image MySQL Image Tomcat Image
Debian Jessie 336.8 MB 453.4 MB
Alpine 3.3 149.6 MB 266.0 MB

For the MySQL image, we save 55% if we use Alpine instead of Debian. For the Tomcat image we save 41%.

If anyone would like to play around with the images, you can find them in Bintray (Debian, Alpine). The setup and build instructions can be found in the GitHub READMEs (Debian, Alpine).


Nice job @pascal!