Starting a process in the Dockerfile

My problem is the following: I need to start a container with the dnsmasq service running (but that could be any service). The hard point is that I created a user in my image, so when I create a container out of it, it starts with my custom user (no root).

Therefore, how can I start a service that requires root privileges (sudo service dnsmasq start), with a non-root user ?

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  • Possible solutions:

    • be able to start a container with the service already running. From What I understand, this is not possible to start a service in a Dockerfile, because it doesn’t retain the state, only the FS
    • start the container as root, start the service, then switch back to the user. That could work, but potentially a security issue
    • let my custom user have the right to start the service by himself. How to do that ?
    • don’t use a custom user (probably the easiest way, but hey ? Where’s the fun in that ? :))

    Any other solution ?

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  • 2 Solutions collect form web for “Starting a process in the Dockerfile”

    Thanks to Rickkwa comment, I was able to fix the problem:

    In the Dockerfile (as root):

    # Install and configure Dnsmasq
    RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y dnsmasq
    # Need to add a new line
    RUN echo '' >> /etc/dnsmasq.conf
    # See
    RUN echo 'user=root' >> /etc/dnsmasq.conf
    # Add the needed route
    RUN echo 'address=/<my_ip>' >> /etc/dnsmasq.conf
    # Allow my user's group to start the service
    RUN echo ''%${group}' ALL=NOPASSWD:/usr/sbin/service dnsmasq *' >> /etc/sudoers
    # Switch to the right user, that belongs to the group ${group}
    USER ${user}

    Then, when your container starts (in the entrypoint, for instance), add the following line:

    sudo service dnsmasq start

    Remember the NOPASSWD in the /etc/sudoers files ? This prevents the system asking for the user’s password when we launch the service.

    What about using entrypoint, that run shell script to do what you want

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