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Created July 21, 2018 01:37
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Compiling V8 for alpine (link against musl)

It turns out that compiling V8 for use in alpine (i.e., linked with musl) is a real pain.

After reading what must have been the entire contents of the Internet on the subject (see list below) I came up with the following process that seems to do the trick pretty cleanly.

At the heart of this strategy are two tricks:

  1. It turns out you actually can compile GN in alpine, but only if you build it from the newly-split repository rather than the Chromium repo.

  2. The depot_tools build helpers don't seem to work in alpine, but no matter! This runs them in a debian:9 container to fetch all the code, and then copies the results to an alpine container for compilation.

After these breakthroughs it's a relatively straightforward procedure. Included in this gist is a multi-stage Dockerfile that shows a pretty easy way to build a musl-linked copy of V8.

Prior Work

# Building V8 for alpine is a real pain. We have to compile from source, because it has to be
# linked against musl, and we also have to recompile some of the build tools as the official
# build workflow tends to assume glibc by including vendored tools that link against it.
# The general strategy is this:
# 1. Build GN for alpine (this is a build dependency)
# 2. Use depot_tools to fetch the V8 source and dependencies (needs glibc)
# 3. Build V8 for alpine
# 4. Make warez
# STEP 1
# Build GN for alpine
FROM alpine:latest as gn-builder
# This is the GN commit that we want to build. Most commits will probably build just fine but
# this happened to be the latest commit when I did this.
ARG GN_COMMIT=d7111cb6877187d1f378bd231e14ffdd5fdd87ae
apk add --update --virtual .gn-build-dependencies \
alpine-sdk \
binutils-gold \
clang \
curl \
git \
llvm4 \
ninja \
python \
tar \
xz \
# Two quick fixes: we need the LLVM tooling in $PATH, and we
# also have to use gold instead of ld.
&& PATH=$PATH:/usr/lib/llvm4/bin \
&& cp -f /usr/bin/ /usr/bin/ld \
# Clone and build gn
&& git clone /tmp/gn \
&& git -C /tmp/gn checkout ${GN_COMMIT} \
&& cd /tmp/gn \
&& python build/ --no-sysroot \
&& ninja -C out \
&& cp -f /tmp/gn/out/gn /usr/local/bin/gn \
# Remove build dependencies and temporary files
&& apk del .gn-build-dependencies \
&& rm -rf /tmp/* /var/tmp/* /var/cache/apk/*
# STEP 2
# Use depot_tools to fetch the V8 source and dependencies
# The depot_tools scripts have a hard dependency on glibc (or at least a soft one that I didn't
# bother figuring out). Fortunately we only need it to actually download the source and its dependencies
# so we can do this in a place with glibc, and then pass the results on to an alpine builder.
FROM debian:9 as source
# The V8 version we want to use. It's assumed that this will be a version tag, but it's just
# used as "git commit $V8_VERSION" so anything that git can resolve will work.
set -x && \
apt-get update && \
apt-get install -y \
git \
curl \
python && \
# Clone depot_tools
git clone /tmp/depot_tools && \
PATH=$PATH:/tmp/depot_tools && \
# fetch V8
cd /tmp && \
fetch v8 && \
cd /tmp/v8 && \
git checkout ${V8_VERSION} && \
gclient sync && \
# cleanup
apt-get remove --purge -y \
git \
curl \
python && \
apt-get autoremove -y && \
rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*
# STEP 3
# Build V8 for alpine
FROM alpine:latest as v8
COPY --from=source /tmp/v8 /tmp/v8
COPY --from=gn-builder /usr/local/bin/gn /tmp/v8/buildtools/linux64/gn
apk add --update --virtual .v8-build-dependencies \
curl \
g++ \
gcc \
glib-dev \
icu-dev \
libstdc++ \
linux-headers \
make \
ninja \
python \
tar \
xz \
# Configure our V8 build
&& cd /tmp/v8 && \
./tools/dev/ x64.release -- \
binutils_path=\"/usr/bin\" \
target_os=\"linux\" \
target_cpu=\"x64\" \
v8_target_cpu=\"x64\" \
v8_enable_future=true \
is_official_build=true \
is_component_build=false \
is_cfi=false \
is_clang=false \
use_custom_libcxx=false \
use_sysroot=false \
use_gold=false \
use_allocator_shim=false \
treat_warnings_as_errors=false \
symbol_level=0 \
strip_debug_info=true \
v8_use_external_startup_data=false \
v8_enable_i18n_support=false \
v8_enable_gdbjit=false \
v8_static_library=true \
v8_experimental_extra_library_files=[] \
v8_extra_library_files=[] \
# Build V8
&& ninja -C -j $(getconf _NPROCESSORS_ONLN) \
# Brag
&& find /tmp/v8/ -name '*.a' \
# clean up
&& apk del .v8-build-dependencies
# STEP 4
# Build something that links against V8.
# This isn't really a step, but it uses the built V8 in a Go program that links against it to show
# that it worked.
FROM golang:1.10-alpine
COPY --from=v8 /tmp/v8/include /tmp/v8/include
COPY --from=v8 /tmp/v8/ /tmp/v8/lib
apk add --update git alpine-sdk && \
CGO_CXXFLAGS="-I/tmp/v8/include" CGO_LDFLAGS="-L/tmp/v8/lib" go get
CMD ["/go/bin/v8-runjs"]
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rqelibari commented Dec 30, 2018

@tylerchr: Thank you very much for sharing the result of your efforts!
This is exactly what I was looking for in order to build rq on Alpine linux.

Docker Hub version

As this script is rather long, I think a pre-build image on Docker Hub would be much more favorable.
Like that people can reference the pre-build image directly in their Dockerfile instead of copy pasting this script into theirs.

I order to not bother you too much I did this over here. Hope you like it :-)

EDIT: There is already a similar script made by alexmasterov (alexmasterov/aline-v8).

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