Auxiliary images



Auxiliary images are the recommended best approach for including Model in Image model files, application archive files, and the WebLogic Deploy Tooling installation, in your pods. This feature eliminates the need to provide these files in the image specified in domain.spec.image.


  • The domain resource’s domain.spec.image directly references a base image that needs to include only a WebLogic installation and a Java installation.
  • The domain resource’s auxiliary image related fields reference one or more smaller images that contain the desired Model in Image files.

The advantages of auxiliary images for Model In Image domains are:

  • Use or patch a WebLogic installation image without needing to include a WDT installation, application archive, or model artifacts within the image.
  • Share one WebLogic installation image with multiple different model configurations that are supplied in specific images.
  • Distribute or update model files, application archives, and the WebLogic Deploy Tooling executable using specific images that do not contain a WebLogic installation.

Auxiliary images internally use a Kubernetes emptyDir volume and Kubernetes init containers to share files from additional images.


  • Run the kubectl explain domain.spec.configuration.model.auxiliaryImages command.

  • See the model.auxiliaryImages section in the domain resource schema.


Beginning with operator version 4.0, you can configure one or more auxiliary images in a domain resource configuration.model.auxiliaryImages array. Each array entry must define an image which is the name of an auxiliary image. Optionally, you can set the imagePullPolicy, which defaults to Always if the image ends in :latest and IfNotPresent, otherwise. If image pull secrets are required for pulling auxiliary images, then the secrets must be referenced using domain.spec.imagePullSecrets.

Also, optionally, you can configure the source locations of the WebLogic Deploy Tooling model and the directory where the WebLogic Deploy Tooling software is installed (known as the WDT Home) in the auxiliary image using the sourceModelHome and sourceWDTInstallHome fields, described in the following section.

Source locations

Use the optional attributes configuration.model.auxiliaryImages[].sourceModelHome and configuration.model.auxiliaryImages[].sourceWdtInstallHome to specify non-default locations of WebLogic Deploy Tooling model and WDT Home in your auxiliary image(s). Allowed values for sourceModelHome and sourceWdtInstallHome:

  • Unset - Defaults to /auxiliary/models and /auxiliary/weblogic-deploy, respectively.
  • Set to a path - Must point to an existing location containing WDT model files and WDT Home, respectively.
  • None - Indicates that the image has no WDT models or WDT Home, respectively.

If you set the sourceModelHome or sourceWDTInstallHome to None or, the source attributes are left unset and there are no files at the default locations, then the operator will ignore the source directories. Otherwise, note that if you set a source directory attribute to a specific value and there are no files in the specified directory in the auxiliary image, then the domain deployment will fail.

The files in sourceModelHome and sourceWDTInstallHome directories will be made available in /aux/models and /aux/weblogic-deploy directories of the WebLogic Server container in all pods, respectively.

For example source locations, see Configuration example 2.

Multiple auxiliary images

If specifying multiple auxiliary images with model files in their respective configuration.model.auxiliaryImages[].sourceModelHome directories, then model files are merged. The operator will merge the model files from multiple auxiliary images in the same order in which images appear under model.auxiliaryImages. Files from later images in the merge overwrite same-named files from earlier images.

When specifying multiple auxiliary images, ensure that only one of the images supplies a WDT Home using configuration.model.auxiliaryImages[].sourceWDTInstallHome.

If you provide more than one WDT Home among multiple auxiliary images, then the domain deployment will fail. Set sourceWDTInstallHome to None, or make sure there are no files in /auxiliary/weblogic-deploy, for all but one of your specified auxililary images.

For an example of configuring multiple auxiliary images, see Configuration example 3.

Model and WDT installation homes

If you are using auxiliary images, typically, it should not be necessary to set domain.spec.configuration.models.modelHome and domain.spec.configuration.models.wdtInstallHome. The model and WDT installation you supply in the auxiliary image (see source locations) are always placed in the /aux/models and /aux/weblogic-deploy directories, respectively, in all WebLogic Server pods. When auxiliary image(s) are configured, the operator automatically changes the default for modelHome and wdtInstallHome to match.

If you set modelHome and wdtInstallHome to a non-default value, then the domain will ignore the WDT model files and WDT Home in its auxiliary image(s).

Configuration examples

The following configuration examples illustrate each of the previously described sections.

Example 1: Basic configuration

This example specifies the required image parameter for the auxiliary image(s); all other fields are at default values.

      - image: model-in-image:v1

Example 2: Source locations

This example is same as Example 1 except that it specifies the source locations for the WebLogic Deploy Tooling model and WDT Home.

      - image: model-in-image:v1
        sourceModelHome: /foo/models
        sourceWDTInstallHome: /bar/weblogic-deploy

Example 3: Multiple images

This example is the same as Example 1, except it configures multiple auxiliary images and sets the sourceWDTInstallHome for the second image to None. In this case, the source location of the WebLogic Deploy Tooling installation from the second image new-model-in-image:v1 will be ignored.

      - image: model-in-image:v1
      - image: new-model-in-image:v1
        sourceWDTInstallHome: None


The Model in Image Sample demonstrates deploying a Model in Image domain that uses auxiliary images to supply the domain’s WDT model files, application archive ZIP files, and WDT installation in a small, separate container image.

Using Docker to create an auxiliary image

The Model in Image Sample initial use case describes using the WebLogic Image Tool as a convenient way to create the auxiliary image, which is the recommended best approach. Alternatively, you can “manually” build the image. For example, the following steps modify the Model in Image sample’s initial use case to use Docker to build its auxiliary image:

  1. Download the Model in Image sample source and WebLogic Deploy Tooling by following the corresponding steps in the Model in Image Sample prerequisites.

  2. Create a /tmp/mystaging/models directory as a staging directory and copy the model YAML file, properties, and archive into it:

    $ mkdir -p /tmp/mystaging/models
    $ cp /tmp/sample/wdt-artifacts/wdt-model-files/WLS-v1/model.10.yaml ./models
    $ cp /tmp/sample/wdt-artifacts/wdt-model-files/WLS-v1/ ./models
    $ cp /tmp/sample/wdt-artifacts/wdt-model-files/WLS-v1/ ./models

    If the file is missing, then repeat the step to create this file in the Model in Image sample initial use case while using /tmp/sample/wdt-artifacts/wdt-model-files/WLS-v1 as the target directory.

  3. Install WDT in the staging directory and remove its weblogic-deploy/bin/*.cmd files, which are not used in UNIX environments:

    $ cd /tmp/mystaging
    $ unzip /tmp/mii-sample/model-images/ -d .
    $ rm ./weblogic-deploy/bin/*.cmd

    If the file is missing, then repeat the step to download the latest WebLogic Deploy Tooling (WDT) in the Model in Image sample prerequisites.

  4. Run the docker build command using /tmp/mii-sample/ai-docker-file/Dockerfile.

    $ cd /tmp/mystaging
    $ docker build -f /tmp/mii-sample/ai-docker-file/Dockerfile \
      --build-arg AUXILIARY_IMAGE_PATH=/auxiliary \
      --tag model-in-image:WLS-v1 .

    See ./Dockerfile for an explanation of each build argument.

    Click here to view the Dockerfile.
  5. If you have successfully created the image, then it should now be in your local machine’s Docker repository. For example:

    $ docker images model-in-image:WLS-v1
    REPOSITORY          TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
    model-in-image      WLS-v1           eac9030a1f41        1 minute ago        4.04MB
  6. After the image is created, it should have the WDT executables in /auxiliary/weblogic-deploy, and WDT model, property, and archive files in /auxiliary/models. You can run ls in the Docker image to verify this:

    $ docker run -it --rm model-in-image:WLS-v1 ls -l /auxiliary
      total 8
      drwxr-xr-x    1 oracle   root          4096 Jun  1 21:53 models
      drwxr-xr-x    1 oracle   root          4096 May 26 22:29 weblogic-deploy
    $ docker run -it --rm model-in-image:WLS-v1 ls -l /auxiliary/models
      total 16
      -rw-rw-r--    1 oracle   root          5112 Jun  1 21:52
      -rw-rw-r--    1 oracle   root           173 Jun  1 21:59
      -rw-rw-r--    1 oracle   root          1515 Jun  1 21:59 model.10.yaml
    $ docker run -it --rm model-in-image:WLS-v1 ls -l /auxiliary/weblogic-deploy
      total 28
      -rw-r-----    1 oracle   root          4673 Oct 22  2019 LICENSE.txt
      -rw-r-----    1 oracle   root            30 May 25 11:40 VERSION.txt
      drwxr-x---    1 oracle   root          4096 May 26 22:29 bin
      drwxr-x---    1 oracle   root          4096 May 25 11:40 etc
      drwxr-x---    1 oracle   root          4096 May 25 11:40 lib
      drwxr-x---    1 oracle   root          4096 Jan 22  2019 samples

Automated upgrade of the schema auxiliary images configuration

The automated upgrade described in this section converts schema auxiliary image configuration into low-level Kubernetes schema, for example, init containers and volumes. Instead of relying on the generated low-level schema, Oracle recommends using a simplified schema configuration for auxiliary images, as documented in the Configuration section.

In operator version 4.0, we have enhanced auxiliary images to improve ease of use; also, its configuration has changed from operator 3.x releases.

Operator 4.0 provides a seamless upgrade of Domains with schema auxiliary images configuration. When you create a Domain with auxiliary images using schema in a namespace managed by the 4.0 operator, the WebLogic Domain resource conversion webhook performs an automated upgrade of the domain resource to the schema. The conversion webhook runtime converts the auxiliary image configuration to the equivalent configuration using init containers, volume and volume mounts under the serverPod spec in Similarly, when upgrading the operator, Domains with schema auxiliary images are seamlessly upgraded.

The following is a sample schema auxiliary image configuration in operator 3.x and the equivalent schema configuration generated by the conversion webhook in operator 4.0.

Sample schema auxiliary image configuration

  - name: auxiliaryImageVolume1
    mountPath: "/auxiliary"

    - image: "model-in-image:WLS-v1"
      imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
      volume: auxiliaryImageVolume1

Compatibility schema auxiliary image configuration generated by conversion webhook in operator 4.0

    - command:
      - /weblogic-operator/scripts/
        value: /auxiliary
        value: /tmpAuxiliaryImage
        value: model-in-image:WLS-v1
        value: compat-operator-aux-container1
      image: model-in-image:WLS-v1
      imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
      name: compat-operator-aux-container1
      - mountPath: /tmpAuxiliaryImage
        name: compat-ai-vol-auxiliaryimagevolume1
      - mountPath: /weblogic-operator/scripts
        name: weblogic-scripts-cm-volume
    - mountPath: /auxiliary
      name: compat-ai-vol-auxiliaryimagevolume1
    - emptyDir: {}
      name: compat-ai-vol-auxiliaryimagevolume1

The conversion webhook runtime creates init containers with names prefixed with compat- when converting the auxiliary image configuration of the schema. The operator generates only init containers with names starting with either compat- or wls-shared- in the introspector job pod. To alter the generated init container’s name, the new name must start with either compat- or wls-shared-.

Domain upgrade tool to manually upgrade the schema domain resource

To manually upgrade the domain resource from the schema to the schema, see Upgrade the schema domain resource manually.