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May the Fourth be with you via Podman

A unique approach to rewatching the original Star Wars movie in a container.
May the Fourth be with you via Podman

Happy May Fourth, everyone! A few weeks after Star Wars first released, I was lucky enough to see it in a Dolby theatre in Denver, CO. I was hooked, completely, and totally hooked. Over the past decade or so, I’ve built a really nice large screen television with surround sound setup and rarely go to the movies anymore. I wait for them to be streamed or hit Blue-Ray. I make an exception for Star Wars movies. Those I go see at least once at a theatre. Then yes, I buy a copy to watch at home when available.

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As I know being a Star Wars fan is a trait that I share with many in the tech industry, I thought I’d celebrate May the Fourth with a little mix of containers and Star Wars in one. Several years ago, Simon Jansen created Star Wars Asciimation, which shows the first Star Wars movie, now called “Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope,” entirely in ASCII and runs over Telnet. It has made the rounds over the years and is fun to watch, but lately, trying to get it to run over Telnet can sometimes be challenging.

So after a colleague said I should run it from a container, I thought I’d try doing so. I made a few attempts at getting it to run but ran into issues with Telnet both in the container and on my host. Google to the rescue. I discovered the ascii-telnet-server project.

So on my Fedora machine, I did:

mkdir StarWars
cd StarWars
git clone
cd ascii-telnet-server

Now, if you look in this directory, you’ll notice that it’s been set up with a Dockerfile. However, the Dockerfile will play a sample movie if you use it without changing it. To play the ASCII Star Wars movie, edit this line in the Dockerfille:

ENV input_file sample_movies/short_intro.txt

Removing short_intro and replacing it with sw1 like this:

ENV input_file sample_movies/sw1.txt

Now using Podman, do:

podman build -t asciistarwars .

And once complete, run the container and enjoy.

podman run -it --rm -e mode=stdout asciistarwars
C3PO and R2D2 in Ascii
Ascii Star Wars - R2D2 and C3PO

If by chance, you just want to run the movie without doing the configurations above, you can use the image that I put together on with:

podman run -it --rm -e mode=stdout

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Wrap up

I thought it was a great way to get a little container fun in and celebrate May the Fourth. Now go enjoy your day, and I hope this helps you get a little Star Wars into it.

Topics:   Linux   Containers   Humor   Podman  
Author’s photo

Tom Sweeney

Software engineer at Red Hat working on containers focusing on the Buildah and Podman projects. Manages the and websites and can be found on freenode at #buildah and #podman. More about me

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