Ever heard about Docker? If you have, you surely know what a great piece of development work it is. If you haven’t, I’m going to explain what exactly Docker is and why it should be considered in the Android development world. Quoting the Docker website:
Docker is an open-source engine that automates the deployment of any application as a lightweight, portable, self-sufficient container that will run virtually anywhere.
Docker containers can encapsulate any payload, and will run consistently on and between virtually any server. The same container that a developer builds and tests on a laptop will run at scale, in production*, on VMs, bare-metal servers, OpenStack clusters, public instances, or combinations of the above.
In plain English: Docker provides a standardized method of putting your applications into a server or other type of hosting or storage.
So why is this relevant? Well, Docker can be used to build a CyanogenMod really easily, without reliance on dependencies, requirements, and even files itself. This is all thanks to XDA Forum Member michael_ch, who created a Docker script that puts together all dependencies, install them in the container on your PC, and allows you to start an Android build process with just few commands.
All you need to do is initialize the repo, sync it, and type standard commands to start a build. To properly use this script, you need to have Docker installed on your system. Officially only Linux is supported, but there are some instructions to launch it on Mac or even Windows. If you never tried Docker before, building a CyanogenMod using the tool might be a nice learning experience.