Containers – The Future?

Docker has been around for years now, LXC has been around even longer, and chroots, jails, and zones are even older than that.

I never really understood the benefit of Docker as opposed to something like LXC up until a few minutes ago.

I installed Fedora 23 Server on my DigitalOcean droplet to try out Cockpit, and one of the features included is the ability to manage Docker containers.

I decided to download, install, and start the Ghost container, just to see how it works. I was surprised when everything just worked right the first time, in two clicks!

In these two clicks, Docker downloaded an image, extracted it, started a process in the container, and forwarded the correct ports. Inside this container was NodeJS, NPM, and probably 50 dependencies for Ghost. I didn’t have to install any of that – all I had to do was click – it was instant.

I’ve gone through various Docker tutorials and my general impression up until this point has been “wow, that’s a whole lot of commands to echo ‘Hello World’ to the console. Configuring port forwarding, the network, Internet access, learning how to create Dockerfiles and commit them just seemed like a LOT of work with very little benefit.

Now I’m convinced that even though it may take some extra work to package up a container and manage it, it’s beneficial in the long run when your project can tell people that installing your software takes one or two clicks.

 

Mike Staszel

 
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