Docker Windows Alternatives? There are lots of alternatives to Docker for Windows if you are looking for a replacement. Although, Docker is by far the world’s most popular and widely used container platform.
However, there are other technologies on the container landscape, each with its unique approaches and use cases. So, if you’re new to containers, you’ll want to consider these alternatives before potentially making an IT decision you might later regret.
Docker Windows Alternatives
This article will give you an overview of some alternatives or best replacements for Docker. However, it includes not only complete solutions but granular tools that you can use as either a complement to Docker or a partly completely different container system.
- Artifactory Docker Registry.
- LXC (Linux).
- Hyper-V and Windows Containers.
- Rkt (works with Kubernetes).
- Podman (open-source container engine).
- runC (portability solution).
- containerd (a container runtime).
Here is the list of the alternatives.
Artifactory Docker Registry
Artifactory Docker Registry is simply a secure private registry that manages Docker images and also provides access to remote Docker container registries with integration to build ecosystems.
It lets you set up unlimited D registries, using local, remote, and virtual D repositories. However, working transparently with the D client, it manages D images, which have been created internally and downloaded from remote Docker resources, like Docker Hub.
Local repositories offer a way to deploy and host internal Docker images, which can then be shared across organizations.
LXC is a set of low-level container management software that is part of the LinuxContainers.org open-source project. The technology was a forerunner to Docker and is greatly sponsored by Canonical, the firm behind Ubuntu.
The main aim of LXC is to provide an isolated application environment that closely looks like that of a full-blown virtual machine (VM), but without the overhead of running its own kernel. LXC works differently from Docker in a number of other ways.
For instance, you can run more than one process in an LXC container, while Docker is designed for running a single process in each container. Although, Docker is best at abstracting resources and, as a result, its containers tend to be more portable than LXC counterparts.
Hyper-V and Windows Containers
Hyper-V containers are more aligned with the VM virtualization version, as each can carry its own kernel. This simply means they provide greater portability than traditional containers, as applications running right within them don’t need to be compatible with the host system.
However, they also afford better security as a result of increased isolation from the host operating system and other container environments.
Nevertheless, you can manage Hyper-V containers with either Docker or Windows PowerShell, but each guest environment must be Windows-based, although not necessarily the same model as the host operating system.
RKT originally known as CoreOS Rocket, between its robust ecosystem and a strong level of adoption, has arguably become one of the most viable alternatives. Moreover, the core strengths of this open-source technology are security and, interoperability with other systems and frameworks- it can run Docker containers and also makes use of a pod-based architecture, which works straight out of the box with Kubernetes.
The software (RKT) doesn’t use a daemon and, thereby, provides more fine-grained control over your containers at the individual container level. Check out the following alternatives, although they’re not complete, end-to-end solutions. But they’re used either in harmony with other technologies or in place of specific components of the Docker system.
Podman is an open-source container engine, that performs much the same role as the Docker engine. Its isolation and user privilege features make Podman inherently more secure. Also, its command-line interface (CLI) commands are practically identical to those supported by the Docker CLI, with the exception that you’d use Podman in place of the Docker base.
runC is an amazing lightweight, universal OS container runtime. It was initially a low-level Docker component, which worked under the hood, found within the platform architecture. Thus, it has been rolled out since as a standalone modular tool.
The major aim behind the release was to improve container portability by providing a standardized, interoperable container runtime that can work both as part of Docker and independently from Docker. So, runC can help you avoid being strongly tied to a particular technology, hardware, or cloud service provider.
Containerd is basically a daemon, which acts as an interface between your container engine and container runtimes. It is greatly supported by Windows and Linux.
It offers an abstracted layer that makes it easier to manage container lifecycles like that of an image transfer, container executions, snapshot functionality, and certain storage operations – via the use of simple API requests. However, this helps to avoid the hassle of making multiple, low-level system calls.