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The Best Containers Platforms to Replace Docker

Docker is still a popular platform for container projects and applications due to its ease of use, modernized tools, and widely accepting compatibility. It’s capable of packaging applications with their dependencies, letting the application run on any OS and multiple environment types. It can roll back, track changes to specific users, and run on any environment it’s installed on. As much as Docker has revolutionized the use of containers, Kubernetes has started depreciating it as early as 2020.

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As popular and user-friendly as Docker was, Kubernetes has announced that they will be phasing Docker out in favor of the Container Runtime Interface (CRI) because it is capable of supporting a wider range of runtimes.  However, there are still plenty of other container platforms to choose from other developers.  Existing containers will still work under Kubernetes without modification if run through a container platform.  These are some of the best container platforms that are compatible with Kubernetes.

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Buildah Container Platform

Buildah focuses on OCI images and is the best option for developers who want to build OCI containers without installing a standalone runtime. It can create images with or without Dockerfiles while circumventing the need for root privileges. Since this doesn’t require Dockerfiles, developers can implement code of their preferred language into the build process. Most importantly, the images created are compatible with Kubernetes.

Linux Daemon

Linux Daemon Container Platform

Linux Daemon as the name suggests runs on Linux exclusively and can oversee the operation of virtual machines and containers. This image platform is fast, secure, and easily scalable enough to tolerate more complex workloads. Snapshot features let users keep track of version history for easy roll-backs. It also incorporates direct hardware access, simultaneously minimizing operating costs and increasing efficiency.


Vagrant Container Platform

Vagrant’s primary focus is the creation of virtual environments and machines on different operating system types. Virtual environments can be replicated repeatedly across networks, machines, and networks. Environments are easily replicated at whatever stage of deployment with the capacity to share libraries and compilers with other environments and operating systems. For compatibility, Vagrant is compatible with most virtualization software.


Containerd Platform

Containerd is a container runtime project that Docker has been working with for a large part of its lifecycle. It’s designed to juggle all parts of the container lifecycle from creation to destruction. On the side, Containerd deals with image transfer or storage, inspecting container health, and manages network links. As a bonus, Containerd integrates with tools from various developers including AWS’ offerings of Kubernetes-dedicated services on AWS.


ZeroVM Container Platform

ZeroVM is secure and portable, capable of constructing isolated environments for running singular but safe processes. Compared to the other offerings which typically provide fully virtualized operating systems and running environments, ZeroVM embeds an application with an isolated environment to enable virtualization. It boost deployment speeds and improves security for apps that need to run unverified code.


Podman Container Platform

Podman is a container platform that heavily specializes in the maintenance of OCI images.  Despite being Linux-native, it can run on both Mac and Windows operating systems.  It leverages the libpod library for its management tools and helps to create and maintain the related containers.  This platform might be more ideal for Linux users who want containers with a longer lifespan.


runC Container Platform

RunC is a Command-Line Tool hosted by GitHub for constructing and managing containers on Linux around OCI specifications.  It’s designed as a low-level tool and isn’t ideal for end users.  While it is currently compatible with Docker, it does have a standalone version making runC ideal for users who already have runC as a part of their Docker operations.  Even when it’s not working with Docker, it is a portable and universal container runtime platform.  The only downside is that this platform lacks Windows support.


rkt Container Platform

Previously called CoreOS Rocket, rkt is designed around cloud-native environments and applications.  It uses a pod-native framework and can integrate seamlessly with other systems, making it probably one of the best Docker alternatives mentioned here.  Either by level or by account, users can establish several configurations.  With no central daemon, pods run in isolation from each other.  Unfortunately, rkt is no longer receiving continued updates.  It is still possible to develop the codebase under a different name while keeping all relevant segments of rkt mirrored for continued use.

Microsoft Azure Container Registry

Microsoft Azure Container Registry

Microsoft’s Azure Container Registry gives users a private Docker registry that helps store and manage container images. It has solid security options, Twist Lock compatibility, runtime protection, and scan functionality to search containers for potential vulnerabilities. It can run, deploy, scale, and work with Kubernetes. Azure is a good choice for users already invested in Microsoft’s cloud computing offerings.

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Dolan Cleary

Dolan Cleary

I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working with AllCode as a web technician. Currently working within the marketing department.

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