What is Microcontainers?
A Microcontainer contains only the OS libraries and language dependencies required to run an application and the application itself. Nothing more. Rather than starting with everything but the kitchen sink, start with the bare minimum and add dependencies on an as needed basis.
Microcontainers is a tool in the Container Tools category of a tech stack.
Microcontainers is an open source tool with 1.6K GitHub stars and 136 GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Microcontainers's open source repository on GitHub
Why developers like Microcontainers?
Here’s a list of reasons why companies and developers use Microcontainers
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- Size — MicroContainers are small. As shown above, without changing any code the image is 22 times smaller than a typical image.
- Fast/Easy Distribution — Because the size is so much smaller, it’s much quicker to download the image from a Docker registry (eg: Docker Hub) and therefore it can be distributed to different machines much quicker.
- Improved Security — Less code/less programs in the container means less attack surface. And, the base OS can be more secure (more below).
Microcontainers Alternatives & Comparisons
What are some alternatives to Microcontainers?
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Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
With Compose, you define a multi-container application in a single file, then spin your application up in a single command which does everything that needs to be done to get it running.
Rancher is an open source container management platform that includes full distributions of Kubernetes, Apache Mesos and Docker Swarm, and makes it simple to operate container clusters on any cloud or infrastructure platform.
Swarm serves the standard Docker API, so any tool which already communicates with a Docker daemon can use Swarm to transparently scale to multiple hosts: Dokku, Compose, Krane, Deis, DockerUI, Shipyard, Drone, Jenkins... and, of course, the Docker client itself.
Machine lets you create Docker hosts on your computer, on cloud providers, and inside your own data center. It creates servers, installs Docker on them, then configures the Docker client to talk to them.