Connect with me

Containers 101 Part 3 - Popular Container Solutions

containers Feb 04, 2024


In the rapidly evolving world of container technology, Docker has become synonymous with containerization, playing a pivotal role in popularizing the concept. However, Docker is just one of the many container engines and runtimes that have emerged to meet the diverse needs of developers and organizations. This post will explore some of the most notable container solutions available today, offering a brief overview of each to help you understand the landscape of container technologies. You can read Part 2 at The parts of this series are also captured in the Containers 101 YouTube video, which is available on the Trainso YouTube Channel.

Popular Container Solutions

LXC (Linux Containers)

  • Introduced in 2008, LXC is a pioneer in Linux container solutions, providing a lightweight virtualization method to run multiple isolated Linux systems (containers) on a single control host.


  • Offers a simple way to run a command or an entire OS in a lightweight namespace container, akin to chroot but with more capabilities, making it a powerful tool for creating and managing container environments.


  • The most well-known container engine, Docker has been instrumental in popularizing container technology. It simplifies container creation and management through a daemon-based architecture, supporting both community and enterprise editions. Dockerfiles are used to automate image creation, and images can be stored and shared via DockerHub.


  • Designed with a daemon-less architecture, Podman directly runs containers under the user's control, avoiding the need for root access. It introduces the concept of pods for grouping containers and supports Docker command syntax, making it a versatile tool for container management.


  • An open-source container runtime specifically designed to integrate with Kubernetes, providing a lightweight alternative to run Kubernetes pods and containers without additional overhead.


  • Developed by Docker and the Open Container Initiative (OCI), runC is a low-level container runtime focused on creating and running containers according to OCI specifications.


  • Graduating from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in 2019, containerd is a robust, low-level container runtime designed to be the core container runtime in Docker and other container platforms.

Windows Server Containers

  • Microsoft's solution to containerization, allowing for the deployment and management of Windows-based containers directly on Windows Server, integrating seamlessly with native Windows technologies.

Docker: The Trailblazer

Docker, with its client-server architecture, uses a daemon to manage container operations, from image creation to container execution. It offers both community and enterprise editions, catering to a wide range of use cases. Docker's approach to containerization, including the use of Dockerfiles for building images, has set the standard for container management.

Podman: The Challenger

Podman offers a daemon-less, rootless mode for running containers, addressing some of the security concerns associated with Docker's daemon-based architecture. By allowing users to run containers without root privileges and supporting Docker command syntax, Podman presents a compelling alternative for those seeking more secure and flexible container solutions.

Docker vs. Podman

While Docker uses a daemon for container management, Podman operates without a central daemon, running containers directly under the user's control. This difference in architecture means Podman can run in rootless mode by default, enhancing security by eliminating the need for root access for container operations.

The Open Container Initiative (OCI)

The OCI plays a critical role in ensuring interoperability among container technologies. Founded by Docker and other leaders in the field, the OCI establishes open standards for container formats and runtimes, enabling containers created by one engine to run seamlessly on another. runC, the OCI's reference implementation for a container runtime, underscores the initiative's importance in standardizing container technologies.


The container ecosystem is rich and diverse, with each solution offering unique features and benefits. From Docker's wide adoption and ease of use to Podman's security-focused architecture and the foundational role of runC and containerd in the ecosystem, there's a container solution for every need. Understanding these core technologies and their differences is crucial for anyone looking to navigate the world of containerization effectively.

See also

Read part 4 at

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.