Monday, 4 January 2016

Why do Linux Containers not run on Windows?

Windows Docker Containers

Windows 2016 only runs Windows Docker containers natively. You can't run your existing Linux Docker containers on Windows.

The paragraph above has surprised people so I'll quickly go over why. 

What are Containers?

Containers are a way to 
  • group together multiple executables and libraries of your choice
  • associate them with all the other libraries and executables they need in order to run
  • make the whole lot into one nice, tidy parcel. 
Containers are a clever install/distribute/run/move/manage tool. That's great - the concept has loads of very useful applications and the potential to be quite revolutionary in data centers.

However, containers are not VMs. The executables and libraries in your container are all running directly on your host. So, the executables and libraries in a Linux container have to be able to run natively on the Linux host. Similarly everything in a Windows container has to be able to run natively on Windows. So, the containers aren't shareable, they have to be made from different things.

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