Docker Alternatives You Should Know About

Docker Alternatives You Should Know About

If your organization intends to develop apps for Windows, you should think about the Universal Windows Platform.
Containers are the future of app and service deployment for any firm looking to transition to an agile software development paradigm. Containers not only make app deployment much easier, but they also make it much easier to create portable apps that can be moved to any platform that supports the required runtime environment.

But which runtime environment do you employ? Docker has long been the de facto standard container runtime environment. However, over the last year, Kubernetes has moved to deprecate the Docker runtime, forcing some businesses to abandon Docker and use a different runtime to deploy their containers.

Which container runtimes are thought to be the best replacements for Docker? Before we get into that, keep in mind that unless you have a compelling reason to abandon Docker, you can easily stick with it. Docker is still in active development and excels at container deployment.

However, there are several circumstances in which you may need to make the changeover. You may have upgraded your hosting operating system to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), AlmaLinux, or Rocky Linux, for example. Docker may be difficult to install in this case.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best Docker alternatives.

What Can Your Company Use Instead of Docker?


Podman is the first option you should consider. One of the primary reasons for this is because Podman is pre-installed on most RHEL-based operating systems. And, because Podman is a near-drop-in replacement for Docker, if you’re already familiar with Docker, you’ll have no trouble learning how to use this runtime engine.

The main distinction between Docker and Podman is that Podman does not rely on a daemon. Podman instead launches containers as a child service, making it a daemon-free container technology.


LXD was created expressly for LXC Linux containers, and it offers the necessary interface for connecting to the LXC library and running the daemon in charge of networking, storage, and multiple container management.

LXC is a stand-alone application with limited capabilities. LXD, on the other hand, includes all of the features needed for modern container deployments.

The primary distinction between Docker and LXD is that LXD can run multiple processes simultaneously, whereas Docker only runs one process per container. Another significant distinction is that LXD is only available for Linux, whereas Docker is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows.


Containerd is a runtime engine that manages a container’s whole lifecycle. Containerd, like Docker, use a daemon process to create, run, stop, and destroy containers.

Although containerd can pull images from container registries and mount storage, it does not allow you to construct images or create volumes. Containerd is frequently regarded as an industry-standard runtime engine, which indicates the technology is well-supported.


RunC is an OCI-compatible runtime that was created with security and scalability in mind. Once upon a time, runC was a module included with Docker. RunC was finally released as a standalone utility in 2015, and it is now a widely used, standardized, and interoperable alternative. RunC also provides all of the low-level functionality that containers require to communicate with low-level Linux features like namespaces and control groups.

Is Kubernetes an Alternative to Docker?

Although both Kubernetes and Docker can deploy and manage containers, they are not the same. Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform for deploying and managing containers at scale, whereas Docker is a development tool for creating, sharing, and running containers.

Although that definition may be acceptable to some, others may point out that Docker has Docker Swarm, which allows for container deployment at scale with Docker. So, yes, they are comparable technologies.

However, there is one significant difference that many people overlook. Whereas Docker is fairly easy to install and use, Kubernetes can be a significant difficulty on all levels. Kubernetes is difficult to install and deploy simple applications and services.

Kubernetes, on the other hand, is perfectly at home deploying extremely complex full-stack applications and services at massive scale.

Kubernetes and Docker Swarm are a better comparison because they both achieve the same aim. You can choose either for your organisation as long as you recognise that Kubernetes has more moving components and a significantly steeper learning curve. Finally, if you want ease of deployment, choose Docker; if you want more control and features, choose Kubernetes.

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