Container refers to a unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies, including CPU, memory, file storage, and network connections. This packaging ensures that the application can run quickly and reliably across various computing environments. A helpful resource is the Application Container Security Guide by NIST (PDF).
Container Image is a standalone software package that bundles everything necessary to run an application, such as the code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, and settings. For quality container images, check the following resources:
In addition, here are some notable tools and platforms for managing and using containers:
- Docker Compose: Helps define and share multi-container applications using a YAML file.
- Kompose: Converts Docker Compose applications to container orchestrators such as Kubernetes or OpenShift.
- Containerd: Manages the complete container lifecycle, including image transfer, storage, execution, and more.
- Podman: An open-source tool for finding, running, building, sharing, and deploying applications using OCI Containers and Container Images.
- Lima: Launches Linux VMs with automatic file sharing and port forwarding, in a similar fashion to WSL2.
- Colima: Enables container runtimes on macOS and Linux with minimal setup.
- Portainer Community Edition: A lightweight service delivery platform for managing containerized applications.
- Yacht: A container management UI that prioritizes templates and 1-click deployments.
- Kitematic: Simplifies managing Docker containers via a graphical user interface.
- Open Container Initiative: Aims to create open industry standards around container formats and runtimes.
- Buildah: Builds OCI images and can be used with Docker, Podman, and Kubernetes.
- Red Hat Quay: Builds, stores, and distributes applications and containers.
And for container monitoring, notifications, and updates:
- ctop: Offers a concise overview of real-time metrics for multiple containers.
- Autoheal: Monitors and restarts unhealthy Docker containers.
- Dozzle: Provides live monitoring of container logs via a web-based interface.
- Diun: Sends notifications when a Docker image is updated on a Docker registry.
- WatchTower: Automates Docker container base image updates.
For container development environments and proxies:
- Kasm Workspaces: Offers container streaming, virtual desktops, secure web browsing, and data loss prevention.
- Nginx Proxy: Automates the setup of a container running nginx and docker-gen for reverse proxy configs.
- Visual Studio Code Dev Containers: Allows Docker containers to be used as full-featured development environments.