Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in cloud computing, virtualization, and networking, all with an open source view

Some Reading on Application Containers

One aspect of my pending migration to Ubuntu Linux on my primary laptop has been the opportunity to explore “non-traditional” uses for Linux containers. In particular, the idea of using Docker (or systemd-nspawn or rkt) to serve as a sandbox (of sorts) for GUI applications really intrigues me. This isn’t a use case that many of the container mechanisms are aiming to solve, but it’s an interesting use case nevertheless (to me, anyway).

So, in no particular order, here are a few articles I found about using Linux containers as application containers/sandboxes (mostly focused around GUI applications):

A Docker-Like Container Management using systemd
Running containers without Docker
Containerizing Graphical Applications on Linux with systemd-nspawn
Debian Containers with systemd-nspawn
Using your own containers with systemd-nspawn and overlayfs
Using systemd-nspawn for some containerization needs

I was successful in using Docker to containerize Firefox (see my “dockerfiles” repository on GitHub), and was also successful in using systemd-nspawn in the same way, including the use of overlayfs. My experiments have been quite helpful and informative; I have some ideas that may percolate into future blog posts.

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