Alpine Linux Goes All In for Docker

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Alpine Linux Goes All In for Docker

The Alpine Linux distribution provides a small footprint, security-focused host operating system on which to run Docker containers.

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Alpine Linux 3.3.1 Debuts

Alpine Linux iterates quickly, with a new release out every eight weeks or less. The most recent release of Alpine is version 3.3.1, which came out Jan. 6.

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Text-Based Console Is the Default

Alpine Linux currently has a text-based installation method as its default, meaning there isn't a graphical installer. Also by default, Alpine doesn't install a graphical interface and the operating system is controlled by the command line. Users can, however, choose to install a desktop graphic user interface, post install.

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Multiple Choices for Time and Remote Access Tools

As part of the Alpine Linux setup, new users get to choose which remote access administration tool they want to use. For many Linux distributions, OpenSSH is the default, while Alpine gives users a choice of OpenSSH and Dropbear. Dropbear offers some of the same functionality as OpenSSH, but with a smaller memory requirement.

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Alpine Built on an Optimized Busybox Base

Among the key tools that enable Alpine is the open-source Busybox toolset, which provides commonly used Linux/Unix features for small and embedded systems.

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Security Hardened With Grsecurity

Alpine Linux benefits from the Grsecurity controls for Linux, which aims to improve security with memory corruption defenses and file system hardening techniques.

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Alpine Linux Uses the apk Package Management System

Alpine Linux uses the apk tools to install, upgrade and delete software running on a system.

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Alpine Linux Enables Smaller Docker Deployments

Among the key advantages of Alpine Linux is the ability to have a small base image for a host operating system that runs Docker containers. The Docker Hub repository provides a comparison of Alpine versus Ubuntu, with the Alpine image coming in at 16MB, while Ubuntu is 232MB.

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Alpine Linux Lead Developer Works for Docker Inc.

Another direct connection between Alpine Linux and Docker has to do with employment. Natanael Copa, one of the lead developers of Alpine Linux, is now a Docker Inc. employee. Solomon Hykes founder of Docker has recently pledged to migrate the Docker official image library from Ubuntu to Alpine Linux.

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Containers Gain Fans: From Finance to Entertainment Worlds

In the last several years, the hype surrounding containers has grown, but so has their usage. At the Tectonic Summit earlier this month, the focus wasn't on hype, but rather on real-world use-cases, as container technology enters mainstream IT. Tectonic is a commercial product built by CoreOS, and includes CoreOS Linux as the operating system, the rocket (Rkt) container platform and the Kubernetes container management system. CoreOS competes and collaborates with Docker Inc., the lead commercial sponsor of Docker containers. Users and real-world deployment stories dominated the event. Financial services firms were well-represented among the users. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch discussed how and why they are using containers. The International Securities Exchange (ISE) explained how it is using a CoreOS container-based infrastructure to enable its trading platform and 150...
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