The Very Best Docker Alternatives for 2023


Docker is a widely-used open-source container platform. With it, designers can automate the deployment, scaling and management of applications within containers, which are isolated, light-weight environments with all the essentials for running an application, such as code, system tools, libraries, and more. Through containers, developers can reduce the threat of discrepancies and ensure that applications run consistently throughout different environments, including advancement, testing, and production.

Although Docker is a favorite of lots of developers, DevOps teams, IT operations teams, startups, small companies and even large enterprises due to its mobility, scalability and seclusion, it does have some cons, such as intricacy, finding out curve, security obstacles, resource overhead and more. Fortunately, Docker is not the only DevOps tool of its kind, and this guide will break down Docker options in regards to functions, pros, cons and rates.

Containerd: Finest for groups needing an economical, simple container runtime

Containerd is a minimalistic, lightweight, stable and dependable container runtime. It is ideal for developers who want core container functionalities minus the included complexities of Docker.

Containerd docker alternative.

  • Functions of Containerd A few of Containerd’s leading functions consist of: Snapshotting.
  • Image management.
  • Modular architecture.

Namespace management. Compatibility with OCI. Containerd lets designers produce and manage container snapshots at specific time

points. Developers likewise get image management abilities for storing, distributing and managing container images.

Containerd’s modular architecture makes it extensible. Developers can utilize plugins and extensions to integrate with other container management platforms and tools to fit their unique needs. Containerd also satisfies Open Container Effort requirements. This makes it compatible with OCI-compliant runtimes and container images, permitting it to integrate perfectly with tools and platforms.

Pros of Containerd

Containerd’s pros as a Docker alternative consist of:

  • Stability.
  • Simpleness.
  • Modularity.
  • Cost.

Containerd is ideal for running containers in production environments considering that it was created with stability and reliability in mind. The programmer tool is lightweight and easy due to its concentrate on core container abilities, making it easy to utilize.

Containerd has a modular architecture. This lets developers integrate it with numerous container management tools and platforms, using supreme flexibility when building container ecosystems. And Containerd is likewise economical considering that it is open-source, totally free to use and removes the added expenditures that include Docker.

Cons of Containerd

Containerd’s areas of enhancement as a Docker alternative include:

  • Learning curve.
  • CLI user-friendliness.
  • Feature set.
  • Small environment.

Does Containerd provide more simpleness than Docker? Yes, but it still has a steep learning curve that could require time to conquer for those doing not have experience with the Command-Line User Interface (CLI) and container ideas. Speaking of the CLI, some may discover Containerd’s less easy to use than Docker’s, and it takes more work to by hand handle containers.

Containerd is a runtime that focuses on container execution and uses fewer features than Docker. And its neighborhood and community are smaller than Docker’s, leaving you with fewer combinations and pre-built images.

Prices of Containerd

Containerd is open-source software application, enabling designers to use, modify and disperse it without licensing charges. Utilizing other container innovation, plus infrastructure, networking, storage, cloud services, support, etc, might incur extra costs to run containerized applications.

See Also: Docker: The Smart Person’s Guide

Linux LXD: Finest for developers looking for an efficient system container tool for multi-tenant environments

Linux LXD is a robust, resource-efficient and flexible container hypervisor and system container supervisor that lets developers run multiple separated lightweight virtual devices through a single host. It is the perfect Docker alternative for those seeking optimized isolation with full-system containers and lightweight virtualization. Linux LXD especially stands out at multi-tenant environments and cloud computing.

Linux LXD containerization tool.

Functions of Linux LXD Some of Linux LXD’s

  • highlighted features as a Docker
  • option
  • include: Full-system containers.
  • Clustering. Snapshots. Checkpoints. Network management.

Must-read developer protection

Given that Linux LXD can support full-system containers, developers can run whole os within containers. Such assistance beats out application-level containers in regards to control and isolation, and it makes LXD suitable for hosting complex applications. Linux LXD lets users manage multiple LXD hosts as a single system. Such clustering assistance provides seamless container migration, load balancing and high accessibility, making container deployments more reputable and scalable.

Developers can use LXD to take pictures of containers at specific moments, and checkpoint assistance permits the repair of live snapshots later for fast and easy backup, recovery and rollbacks. Linux LXD also uses assistance for overlay networks, physical user interfaces, virtual bridges and other network choices.

Pros of Linux LXD

Linux LXD’s benefits consist of:

  • Cluster support.
  • Speed.
  • RESTful API.
  • Efficiency.

Linux LXD’s assistance of clustering leads to high accessibility for containers, load balancing and enhanced resource allocation and efficiency. When utilizing several processors, it carries out applications quicker than Docker.

Developers can use LXD’s RESTful API to integrate with other developer tools and systems to extend performance, and it provides more effectiveness for virtualization circumstances than running multiple virtual devices considering that its containers take in less resources.

Cons of Linux LXD

A few of the drawbacks of Linux LXD as a designer tool include:

  • Complexity.
  • User interface.
  • Paperwork.
  • Popularity.

Linux LXD is challenging to utilize. As such, it is not recommended for newbies with little experience dealing with Linux and containers. The Linux LXD interface is less refined than you will discover in competing programmer tools, and the documentation might also be better. The container tool is likewise less popular than Docker and has a smaller sized neighborhood, which might restrict assistance and resources, such as pre-built images.

Prices of Linux LXD

Linux LXD is free, open-source container software. Designers can utilize the tool to create and handle systems on Linux containers at no charge without worrying about licensing charges.

While Linux LXD is totally free, keep room in your budget for extra hardware, operating system, designer tool, etc costs ought to you choose to utilize LXD as part of a larger service or infrastructure.

Podman: Finest for security-conscious designers seeking an open-source containerization tool

Podman is an open-source containerization tool and Docker option with daemonless architecture, rootless containers, Kubernetes combination and drop-in compatibility with Docker CLI commands. It is perfect for security-conscious designers dealing with Kubernetes who are familiar with Docker workflows.

Podman Docker alternative.

  • Features of Podman Some of Podman’s leading functions
  • consist of: Daemonless architecture.
  • Support for rootless containers.
  • Kubernetes integration.

Docker drop-in compatibility. Podman’s operation in a daemonless mode gets rid of the need for a main daemon for container management, which minimizes security worries and the risk of a single failure point.

Podman supports rootless containers, which also lowers security risks.

Developers who work thoroughly with Kubernetes will take pleasure in the smooth compatibility between the 2 tools, and Podman is also drop-in suitable with Docker CLI commands.

Pros of Podman

Podman’s pros as a Docker option consist of:

  • Daemonless mode.
  • Rootless containers.
  • Combination with Kubernetes.
  • Image registry gain access to.

By operating in daemonless mode, Podman reduces the security dangers and complexity linked to a central daemon. And with its assistance for rootless containers, users can run containers without superuser opportunities. This decreases the attack surface area and dangers connected to running containers with root consents.

Podman’s “pods” align with the pod idea used in Kubernetes. This makes Podman a sensible option for those currently dealing with Kubernetes. And with some configuration, Podman can access container images from numerous registries, including Docker Hub.

Cons of Podman

Podman’s cons include:

  • Learning curve.
  • Linux focus.
  • Smaller ecosystem.

Users new to Podman or containerization concepts might require to invest some time in getting comfortable with the tool. Although it can run on macOS and Windows, Podman focuses primarily on Linux. As such, Docker may offer smoother combination due to its native assistance for macOS and Windows environments. And given that Docker has a bigger environment, using Podman might result in less assistance and less pre-built images, tools and combinations.

Rates of Podman

Like other Docker options on this list, Podman is open-source and free to utilize. However, your software advancement group may sustain extra expenses if you decide to use other resources (facilities, storage, cloud services, and so on) to run and manage containerized applications.

What to search for in container software application

Containers use a number of advantages to software application development teams. They promote DevOps, which can result in faster application development, screening and production. Considering that they are so lightweight compared to virtual devices, containers can likewise lead to much quicker start-up times, that makes it much easier to release frequent updates and enhancements. And considering that DevOps and IT groups understand that applications run the same in containers, they can delight in more consistency.

Those are some of the benefits of container software application. How can you choose the appropriate programmer tool to accomplish them? By trying to find numerous essential features, which begin with compatibility with market standards like Open Container Initiative requirements. The container software should support a reliable container runtime, such as Docker. It must be scalable and have the power to handle a number of containers without compromising performance.

Container software need to have security features like support for user namespaces, rootless containers, and so on. And it must have robust image management capabilities in regards to creation, distribution and versioning.

Other functions to try to find when searching for container software include orchestration if you intend on managing multiple containers and implementations, networking abilities (DNS resolution, service discovery, support for overlay networks, etc), and monitoring/logging. The perfect container software application must also have a large, active community, strong assistance and a huge ecosystem of plugins, tools and third-party integrations. Last but not least, make sure the expense and licensing of the container fit your software application development group’s requirements.

Final ideas on Docker options

The Docker alternatives listed above are a few of the very best offered. Review each alternative carefully to ensure it fits your requirements in regards to features, and its pros exceed the cons. Since while Docker is a top DevOps tool, it is not the only one available.


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