While we say "Docker is just one possible container runtime", are there other implementations used in production environments as of late 2019, and do they have different approaches? (while Docker being a console wrapper for LXC more or less, right).

  • @030 how is this question for an opinion? I was not asking like "are there BETTER implementations"
    – Ta Mu
    Nov 12, 2019 at 12:25
  • 1
    @030 the available answer fully satisfies the question, specifically by the reference to the CNF. I have not asked for a complete list of other runtimes used in production as real Docker alternatives.
    – Ta Mu
    Nov 12, 2019 at 13:39
  • Also, Docker isn't 'a console wrapper' for LXC, they are fundamentally different, both in concept and in technical implementation
    – chaosaffe
    Nov 12, 2019 at 19:01
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    @Peter I will reopen it, but I still think that it is a little bit too broad and asking for alternatives.
    – 030
    Nov 13, 2019 at 19:30
  • thx - indeed this question came up at today's devops conference. the link in the answer to CNCF is really helpful on this context.
    – Ta Mu
    Nov 13, 2019 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


Are there other implementations

Yes. The Container Runtime group of the Cloud-Native Computing Foundation has a list of runtimes:

They include:

Do they have different approaches

While they cannot all be compared with each other directly, they all offer a way to provide a container runtime. In some cases, this runtime leverages the kernel, in others, they are in userspace. While some are explicitly proprietary, others are explicitly Open. Some are supported by large corporations (Google, IBM, Amazon, Alibaba), others by foundations or open source communities.

All of these are used in production, but perhaps vary in their popularity.

  • 1
    All of the listed Container Runtimes listed that implement the Container Runtime Interface (CRI), but there are also others that don't implement the CRI as well, such as systemd-nspawn
    – chaosaffe
    Nov 12, 2019 at 19:07
  • The first link is dead. Jan 10, 2023 at 2:22

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