Software developers have been using containers since they first came out. The ability to design programs that run on several host systems is provided by a containerized environment for developers.
The most well-known software containerization platform is called Docker, and it includes a number of tools, including the Docker Hub and Desktop. In contrast, Containerd is only a runtime for containers that manages their formation and lifespan.
Despite the widespread belief that the two utilities are equivalent, their actual characteristics are very different. This post will go over the use cases for both Docker and Containerd and compare them in detail.
What is Docker?
First introduced in 2013, Docker is an end-to-end solution for container development that enables developers to build software containers that can be installed on a variety of platforms.
During the Container creation process, Docker interprets the commands defined in a Docker file. These commands outline the actions required to configure your project’s working environment inside the Container.
For an improved user experience, the Docker ecosystem offers a number of other tools including CLI, Docker Desktop, Kubernetes, etc.
What is Containerd?
Originally created by Docker, Containerd is an open-source container runtime. Any container service, like Docker, is based on a container runtime. It is a daemon (background) process in charge of handling duties related to the formation of containers, like creating networks, allocating resources and storage, and obtaining images from repositories.
When building Containers from images, Docker uses Containerd as its runtime. In essence, it serves as an interface (API) that enables users to carry out low-level operations using Containerd. Put simply, Docker executes commands in the terminal and then passes those orders to its low-level runtime, Containerd, which does all the necessary operations.
Containerd VS Docker: A Head-to-Head Comparison
Docker and Containerd are slightly distinct technologies, yet they function similarly. But since Containerd is the primary runtime, it can carry out most Docker functions on its own, which is where the distinctions between the two become more noticeable.
|An end-to-end Container creation tool.
|A Container Runtime.
|High level tool with a user-friendly interface.
|Low-level Daemon program.
|Contains a Container Runtime and several additional
utilities like Kubernetes, Docker-Compose, and Docker Desktop.
|Contains all the functions required to build a container.
|Capable of producing photos, submitting them to repositories,
and build Containers.
|Only builds and manages Containers
An standalone tool for managing containers, Docker offers a number of services and tools to assist developers. Its typical services include a few of these:
- Docker Desktop: A desktop program for creating and deploying container images that features an interactive user interface with buttons. Additionally, it enables you to launch Container environments from a terminal and customize Container resources.
- Docker Compose: Compose is a command-line tool that lets you set up and operate several containers at once. It uses a YAML file to provide configurations for things like network modes, external volumes, and Docker build files. With these options, a single command can start numerous Containers.
- Docker Hub: You can create and submit program images for later usage using this image repository from Docker. Additionally, you can download and use a variety of public photos from it for your projects.
The productivity of developers is greatly increased by all of these technologies.
In contrast, Containerd is a straightforward runtime that includes OCI-compliant rules for building and managing containers. As a daemon process, its sole purpose is to oversee the life cycle of a container; it comes with no extra utilities.
Though it was developed by Docker, Containerd can be used both on its own and as a runtime service for many other Container services, such as Kubernetes.
Docker is a high-level API that may be used to accomplish a number of tasks using few instructions.
This simple run command looks across the local directory for the Container image. By default, it looks for the image on Docker Hub if it cannot be located. Upon locating the image, it extracts it, constructs the container, and launches it.
These tasks can also be carried out using the Containerd CLI, but you will need to explicitly indicate how to create and deploy the image after pulling it from a repository (using the image URI).
Moreover, `.docker` files can be used to create Container images using Docker. This file provides a few instructions that instruct Docker on what has to be done in order to properly create a container. After that, this container image serves as the container’s blueprint and may be used to create new containers on any host system.
Containerd, on the other hand, lacks this feature by default. It can’t create photos by itself, but it can work with other programs like buildkit. In passing, it should be noted that buildkit has become the new default builder for Docker as of version 23.0, replacing the previous one.
In terms of experience and usefulness, Docker comes out on top. It provides all the features of Containerd, a contemporary user interface, a high-level interface, and much more. While Docker provides the simplicity, accessibility, and efficiency that most developers seek, Containerd would be a better fit for low-level programming.
Comprehending the differences between Dockered and conventional containers is essential for efficient implementation and administration in contemporary information technology settings. Make well-informed decisions on your containerization techniques to improve productivity and simplify operations.
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