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Web, cloud, virtualization, Docker, and Linux


From time to time, I always feel that I have to choose the “best” Linux distro. And I feel that, various Linux distros are somehow annoying, why not just combine all the best features into one powerful OS? (That is why I always struggle for the distro like Arch Linux and Debian.) With the recent trend of the technology such as LXC and Docker, I found that the varieties of the Linux distros is really a good way as it is diverging and exploring the new solutions for our daily problem.

Web is a cross-platform solution, because whatever OS you are using, as long as you have a web browser which is compatible to the web standard, then you can use the web browser to browse the web and use the service properly. That is why, the Internet is so important and so popular in our daily life. Then the cloud storage solution allows us to store our files in the cloud, and the client software will synchronise the files among multiple devices. The synchronisation solves the problem not only the files, but the contacts, calendar, task lists, email, notes, photos, etc.

OpenStack is a term that connects cloud computing with the virtualisation. Previously, when talking about “virtualisation”, my knowledge is something like virtual machine such as Qemu, VirtualBox or VMware. In the Linux world, other than cross-platform virtual machine like VirtualBox, there are some other terms related to virtualisation, and I personally not very familiar with all of them: KVM, libvirt, vagrant, Xen, etc. And recently, LXC and Docker grab my attention, because they are OS-level virtualisation. Instead of virtual machine, what we created is called “container”. Furthermore, the container uses the same kernel as the host OS in spite of the container image is based on other OS.

As DistroWatch.com mentioned, rolling release is difficult to target, because it keeps changing. That is why some users prefer fixed release instead of rolling release, as they want something which can work tomorrow as it works today, namely, consistent.

With the solution like Docker and LXC, rolling release may not be any problem, because we can use rolling release distro to create container based on the fixed release. For instance, running Debian in Arch Linux, or vice versa. That means, developing a solution by targeting on a fixed release, will also work on any type of distros as long as LXC or Docker can work.

Similar to cloud which solves the cross-platform problem, in my opinion, container is a good solution to solve different distros problem.

About Allen Choong

A cognitive science student, a programmer, a philosopher, a Catholic.

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