Difference Between LXC and Docker
Both Docker and LXC are quite extensively used among the programmers in dev/sit and Production regions. As the industry moves beyond the Virtual Machines siting the heavy resource utilization, the containers have become prominent. There are many types of containers are available, and out of these two prominent ones are the LXC and Docker. The choice to adopt which container is purely dependent on the use case and application type. In accordance with its popularity, Docker is a great platform to build new webscale microservices application and optimise the test or run regions. When it comes to LXC, which can be lightweight, it also provides a zero impact alternative to traditional hypervisor-based Virtualization methods, and hence LXC is better opted for applications that are intensive in data I/O operations.
Head to Head Comparison between LXC and Docker (Infographics)
Below are the top 7 comparisons between LXC vs Docker:
Key differences between LXC and Docker
Let us discuss some key differences between LXC vs Docker in the following points:
- Even though LXC and Docker use containers to isolate and encapsulate the application workload, their major differences between the two.
- LXC is a container technology that gives us lightweight Linux containers, and Docker is single application virtualization that is based on top of the containers. Thus even though based on container utilization, they may sound similar, but they are completely different when it comes to usage.
- Unlike the lightweight LXC containers, docker does not tend to behave lightweight VM’s. The single application restriction of the docker is strictly by design.
- We can easily log on to our LXC containers and treat it as an operating system and install our required applications and other services and work as expected. But when you consider the Docker, the base OS template trimmed down to a single application environment and does not have proper init daemons, cron, Syslog, etc.
- Docker has added multiple interesting changes such as layered containers, a registry for images, etc to container-based technologies and thus has gathered much buzz among the developers.
- When it comes to most recent updates, then LXC can support unprivileged containers, which let the non-root user deploy the containers, and docker does not support this yet.
- So the container’s choice is purely use case dependent and it is up to the user to decide. Docker approach can necessitate customized approaches at each stage to accomplish multiple tasks such as installing, running and scaling the containers.
Comparison Table of LXC vs Docker
The table below summarizes the comparisons between LXC vs Docker:
|Operating System||Provides Nominal operating system environment that can support and handle all the required features and capabilities of Linux Environment.||Docker platform runs natively on Linux but can also run on windows. Later support for macOS is also included, and thus Docker is not completely Linux dependent but natively uses the operating system on which it is running.|
|Popularity||LXC is quite old, but due to some limitations did not get much popularity among the developers and admin.||When it comes to popularity for containerization technologies, docker is the winner. Docker took containers beyond the OS level to merge the granular world of applications by itself. We can say docker is an extension to LXC and hence gained popularity.|
|Tooling||When it comes to tools, LXC tooling sticks is quite close to traditional system admins running bare metal servers have used to, i.e. direct SSH access, which allows the usage of automation scripts that the team might have utilized on bare metal or virtual machines running on Virtual Box and any other virtualized production environments. This portability feature makes the migration of any applications from a traditional Linux server to run on LXC containers quite seamless, but only if you are not using any other containerization solutions such as dockers already.
The LXC CLI can help run multiple commands such as managing tasks, creating, launching, and deleting the LXC containers.
When it comes to tools in the case of Docker is centred around the Docker CLI (Command Line Interface), with commands for listing the images, gathering and handling Docker images. Docker Hub, which is a public image registry, can provide access to a variable number of images for frequently used applications. If required then, you can also download the required operating system images, which lets you run on a docker container. For example, let’s say, a Linux operating system in a Docker container. This particular function would be typically associated with some LXC containers, which allows us to run operating systems without much a need for VM. However, Docker containers are lighter weight for handling applications to support the fast pacing, achieve higher scalability, and deploy the required applications with the microservice architecture.
|EcoSystem and Cloud Support||We don’t need any other vendor for the tooling of LXC, as an ecosystem that we already use on Linux will be enough to support LXC as well.||Docker requires much more specialized support for a sizeable ecosystem. Docker is supported by major cloud providers such as AWS, IBM, Google, and Microsoft Azure. Docker ecosystem includes Docker Swarn to manage docker container cluster; Docker Trusted Registry to manage Docker images’ registry; Docker Compose to launch multiple applications on multiple containers that require an exchange of data and finally, Docker Machine to create docker enable virtual machine.|
|Ease of Use||Moving from VM to LXC is quite easier as LXC runs a standard init for system images, which lets you run on a docker container. For example, lest say, a Linux operating system in a Docker container. This particular function would be typically associated with some LXC containers, which allows us to run operating systems without much a need for VM. However, Docker containers are lighter weight for handling applications to support the fast pacing, achieve higher scalability, and deploy the required applications with the microservice architecture.||When it comes to the migration is a bit complex when it is completed to LXC from VM, but for developers, since they need not use raw low-level API will be simpler and easily learnable.|
LXC offers quiet a big advantage of a Virtual environment on Linux, providing isolation from one another. It is also a cheaper and faster alternative to VM. Docker is a significant extension of docker capabilities and hence more preferred among the developer and organizations.
This is a guide to the top differences between LXC vs Docker. Here we discuss the key differences with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –