Difference Between RKT and Docker
RKT(rocket) vs Docker Both are popularly known among developers who work on virtual machines and container-based platforms. Docker is a leading container-based platform that supports continuous high-velocity innovation enabling multiple organizations to seamlessly build process and share applications which can be even a legacy one. Docker is created as part of the open-source project in 2013 and has garnished instant fame because of the features isolation, Rapid integration and build-up, reproducibility and testability, etc. RKT is more knows as “app container at run time” among the developers and is a CLI based application container. Rkt which is Rocket is known for its fast, composable and secure providing feature. Many users have noted security concerns with docker and hence CoreOS has to release RKT as a competitor to docker in 2014 and this also became popular because of if its features such as secure, interoperable, etc.
Head to Head Comparison between RKT and Docker (Infographics)
Below are the top 5 comparisons between RKT vs Docker:
Key differences between RKT and Docker
Let us discuss some key differences between RKT vs Docker in the following points:
- The main key difference between RKT and Docker will be a daemon. Rocket does not have any daemon associated with it so when the user runs “rocket run coreos/etcd”, it is directly executing under the process that started it. Whereas Docker daemon is the service that will be running on the host operating system and this particular daemon runs on Linux but there is the feasibility to run on macOS and windows as well.
- Since Rocket is app container runtime, another major difference would be Rocket can run multiple applications inside the container unless the docker. Thus we will be having active monitoring init system that ensures that we have ability to restart the process when more than once processed are sharing the same container
- Another major difference would be with container image security. In Docker, there will be a public image registry that can be downloaded and customized. Thus there will be the possibility that server image can be replaced with malware one and this will be huge isolation. But in RKT signature verifications are done so as soon as the server image is downloaded it will check with the signature to validate if it has tampered. This drawback with docker has some relief with some added security feature but it is not as secure as RKT
- Docker runs its containers from the root and this will be the superuser privilege and many server owners feel that this can complicate things. In RKT new containers will never be created from the root privileged process and thus even if container breakout happens the attacker will not be able to get root privileges
Comparison Table of RKT vs Docker
The table below summarizes the comparisons between RKT vs Docker:
|Ease of Use||CoreOS provides a tectonic platform that allows the visual management of containers and providing better ease of use to its user.||Docker also has a GUI based manager for managing docker containers and is known as Kitematic.|
|API and Extensibility||GRPC is the API used by CoreOS a high performing, open-source and universal framework. The API services used by RKT are designed to run without root privileges and has a read-only interface. The API service which is used is optional for running pods, Start or stop or crash of API won’t affect any pods or even images.||There is API for interacting with Docker daemon as well as SDKs for GO and Python known as Docker Engine API. The SDKs can allow us to scale and build docker applications quickly and easily. Docker Engine API is also a restful API which can be accessed by an HTTP client such as curl or weget.|
|Capability Set||In the containers platform docker and rkt are dominant players and both vendors have shown dominance with highlighting individual features. Rcketr or RKT is more security-focused container solutions, it is an open-source lightweight Linux OS on top of Linux kernel.||In docker to have advanced capabilities, enterprise container orchestration or graded security feature or enhanced application management is provided by docker datacenter solutions.|
|Community Support||Because of its popularity and dominance RKT has developed strong the community of the user and open-source developer where most of the questions get cleared. They have versatile documentation support as well. There are CoreOS user forum available also #Coseos IRC channel||Docker also has versatile community support because of its huge number of users. In docker official site you can learn more about docker and get to know about lots of questions and also about its community support. It also provides appreciations to its versatile user by the name of docker captains and encourages them to share their knowledge in docker with others|
|Security||Rkt provides advanced features of security by features such as KVM which stands for Kernel-based virtual machine container-based isolation, Integration with TPM, Support from SELinux which provide control to fine-grained access that can be integrated into containers, Signature validation feature to images and also able separate privileges. With these features, RKT will be one and only one choice for the security-minded people.||Docker has a few major areas where security can be considered and they are Intrinsic Security of the Kernel with namespace and cgroups. The security feature of docker daemon itself, loopholes in the profile of container configuration when being customised by the user. The namespace provides the most straight forward and the first form of isolation. In docker, each container also gets its own stack of the network which means that the container in question will not get access to the socket or the interface of another container. Thus providing container isolation. Cgroups or control groups are another level of key components for docker when it comes to security. cgroups provide meaning full metrics providing each the container the fair share of system resources like CPU, disk I/O etc.|
Thus when it comes to containers, Docker and CoreOS RKT will be the popular names that we will hear and the choice will purely depend on the use case. If we are more integrated towards security then RKT will be the option. Docker is used by PayPal, eBay, EBC, ADP, Spotify, GE appliance, etc. Similarly, RKT is used in organizations such as Verizon. Viacom, Salesforce.com, etc.
This is a guide to the top differences between RKT 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 –