Docker and CoreOS work together to create standards for software containers

Docker and CoreOS are two companies working with the Linux foundation to form open standards for software containers under a project called Open Container Project (OCP). Other companies part of OCP include Amazon Web Services, Apcera, Cisco, CoreOS, Docker, EMC, Fujitsu Limited, Goldman Sachs, Google, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Linux Foundation, Mesosphere, Microsoft, Pivotal, Rancher Labs, Red Hat and VMware. The goal is of this foundation is to create standards around container format and runtime. Managed under a vendor-neutral, open source, open governance model, the OCP will remain independent from any company or company-sponsored project.

From a press release announced today:

Housed under the Linux Foundation, the OCP’s mission is to enable users and companies to continue to innovate and develop container-based solutions, with confidence that their pre-existing development efforts will be protected and without industry fragmentation. As part of this initiative, Docker will donate the code for its software container format and its runtime, as well as the associated specifications. The leadership of the Application Container spec (“appc”) initiative, including founding member CoreOS, will also be bringing their technical leadership and support to OCP.

The container movement has gained immense popularity among users because of the promise of portability, agility and interoperability across a broad set of infrastructures and tools. The rapid proliferation of container-based solutions, supported and leveraged by an ecosystem of millions of developers, tens of thousands of enterprises, thousands of contributors and hundreds of technology companies, has inspired industry leaders to collaborate on an open, standard container format and runtime to preserve that portability and interoperability for users.

Docker donates its de facto standard technology

As part of the new Project, Docker will donate both draft specifications and its existing code around an image format and container runtime to serve as cornerstone technologies under the governance of the OCP.

“Containers are revolutionizing the computing industry and delivering on the dream of application portability,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. “With the Open Container Project, Docker is ensuring that fragmentation won’t destroy the promise of containers. Users, vendors and technologists of all kinds will now be able to collaborate and innovate with the assurance that neutral open governance provides.

The Open Container Project: Goals for Standardization

The charter of the OCP is to establish set of common, minimal standards around container technology. In establishing the goals for the OCP, the Project has taken into account standardization efforts that are already underway by other ecosystem members. The maintainers of Docker’s libcontainer project (a group that currently includes independent developers and individuals from Docker, Red Hat and Google) will become the lead maintainers for the OCP, joined by two prominent maintainers of appc. They will support open design and contribution based upon the guiding principles of the effort.

The OCP and its members will work together to build a standard that ensures container formats and runtime are based on a core set of values that includes openness, security, portability, composability, minimalism and backward compatibility. Within three months, the parties aim to complete creating the Project, migrating code and publishing a draft specification building on the technology donated by Docker. Further detail on the effort and a copy of the OCP’s charter can be found at


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