This week, the Moby Project was introduced with the idea of componentizing Docker into a series of assemblies. At DockerCon, a neat demo was done using the moby tool to assemble various components into customized Linux operating system images. While very cool, this seemed to have confused people – we’d like to provide some more background and explanation about the Moby Project and how it affects Rancher, RancherOS, and our users.
Some background on the Moby Project
The transition to the Moby Project actually started a couple of months ago, with a discussion among the Docker Project maintainers, about the dual nature of Docker as both a product and a project. This dual nature served Docker (the project and the company) well in the beginning, but at the end of the day, Docker, Inc. must make hard decisions about what their product should and will be. As a group of maintainers, we agreed that the product and project should be split. Read more
Rancher Labs delivers fast, ultra-lightweight container operating system
Cupertino, Calif. – April 12, 2017 – Rancher Labs, a provider of container management software, today announced the general availability of RancherOS, a simplified Linux distribution built from containers, for containers. RancherOS eliminates any unnecessary libraries and services, resulting in a footprint three times smaller than that of other container operating systems. The simplified container environment reduces container boot time, increases efficiency and improves security by reducing the number of components that can be exploited.
“At BRCloud Services, we strive to deliver the best solutions to address our customers’ needs,” said Helvio Lima, CEO at BRCloud Services. “RancherOS epitomizes what modern infrastructure should look like. We’re thrilled to integrate the container operating system into our portfolio.”
RancherOS makes it simple to run containers at scale in development, test and production. By containerizing system services and leveraging Docker for management, the operating system provides an incredibly reliable and simple to manage container-ready environment. System services are defined by Docker Compose and automatically configured using cloud-init, reducing administrative burden. Unneeded libraries and services are eliminated, significantly reducing the OS footprint and minimizing the hassle of updating, patching and maintaining a container host operating system. Containers running on RancherOS boot in seconds, making the operating system ideal for running microservices or auto-scaling. Teams can use the Rancher container management platform to easily manage RancherOS at large scale in production.Read more
RancherOS v0.8.0 is now available! This release has taken a bit more time than prior versions, as we’ve been laying more groundwork to allow us to do much faster updates, and to release more often.
Using the Linux 4.9.9 mainline kernel Using the mainline stable Linux kernel should allow us to give container users access to new features faster – and will mean that RancherOS will have a simpler debug and update path for other software too.
Placing the installer container image in the ISO This change allows users to install RancherOS without internet access, and simplifies automated testability of changes. This adds about 13MB to the ISO, but means that you can do a basic install of RancherOS without pulling an image from the Docker Hub. Read more
We’re excited to announce that RancherOS is now available as a first-class operating system on Packet for all instance types. Packet is a bare metal cloud that combines the speed of physical hardware with the flexibility and ease of use of virtualized infrastructure.
We’ve always been fans of Packet and we make use of it internally quite often. In fact, we’ve recently decided to move our entire CI/CD pipeline over to Packet instances. Prior to native RancherOS support, we’ve been running it internally by booting another operating system and then running a custom installation script.
Even with this overhead we’ve had an excellent experience with Packet. After adding support for automated RAID installs and integrating with Packet’s provisioning system, we were able to create an official installation process and move away from our custom script.
The first version of RancherOS available on Packet is v0.7.0. This release brings many exciting features such as the ability to dynamically choose the Docker engine version via a cloud-config parameter and the ability to easily customize Docker daemon settings. In addition to these new features, RancherOS brings all of its traditional features to the table, such as being an order of magnitude smaller than other operating systems available on Packet.
We’d like to thank Andrew Hodges and the rest of the Packet crew for all of their help throughout this process.
Version v0.7.0 of RancherOS, which mainly contains bug fixes and enhancements, was recently released and is now available on our releases page. Since there hasn’t been a blog post since the v0.5.0 release, this post also includes some of the key features implemented as part of v0.6.0 and v0.6.1. In addition to switching the default Docker version to 1.12.1 and kernel version to 4.4.21, the following features have been implemented.
Better Support for Switching Docker Engines
It has always been part of the design of RancherOS to run two instances of Docker. The first is System Docker, which runs as PID 1 and is responsible for managing system services. The other, which we typically call User Docker or just Docker, is actually run as a container managed by System Docker. Starting with v0.6.0, the process for changing the User Docker container has been made much easier. Read more
We’ve recently released v0.5.0 of RancherOS, the latest major release since v0.4.0. Since then, we’ve moved RancherOS out of an alpha state and made many changes to improve both stability and user experience. In addition to various bug fixes and support for Docker 1.11, v0.5.0 includes the following changes:
Official Raspberry Pi Image
On our releases page you can now find an official Raspberry Pi image which is known to work on both Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. We’re especially excited about this since it offers users a cheap method of getting started with Docker and RancherOS. We’d like to thank the Hypriot team for their assistance on this feature.
Improved Build Process
Our build process has been refactored to support multiple architectures. With a given kernel, RancherOS can now be built for both ARM and ARM64 devices. In addition, the build process is now faster than it was previously which makes it easier than ever to create custom builds of RancherOS.
Console Switching without a Reboot
Switching to an alternate console can now be done without a reboot. The `ros console` subcommand was added to make this an easy process. The available consoles can be listed with `ros console list`. Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS consoles are currently available. The `ros console switch` command can be used to perform the switch.
Additional Configuration Options
Several additional cloud-config options were added.
`console` – Sets the console container without having to add system services
`resize_device` – Enables partition expanding with relying on a system service or network access
`mounts` – Implements the cloud-init `mounts` key, which allows a set of mounts to be specified
`sysctl` – Allows specifying sysctl settings
`registy_auths` – Configures private registry and private image authentication for system services
While the best way to check out these new features is to launch RancherOS, we’ve recorded a new demo that covers the basics of the operating system:
This is an exciting release for us to bring to our community and users. It’s great to watch RancherOS as it becomes a more stable operating system for a variety of uses. As always, we are keeping to the philosophy that RancherOS should only include the minimum necessary to get Docker up and running. To get started with RancherOS or learn more about it, check out our docs. If you have questions or issues, please head over to our Github page or to the RancherOS forums.