Top Docker alternatives for 2022

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on

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  • buildkit

    concurrent, cache-efficient, and Dockerfile-agnostic builder toolkit

    Buildkit is a new image building engine for Docker developed as part of the Moby project. From Docker ≥v18.09, Buildkit is integrated into docker build, but it also comes as a standalone tool.

  • podman

    Podman: A tool for managing OCI containers and pods.

    Podman, a container engine developed by RedHat, is one of the most prominent alternatives to Docker for building, running, and storing container images. Podman maintains compatibility with the OCI container image spec just like Docker, meaning Podman can run container images produced by Docker and vice versa.

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  • kaniko

    Build Container Images In Kubernetes

    Developed by Google, Kaniko is used to develop container images inside of a container or a Kubernetes cluster. Like Buildah, Kaniko does not require a daemon, and it can build images from Dockerfiles without depending on Docker.

  • distribution-spec

    OCI Distribution Specification

    In this article, we’ll cover a few Docker alternatives that act as drop-in replacements for various aspects of the Docker ecosystem. Each tool covered in this tutorial adheres to the Open Containers Initiative (OCI) specification, which includes specifications for container runtime, container distribution, and container images. Let’s get started!

  • skopeo

    Work with remote images registries - retrieving information, images, signing content

    Skopeo is yet another tool developed by RedHat for various operations on container images and image repositories. Skopeo can be used as an accompanying tool for Podman and Buildah, which are both intended to inspect images, transfer them from one registry to another, and bulk delete them if necessary.

  • Moby

    Moby Project - a collaborative project for the container ecosystem to assemble container-based systems

    Buildkit is a new image building engine for Docker developed as part of the Moby project. From Docker ≥v18.09, Buildkit is integrated into docker build, but it also comes as a standalone tool.

  • dive

    A tool for exploring each layer in a docker image

    Dive is a tool for inspecting, analyzing, and optimizing container images. Dive can show image contents by layer, highlighting the differences between each. Dive can also analyze your image, providing a percentage score for efficiency by estimating wasted space, which is helpful when you’re trying to reduce your image size.


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  • runc

    CLI tool for spawning and running containers according to the OCI specification

    runc is a CLI tool that spawns and runs containers on Linux according to the OCI specification. runc was formerly embedded into Docker as a module but was later spun into a standalone tool in 2015.

  • crun

    A fast and lightweight fully featured OCI runtime and C library for running containers

    runc remains the default container runtime in Docker, Podman, and most other container engines. An alternative to runc is crun, which was developed by RedHat and written in C instead of Go like most Linux container tools.

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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