Top 10 Docker Alternatives of 2021

As we know, Docker is used to creating containers isolating a working environment from the rest of the team. The great advantage of docker is that it allows us to work with different technologies on the same computer. With Docker we can have applications running Python, Ruby, PHP, Node JS, or any other language on the same server, mounting each one in a separate container with its own database engine.

Top Docker Alternatives

Like all technology, it always has disadvantages and Docker is no exception. Some of them are that you must run with root privileges and stopping the container removes all the information inside it except for what is in the volumes.

10 Best Alternatives to Docker

I have shared some similar software of Docker for creating and managing containers that contain some variations and improvements.


OpenVZ is a Linux-based, popular operating system-level server virtualization technology that creates multiple, secure and isolated virtual environments within a single physical server, allowing for increased server utilization and performance. Virtual servers ensure that applications do not conflict and can be restarted independently.

It provides a Network File System (NFS) that allows access to network disk files from OpenVZ virtual environments. This tool supports checkpointing and real-time migrations for IA64 processors, a feature that no other open-source operating system virtualization software offers and that enables system administrators to move virtual servers between physical servers without end-user intervention and without the need for expensive storage systems.

OpenVZ is an open-source technology that forms the basis for SWsoft’sVirtuozzo virtualization product. It gives Standard support for VLANsin virtual environments, allowing each network packet to be tagged on different networks. Support for FUSE (Filesystem in userspace), which enables, for example, an FTP or SSH server to be displayed as a file system within a virtual environment.

System supports: Linux


This tool can be termed as the perfect platform for developers. Taking on the role of DevOps, so you don’t have to, this application does all the building, configuring, and managing your infrastructure, so you can focus on code, not configuration.

With the help of this tool, you have the freedom to make consistent and isolated development environments that can be easily shared with anyone and can be implemented on any host (AWS, Digital Ocean, Azure, Google, etc.). Developers can run their apps consistently across local machines and cloud providers.

Nanobox helps you to manage production applications with the Nanobox dashboard with pretty much ease. It also provides assistance to deploy and scale with zero downtime, and monitor the status of your application with the statistics dashboard and historical log transmission and output.

System supports: Web-based


PodMan is a virtualized and container manager and it is available for Linux distributions and what is special about it is that it does not need a Daemon to run but it runs directly on runC.PodMan allows us to run containers with users without root privileges, something extremely important at the security level!

With this tool, we can not just only inspect OCI image without even downloading them, but we can also take elements from one repository and move it to another directly without this image passing through our device; we would not have to download the image in order to inspect or use its components. It allows us to run containers that have Systemd enabled by default, without any modification.

It supports socket activation, so we can use a system to configure a socket and have access to a remote API through which to communicate with this tool. It is able to use UID separation using namespaces, which gives us an extra layer of isolation when running our containers.

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System supports: Linux


VirtualBox or VB is considered to be a kind of software virtualization package that sits on an application-based operating system.VirtualBox approves that attached operating systems be placed on it, as a guest operating method, and made on a virtual medium. Related operating systems contain Windows XP, Windows Vista, mac OS X, Windows 7, Linux, Open Solaris, and Solaris.

VirtualBox is packed with several features that you may not even be able to utilize it, even if you use it frequently to build virtual machines. VMware retains numerous of the best performances in its paid adaptations, but all VirtualBox actions are completely free. VirtualBox has primary support for 3D graphics. You will enjoy everything possible to train this

VirtualBox manages to establish snapshots that store the state of a virtual artifact. Manage to return to the hidden state at any time by replacing a snapshot. Reproductions are similar to leaving a virtual artifact in a storage state, but it manages to have multiple hidden states and rehabilitate them at any time.

System supports: Windows, macOS, Linux, Solaris and OpenSolaris.
File size: 102 MB(for windows)


RKT belongs to the Core OS distribution, developed for container virtualization and handling. Today it is one of Docker’s biggest competitors and that is why it tops this list. RKT works on Linux platforms like ArchLinux, Core OS, of course, Fedora, NixOS, and others.

One of the big reasons Core OS decided to launch RKT is security. Before version 1.1 Docker needed to run as a root user. A very serious vulnerability that allows superuser level attacks. On the contrary, RKT allows us to use the standard group handling for Linux permissions, allowing the container to be run once created with a user without root privileges.

Docker has the advantage that it is easier to integrate while RKT involves more manual installation and configuration. In any case, it is still a very good alternative to Docker since it allows us to use APPC images (App Container Images) and also Docker Images. In turn, it also allows integration with the Kubernetes and AWS Orchestrator.

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System supports: Linux


Singularity is an operating system virtualizer that is used in HPC (High-Performance Computing) since it does not need to run with a user with root privileges and is ideal for use in shared spaces due to its level of isolation. Its security philosophy is that “Unsafe clients run unsafe containers” which totally changes the security paradigm.

Inside the container, a user cannot escalate to root unless it is root outside it. But if you can use applications that run inside the container from outside as access to the file system, standard IO, etc.

Another important fact about Singularity is that we can import and use our Docker images that we already have. We can even edit our container locally and then mount it in a shared environment since it does not need root privileges to be mounted. It can also be transferred using the basic file transfer protocols such as RSYNC, HTTP, SCP, etc.

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System supports: Linux


Kubernetes is an open-source system for the automatic organization and management of containerized applications.  If you want to design an application using popular open-source Linux containers then that could be the ideal approach to creating cloud-native applications for private, public, or hybrid cloud hosting.

Kubernetes automates the deployment, management, and expansion of these containerized applications; therefore, it allows the process to be carried out more easily, quickly, and efficiently. Users can now initiate one-click updates to update the core version of Kubernetes they use in their cluster. Keeping Kubernetes clusters up to date has become considerably easier as it can now be done without having to redeploy clusters or applications.

It is an open-source project, Kubernetes is managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and the Linux Foundation. This ensures that the project is supported by best practices and ideas from a large open-source community, in addition to eliminating the risk associated with reliance on a single provider.

System supports: Web-based and Linux

Apache Mesos

It is an open-source Cluster administrator based on the Linux kernel, unlike Mesos can run on any platform, be it Linux, Windows, or OSX. It also provides applications with APIs for resource management and planning. It abstracts CPU, memory, storage, and other resources from dedicated servers or virtual machines allowing elastic systems that are easy to build and that can be run efficiently, highlighting fault tolerance.

Mesos uses a two-tier scheduling system where it decides how many resources to assign to each Framework and the Framework decides which resources to accept and what tasks to run on those resources. This allows you to get closer to optimization by sharing the cluster between different Frameworks by scaling up to 50,000 nodes.

Mesos allows the cluster to be used to run the frameworks on which the application runs, distributing the load among the different servers, and thus avoiding overloads, achieving optimal performance. Mesos is commonly used for Java, Python, Scala, and R applications.

System supports: Linux, OSX, and Windows
File size: It varies


FreeBSD is considered a popular operating system for a variety of platforms that is known for its features, speed, security, and stability. It comes from BSD, the UNIX adaptation deployed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is deployed and followed by a large community.FreeBSD provides numerous unique features. No matter what the application is, an operating method must bear fruit on all usable resources

FreeBSD is known for creating an excellent Internet or Intranet server. It provides strong network services under the heaviest loads and uses memory efficiently to preserve good response times for millions of simultaneous recipient processes.

Delivers revamped network operating system features for connectors and completed platforms, from high-end connectors reasoned at Intel to ARM, MIPS, and PowerPC hardware platforms. With more than 23,000 libraries and façade applications, it accepts applications for your desktop, assistant, device, and integrated media.

System supports: Unix and Web-based


A vagrant is a tool to automatically create and configure portable and playable virtual machines. One of the things in favor of Vagrant, against other DevOps tools like Docker, is that any computer scientist/programmer/developer (even those who use Windows) understands it the first time: Vagrant will configure and automate the creation of virtual machines.

t is installed on the developers’ computers. It is intended for development environments, not even the company that develops Vagrant, recommends it in production. It is cross-platform: Mac, Windows, CentOS, and Debian. It is intended to mount portable and playable development environments between developers.

By default, it uses Virtual Box to virtualize, but it works with any virtualization software. Uses Vagrantfile configuration files, with a simple syntax, suitable for dummies Vagrantfile configuration files generate a box (virtual machine) that can be shared through repositories (like Maven, Node, Bower, etc.)

System supports: Debian, centOS, Arch Linux, Linux, FreeBSD, macOS, and Microsoft Windows
File size: 210 MB (for windows)


LXC is a virtualization technology at the operating system level that allows users to create and run multiple virtual Linux environments in isolation.

The difference with Docker is that LXC is a complete operating system that can be treated as such. On the other hand, Docker is created to run a single application and has certain restrictions regarding the OS. Linux Containers is also a lighter and more secure option to Docker since it consumes fewer resources and does not need to be run as root.

Although this has a great disadvantage and is its complexity. In addition to that, we must add poor and confusing documentation. Usually when we use containers what we are looking for is to create our work environment quickly and easily. So, this alternative is for more advanced users.

System supports: Linux

These are the top-rated alternative software for Docker that you can use on a wide range of Operating Systems. If you know such good similar software to Docker then do let me know by leaving your comment below.


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