Top 10 Docker Alternatives (Pros and Cons)

With the advancement in the digital economy, the demand for products has increased tremendously. So, professionals need to have a vast range of tools to remain intact in their game. And, luckily, there are multiple options available for software developers to choose from.

Tools that use containers have become extremely popular in the app development world, thereby providing developers with extraordinary DevOps benefits. Today, Docker is one of the most demanded containers.

Apart from Docker, there are several tools available today. These tools offer similar features to Docker. Hence, this article will provide you with an overview of Docker and the list of its alternatives.

Why Use Docker Containers?

We all know that Docker is used as a container to run the application more efficiently, thus making them more beneficial for DevOps. We should use Docker Containers because they are:

  • Minimal System Resource: Containers are the application layer abstractions that combine the code and dependencies in one package. You can run and share one machine or operating system kernels among several containers. They also run faster than virtual machines since it requires minimal resources.
  • Cost Effective: Docker Container is cost effective as it contains fewer resources.
  • Effortless Cloud Deployment: Several DevOps applications like Ansible, Chef, puppet, and Vagrant either have Docker Containers or work on their own to manage development environments.
  • Immediate Application Portability: With Docker Container, developers can effortlessly pack, ship, and run applications that are portable, lightweight, self sufficient, and versatile.
  • CI/CD Methodology: The CI/CD methodology is for developers that create or integrate their code into a shared location as early as possible. They deploy this code efficiently and smoothly later. Docker containers tend to work effectively with CI/CD technology since they enable them to create local development environments for accurately intimidating live servers easily.

An Introduction to Docker Alternatives

Software developers use Docker as a container to run applications. It is the tool that makes the job of creating, deploying, and running applications relatively effortless. Developers can possibly associate their applications with other required components and libraries. Docker ensures that the application runs on any machine and environment since it contains all the files required.

Functions are virtual machines. Though Docker does not tend to create the virtual operating system, it contains all the components that are necessary to run an application along with the code. Therefore, Docker enables the developers in improving the performance of the application and reduces the size and speed needed to run an application.

Top 10 Docker Alternatives

1. VirtualBox

Docker Alternatives

Designed by Oracle, the VirtualBox tool provides a virtual environment where developers set up and run their applications on different is supported by any standard X86 OS. using this Docker alternative, a developer can design cloud based, online storage, directly from his operating system.

VirtualBox enables you to create and update computers and systems and format files to run them on any operating system. Therefore, VirtualBox is a tool that delivers a flexible solution to the developers so that they can work cross platform. Developers can also use cloud computing and switch to any operating system.

Pros of VirtualBox

  • Enables the developers to run multiple Virtual machines on a single device.
  • Effortlessly deploy several configurations and types of operating systems.
  • Maintain the configuration of a Virtual machine.
  • Test environments that can cause harm to production.
  • Integrated effortlessly between the host and the Virtual machine.

Cons of VirtualBox

  • Lack of reporting.
  • Beginners find network settings for Virtual Machine relatively arduous.
  • Utilizes higher resources.
  • Complex scripting language.

2. Cloud Foundry

cloud foundry docker alternative

Cloud Foundry is an open source, business level cloud application platform. It supports popular programming languages and developers’ frameworks through divergent thinking. Organizations can either deploy Cloud Foundry on native computing infrastructure or on IaaS apps like Azure, GCP, AWS, vSphere, or OpenStack.

Pros of Cloud Foundry

  • Cloud Foundry has a large community internationally with a relatively impressive knowledge base.
  • It supports the most popular programming languages that involve Java, PHP, Ruby, Node.js, .Net, Go, and many more.
  • The platform provides a multi vendor environment where developers can choose from multiple vendors.
  • Developers can effortlessly migrate applications from a private data center to a public cloud and from one IaaS provider to another.
  • It secures the application by ensuring that only an authorized group of users can use the application data.

Cons of Cloud Foundry

  • Cloud Foundry does not support Stateful containers.
  • Though it takes off a lot of loads from the operation team, developers have to still focus on the project.
  • The platform shows that it supports logs. However, it does not seem to endure these logs anywhere.
  • Less experienced workers find it challenging to work with BOSH.
  • Cloud Foundry only supports apps that are designed according to the Twelve Factor App methodology.

3. CoreOS rkt

coreos rkt

Also pronounced as Rocket, this open source platform is one of the most popular Docker alternatives. Not only it provides better security but also delivers instant deployment and public cloud portability. CoreOS rkt run effortlessly and smoothly in any development environment where hardware and operating system are not homogenous.

Pros of CoreOS rkt

  • It is a secure container that can even run without messing up small details.
  • The comprehensive and precisely written documents are compatible with UNIX.
  • It allows the developers to run multiple processes on a single server.
  • It can work with fewer overhead and resources.

Cons of CoreOS rkt

  • It is challenging to find new talent on this platform.
  • It does not provide immediate advantages in comparison to other solutions

4. Containerd


Containerd is an open source platform that works between container engine and container runtimes. Both Linux and Windows support this platform and usually characterize them as easy to manage container lifecycles.

Pros of Containerd

  • It tends to implement the CRI specifications.
  • It can pull out images from the registries, maintains them, and finally delivers them to a lower level runtime.

Cons of Containerd

  • CRI implementation should be done separately through the CRI plugin.

5. Vagrant

vagrant docker alternative

A vagrant is an open source software that works on building, supporting, and maintaining a portable Virtual environment required for software development. The tool aims at maximizing the development productivity by simplifying Software Configuration Management of Virtualization. Though this program is developed using Ruby, its ecosystem supports development in sufficient languages.

Pros of Vagrant

  • It is a very efficient project platform for a DevOps environment.
  • It offers a wide range of community boxes and plugins.
  • It is faster than other Docker alternatives.
  • It can be installed effortlessly.
  • It integrates seamlessly between the server environment and the local machine.

Cons of Vagrant

  • It requires a lot of coaching to set up this software.
  • It has minimal support due to which organizations have to take the help of technical expertise.
  • Those who have never dealt with a command line find it challenging to deploy a Vagrant package.

6. Wox


For the Windows Operating System, Wox is proved to be an effective Docker alternative. It is an open source and full featured launcher that enables the developers to access programs, web content, and other information together with other works. This way, developers tend to be more productive. The best part is it is freely available on Github.

Pros of Wox

  • It is an effective launcher for Windows.
  • It is a full featured launcher that allows you to access programs and web content by simply typing.
  • It is free to use Wox and can effortlessly be installed from Github.

Cons of Wox

  • It does not provide cloud computing.
  • It is not a developer tool.

7. Rancher


Rancher, an open source code, provides organizations with everything they want. It associates with the environment that is required for adopting and running the containers in production. It is built on Kubernetes, thereby making it easier for the DevOps team to test, deploy, and manage the application. It is used by the operation them to manage, deploy, and secure Every deployment made by Kubernetes notwithstanding the platform they are running on.

Pros of Rancher

  • It has a wide range of knowledge base and community for ready to run services and applications.
  • It has an easy to use web interface.
  • It can launch other solutions like Kubernetes and Docker Swarm.

Cons of Rancher

  • Though the interface of Rancher is relatively easy to access, beginners still find it arduous to cope up with the platform.
  • At every limit, users feel a need for technical expertise.

8. Kubernetes


Kubernetes has been designed to manage, scale, and deploy applications that are containerized. Several popular companies like SAP, Yahoo, Pokemon GO, Black Rock, The New York Times, eBay, etc., use Kubernetes. The tool even comes with its convention called the KubeCon.

Pros of Kubernetes

  • It is a free and sturdy tool.
  • It can manage containers and associates with multiple scalability and automation.

Cons of Kubernetes

  • It is difficult to access this platform.
  • Developers without an OPS cannot work in Kubernetes.

9. Apache Mesos

apache mesos

Apache Mesos is designed to support the features of complementary kernels that enable the users to carry out functions such as resource isolation, prioritization, limiting, and accounting. These functions are usually carried out by groups of Linus or zones of Solaris. The tools also provide isolation for Memory, I/O devices, file systems, and CPU.

Pros of Apache Mesos

  • It has a wide range of communities providing knowledge about this software.
  • It is versatile.

Cons of Apache Mesos

  • The deployment of this software is unreliable.
  • It has an extremely slow User Interface.
  • It does not have any real logging solution.

10. LXC Container

lxc containers

LXC is a set of low level container management resources that offers isolated application environments that function exactly like Virtual machines. However, they do not need a requirement to run the kernel. It enables the user to run multiple processes in one LXC Container. It is an ideal solution for traditional application design.

Pros of LXC

  • It is incredibly fast.
  • It has a virtually all encompassing ecosystem having innovative tools.
  • The entire setup of LXC Containers remains the same.

Cons of LXC

  • It saves every memory of rootfs by default.
  • It is difficult to register images.

Final Thoughts

Although Docker has multiple features, it is significant to understand the business requirement before selecting the tool. Users should consider tools based on the functions and features offered and then compare them according to the necessity of your business. Then only make the final decision.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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