Thar She Blows!

New Docker build puts the emphasis on quality

Lucy Carey

Version 0.8 comes complete with ADD caching feature, BTRFS storage driver, and official support for Mac OSX, among other updates.

Container engine Docker is on a bit of a roll – flush from a recent $15 million cash injection, it’s now pushed out a much-improved 0.8 version.

Docker is very much a rising star in the tech landscape. With the general movement towards highly scalable architectures and an app-orientated culture, the  lightweight open-source technology is perfectly poised to capitalise on demand from devs to looking for a speedy way to port their code into the cloud.

First launched in March 2013, uptake is rapidly increasing – in fact, it’s one of the fastest growing open source projects out there, and is the most widely utilised Linux container on the market.

Within the latest build there are three big changes. New builder instructions now allow for ADD caching, and there are now ONBUILD triggers for deferred statement execution. Any build instruction can be now registered as a trigger. There’s also a new BTRFS storage driver. Highly popular among the Linux community, BTRFS is often seen as an alternative to the ZFS filesystem. This is an experimental feature for now, and comes disabled as default.

Finally, there’s now official support for Mac OSX, meaning Docker container build can be carried out directly on Mac computers using Linux applications.

However, the real headliner in Docker 0.8 is quality, writes Solomon Hykes on the Docker blog. This time around, the team has prioritised cleanup, polishing and bug-fixing above the addition of new features – greatly enhancing stability and performance within the new release.

Docker 0.8 also marks the start of a new release “cadence”: From now on, a new version of the program will appear on the first week of every month, meaning that releases are no longer determined on the basis of new features. Release dates are not linked to any specific features – finished new additions will go out on the following monthly release as soon as they are merged into Docker.

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