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Open Container Initiative Launches Container Image Format Spec

Friday, May 6, 2016

Open Container Initiative Launches Container Image Format Spec

FREMONT, CA: The Open Container Initiative (OCI) establishes standardized container ecosystem. The project is an open container image format specification for containers.

The project’s goal is to allow developers to package and sign application containers, and then run them in a variety of container engines using the build tools and execution scheme that best meets their needs. Containers would then run without modification in a variety of runtimes, from rkt and Docker to Kubernetes and Amazon ECS. It will offer shared application container standards & interoperability.

 The Docker image format specification has evolved since the first version debuted in 2013, and the Docker v2.2 format, which debuted in April 2015, has already integrated some of the things that appc introduced in December 2014. With Docker v1, images were not signable, which is necessary to provide authenticity and security.  Now in integration with appc and Docker v2.2, container images can now be digitally signed.

The project will be based on Docker v2.2, and draws from CoreOS’s appc spec. Apcera, Google, Red Hat and VMware have been part of an industry coalition backing appc.

“The new features that can be added in the OCI spec are DNS (Domain Name System) namespace delegation from appc labels, multi-key signing and recording canonical upstream locations”, says Brandon Philips, CoreOS CTO, "We hope the OCI image format quickly becomes the single shared industry standard that all future build, storage and runtime products employ."As this effort combines the best parts of the appc image format and the Docker v2.2 image, we expect that specifying and implementing the new OCI image format will move quickly."

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