Docker isn't shifting away from Ubuntu, but adding support for Alpine Linux


Recent comments by Docker CTO Solomon Hykes on Hacker News seem to indicate Docker may be moving away from Ubuntu as the default Linux distribution for the popular container technology. Further clarification from the company, according to a ComputerWorld article, indicated that Docker is simply expanding its horizons to also include the lighter weight Alpine Linux.

Channel news site The VAR Guy first reported on Hykes' comments earlier this week. Specifically, Hykes wrote on Hacker News that Docker recently "hired Natanael Copa, the awesome creator of Alpine Linux and are in the process of switching the Docker official image library from ubuntu to Alpine."

According to the ComputerWorld article, though, Docker spokesperson Suzanne Panopolos later clarified Hykes' remarks, noting the casual conversational nature of Hacker news can sometimes mean "inexact" words and terms.

Instead, Panopolos told ComputerWorld that Docker was expanding rather than switching its default Linux distribution.

Considering the lightweight nature of the distro, Alpine Linux may seem like a suitable candidate for Docker, but many Hacker News readers and contributors weren't thrilled with what was perceived to be a change from Ubuntu to Alpine. Some went so far as to call it a step in the wrong direction.

Should Docker switch its official default Linux distro, though, it wouldn't mean it would cease to work on Ubuntu. The VAR Guy article noted such a change would likely have little effect in the way Docker is used.

At this point, it appears Hykes' comments really were in the heat of the moment and don't actually reflect Docker's future plans. However, if it's adding Alpine to its list of officially supported Linux distributions, at a guess, others can't be far behind.

For more:
- read the ComputerWorld article

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