Back when I first was working on replacing my Pogoplug (the original BabyLuigi), I was looking at potentially using it to learn about Docker in addition to creating virtual machines that were actually useful instead of just playing around with VMs for looking at Linux distros. The benefit of Docker was to have the isolation of VMs without the overhead of VMs. Also, since it was trending pretty hard, I figured it’d be good for my career to have some experience with it. So I spent a few weeks researching Docker and playing around with some of the online demos. I read lots about how it was used and how to avoid the usual pitfalls. But in the end I went with a VM that did a bit more than I wanted; I’d wanted to separate services so that updating one thing wouldn’t cause me to lose everything. However, the more I looked into it, the more it looked like unnecessary headache without enough of a benefit. Dockers were SO isolated that if you wanted to run a LAMP stack you had to run at least 3 Docker containers and find a way to string them together and have a separate pool of storage they could all access.
Recently I’ve been hanging around in the Home Lab subreddit. There are a lot of people in there like me who enjoy learning about computing and using it to make things easier (if a bit more complex) at home. It pairs well with the Self Hosted subreddit, another thing that is important to me because of how many services have been changed or dropped (see Google Reader) from under me. I prefer to be in charge of things on my own. In that subreddit I heard about LXC – Linux Containers. I was intrigued and after I came across it again, I did some research. LXC is what I wanted Docker to be (which makes sense since Docker is forked from LXC). It allows you to run what is essentially a VM without the overhead of simulating hardware. I’ve seen some webpages that claim you can get 41 LXC containers where you’d be able to fit about 2 VMs. I haven’t seen anything that high in the Home Lab subreddit, but I HAVE seen some pretty impressive densities. Since I don’t have the money for a computer that could hold the number of VMs I’d love to run, I’m going to be exploring LXC containers. I’ll blog about my progress so you can learn along with me. I’m pretty excited about learning this new tech.