July 31, 2018

What's in a Container Image: Meeting the Legal Challenges

Container technology has, for many years, been transforming how workloads in data centers are managed and speeding the cycle of application development and deployment.

In addition, container images are increasingly used as a distribution format, with container registries a mechanism for software distribution. Isn't this just like packages distributed using package management tools? Not quite. While container image distribution is similar to RPMs, DEBs, and other package management systems (for example, storing and distributing archives of files), the implications of container image distribution are more complicated. It is not the fault of container technology itself; rather, it's because container distribution is used differently than package management systems.

Talking about the challenges of license compliance for container images, Dirk Hohndel, chief open source officer at VMware, pointed out that the content of a container image is more complex than most people expect, and many readily available images have been built in surprisingly cavalier ways. (See the LWN.net article by Jake Edge about a talk Dirk gave in April.)

Read more at OpenSource.com

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