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LXC vs Docker – What’s the best for your website?

LXC vs Docker – What’s the best for your website?

Due to its ‘light-weight’ reputation, container technologies such as Docker and LXC get a lot of attention from online businesses these days.

Docker and LXC are suited for different purposes. But in the flurry of information floating in the internet, these differences often get overlooked.

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Today we’ll discuss the major differences between Docker and LXC, and where to use them.

1. Full system virtualization Vs App virtualization

Containers can be broadly classified into two, based on the depth of virtualization they provide : Containers such as LXC, that enable full system virtualization and those like Docker, that give application virtualization.


lxc vs docker

LXC vs Docker – Architecture comparison


In full system virtualization, users would get their preferred OS flavor and can install their required applications such as web, mail, etc. in the container. That makes LXC containers similar to VMs.

Application virtualization is focused on a single application. A Docker container, when started, runs a single process, which is the application for which it is intended.

In short, LXC containers can execute multiple applications and processes, while Docker containers are restricted to a single application or a service.

So LXC containers can be used to host virtual environments for private hosting, just like how VMs are used. But for application development and testing requirements where quick deployments are needed, Docker containers are suited.

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2. Data persistence

LXC containers are complete virtualization entities with its own file system. So any data updated in an LXC container, will always be retrievable.

In a Docker container, on the other hand, changes made to the data cannot persist beyond a restart. (However, note that, with the help of Docker volumes, it is possible to retain the data changes in the host).

As a result, Docker containers are often considered ‘stateless’ and cannot be edited once deployed. LXC, on the other hand, is stateful and stores data.

So, if you want a single container solution to manage data belonging to multiple applications and services, LXC is the ideal choice over Docker.

But if you need application deployments with capabilities such as version tracking, checking the differences between versions, commits and roll back etc., Docker containers are required.

Read: How to setup high density VPS hosting using LXC

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Bobcares provides Outsourced Hosting Support and Outsourced Server Management for online businesses. Our services include Hosting Support Services, server support, help desk support, live chat support and phone support.

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Bobcares is a server management company that helps businesses deliver uninterrupted and secure online services. Our engineers manage close to 51,500 servers that include virtualized servers, cloud infrastructure, physical server clusters, and more.