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README: remove original shipping containers 'manifesto'. It's a littl…

…e long to stay here.
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Solomon Hykes committed Sep 6, 2013
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@@ -188,142 +188,6 @@ They are probably not perfect, please let us know if anything feels
wrong or incomplete.


We also keep the documentation in this repository. The website
documentation is generated using Sphinx using these sources. Please
find it under docs/sources/ and read more about it

Please feel free to fix / update the documentation and send us pull
requests. More tutorials are also welcome.

Setting up a dev environment

Instructions that have been verified to work on Ubuntu 12.10,

sudo apt-get -y install lxc curl xz-utils golang git mercurial
export GOPATH=~/go/
export PATH=$GOPATH/bin:$PATH
mkdir -p $GOPATH/src/
cd $GOPATH/src/
git clone
cd docker
go get -v
go install -v

Then run the docker daemon,

sudo $GOPATH/bin/docker -d

Run the `go install` command (above) to recompile docker.

What is a Standard Container?

Docker defines a unit of software delivery called a Standard
Container. The goal of a Standard Container is to encapsulate a
software component and all its dependencies in a format that is
self-describing and portable, so that any compliant runtime can run it
without extra dependencies, regardless of the underlying machine and
the contents of the container.

The spec for Standard Containers is currently a work in progress, but
it is very straightforward. It mostly defines 1) an image format, 2) a
set of standard operations, and 3) an execution environment.

A great analogy for this is the shipping container. Just like how
Standard Containers are a fundamental unit of software delivery,
shipping containers are a fundamental unit of physical delivery.


Just like shipping containers, Standard Containers define a set of
STANDARD OPERATIONS. Shipping containers can be lifted, stacked,
locked, loaded, unloaded and labelled. Similarly, Standard Containers
can be started, stopped, copied, snapshotted, downloaded, uploaded and


Just like shipping containers, Standard Containers are
CONTENT-AGNOSTIC: all standard operations have the same effect
regardless of the contents. A shipping container will be stacked in
exactly the same way whether it contains Vietnamese powder coffee or
spare Maserati parts. Similarly, Standard Containers are started or
uploaded in the same way whether they contain a postgres database, a
php application with its dependencies and application server, or Java
build artifacts.


Both types of containers are INFRASTRUCTURE-AGNOSTIC: they can be
transported to thousands of facilities around the world, and
manipulated by a wide variety of equipment. A shipping container can
be packed in a factory in Ukraine, transported by truck to the nearest
routing center, stacked onto a train, loaded into a German boat by an
Australian-built crane, stored in a warehouse at a US facility,
etc. Similarly, a standard container can be bundled on my laptop,
uploaded to S3, downloaded, run and snapshotted by a build server at
Equinix in Virginia, uploaded to 10 staging servers in a home-made
Openstack cluster, then sent to 30 production instances across 3 EC2


Because they offer the same standard operations regardless of content
and infrastructure, Standard Containers, just like their physical
counterparts, are extremely well-suited for automation. In fact, you
could say automation is their secret weapon.

Many things that once required time-consuming and error-prone human
effort can now be programmed. Before shipping containers, a bag of
powder coffee was hauled, dragged, dropped, rolled and stacked by 10
different people in 10 different locations by the time it reached its
destination. 1 out of 50 disappeared. 1 out of 20 was damaged. The
process was slow, inefficient and cost a fortune - and was entirely
different depending on the facility and the type of goods.

Similarly, before Standard Containers, by the time a software
component ran in production, it had been individually built,
configured, bundled, documented, patched, vendored, templated, tweaked
and instrumented by 10 different people on 10 different
computers. Builds failed, libraries conflicted, mirrors crashed,
post-it notes were lost, logs were misplaced, cluster updates were
half-broken. The process was slow, inefficient and cost a fortune -
and was entirely different depending on the language and
infrastructure provider.


There are 17 million shipping containers in existence, packed with
every physical good imaginable. Every single one of them can be loaded
onto the same boats, by the same cranes, in the same facilities, and
sent anywhere in the World with incredible efficiency. It is
embarrassing to think that a 30 ton shipment of coffee can safely
travel half-way across the World in *less time* than it takes a
software team to deliver its code from one datacenter to another
sitting 10 miles away.

With Standard Containers we can put an end to that embarrassment, by
making INDUSTRIAL-GRADE DELIVERY of software a reality.

### Legal

Transfers of Docker shall be in accordance with applicable export

4 comments on commit eed00a4


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@gerrywastaken gerrywastaken replied Sep 5, 2015

I'm not sure if you are aware, but this commit was reference by CoreOS as Docker no longer wanting to stick to it's manifesto

The Docker repository included a manifesto of what a standard container should be.
Unfortunately, a simple re-usable component is not how things are playing out.
The standard container manifesto was removed


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@spidercensus spidercensus replied Oct 22, 2015

oh SNAP. Is this manifesto coming back elsewhere?


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@mikejhill mikejhill replied Mar 8, 2016

I came to this commit after reading the CoreOS rkt blog post as well.

It appears that OCI adopted this manifesto during or soon after its founding. Both Docker and CoreOS are member organizations of OCI.

The current version of the manifesto can be seen here:

Its principles are currently similar to those removed by this commit and were even more similar in the initial version.

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