July 24, 2017

There has been much written about CoreOS support for Docker. Red Hat is one of the leading contributors of Docker code.  However, there is another major Linux distro that has added extensive support for Docker as well. Suse Linux supports Docker with some new features in its Suse Linux Enterprise Server 12.

While Linux containers have been part of Linux distros for a long time, Docker specific support in SLES 12 is pretty extensive including two Suse developed tools, YaST and Portus.

YaST is “the installation and configuration tool for openSUSE and the SUSE Linux Enterprise distributions. It is popular for its easy use and attractive graphical interface and the capability to customize your system quickly during and after the installation. YaST actually stands for Yet another Setup Tool.” Specific to Docker it gives you a simple view of the available Docker images and running containers as well as easy control of running containers.

Portus is an on premise Docker registry. It is an alternative to using Docker Hub. According to Suse, Docker Hub has a few disadvantages versus an on premise registry. The disadvantages of  using Docker Hub as your registry are:

  • Hub and registry maintained by Docker Inc.
  • Using Hub’s Public registry: convenient but no confidence in security, stability, control
  • Using Docker Hub’s  Private registry: paid service yet lack of control over the data you submit

On the other hand using a private on premises registry offers you more privacy and confidentiality. Portus is your on premise private registry. Unlike YaST which is Suse specific Portus is available via Git. Portus features a full GUI, authentication and search function.

In addition to the above Suse support of Docker also includes sle2docker, KIWI. Sledocker is a pre-built image activation utility and KIWI is a Golden Image building tool.

Here is a diagram of the evolution of Docker support in Suse:


I had a chance to speak with George Shi from the Suse product marketing team. They are committed to increasing and enhancing their support for Docker in particular and containers in general in future releases. They are carefully watching and observing recent developments like the Cloud Native Computing Foundation to see if Suse should be involved in these industry wide initiatives. Suse is committed to not being left behind other Linux distros in support of containers. With Xen and KVM support already included, they feel like they offer best in class virtualization options in Suse Linux Enterprise Server.

As Editor-in-chief of DevOps.com and Container Journal, Alan Shimel is attuned to the world of technology. Alan has founded and helped several technology ventures, including StillSecure, where he guided the company in bringing innovative and effective networking and security solutions to the marketplace. Shimel is an often-cited personality in the security and technology community and is a sought-after speaker at industry and government conferences and events. In addition to his writing on DevOps.com and Network World, his commentary about the state of technology is followed closely by many industry insiders via his blog and podcast, "Ashimmy, After All These Years" (www.ashimmy.com). Alan has helped build several successful technology companies by combining a strong business background with a deep knowledge of technology. His legal background, long experience in the field, and New York street smarts combine to form a unique personality.