Use Ubuntu and other distributions as Docker containers

Cleanly Docked

Article from Issue 268/2023

Do you work with Ubuntu but want to test something quickly on an openSUSE system? You don't need a second PC or a virtual machine to do it – a single container is quite enough.

A virtual machine (VM) lets you use software intended for a different Linux distribution or even a different operating system. But setting up a VM can be time consuming. If you use VirtualBox, VMware [1], or Gnome Boxes [2], you can configure and start a virtual PC in the program interface before proceeding with the regular operating system install. After completing this procedure, the window will contain a full graphical desktop, such as KDE or Gnome, and you can boot and shut down the VM like a real PC.

In many cases, a full install is exactly the solution you need, but sometimes you may just want to quickly test a program. Then the overhead for a VM install of a complete system is disproportionate to the results. The reasons why you cannot always run programs directly on your Linux system are revealed in the "Library Dependencies" box.

If you develop your own software, you may want to test whether the program files you generate will run on all distribution versions you support. Can the RPM or Debian package you generated be installed? Are all dependencies on libraries met so that the program actually launches? Finally, does it work as expected? Again, using a VM is a little excessive for these software tests.


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