STATUS: EXPERIMENT - Let me know what you think
k3c is a local container engine designed to fill the same gap Docker does
in the Kubernetes ecosystem. Specifically
k3c focuses on developing and
running local containers, basically
docker run/build. Currently
lightweight Kubernetes distribution,
provides a great solution for Kubernetes from dev to production. While
k3s satisifies the Kubernetes runtime needs, one still needs to run
docker (or a docker-like tool) to actually develop and build the container
k3c is intended to replace
docker for just the functionality
needed for the Kubernetes ecosystem.
There really is nothing better than the classic Docker UX of
This tool copies the same UX as classic Docker (think Docker v1.12). The intention
is to follow the same style but not be a 100% drop in replacement. Behaviour and
arguments have been changed to better match the behavior of the Kubernetes ecosystem.
One change, for example, is that start/restart will always give you a fresh container
because pods in Kubernetes are always ephemeral.
k3c, similar to
k3s and old school docker, is packaged as a single binary, because nothing
is easier for distribution than a static binary.
k3c is a built on the Container Runtime Interface (CRI). In fact it's really like a nicer version of
of cri-tool. CRI doesn't cover image building
and some other small image tasks like tag and push. For image building Moby's buildkit
is used internally, and for other things OCI's containerd is used.
k3c runs as a daemon either as root or one per user for rootless support. NOTE: rootless isn't currently
working, that's just the design right now. The daemon exposes a GRPC API. For building the buildkit API is just
exposed directly from the k3c socket.
containerd-cri are all embedded
directly into the k3c binary.
Builds are currently run via
k3c if it is available on the $PATH otherwise
docker is assumed to be available.
To build the
To build the
Start the daemon as root (rootless will be supported in the future if this project takes off)
./bin/k3c daemon --group=$(id -g) --bootstrap-image=docker.io/rancher/k3c:dev
Run containers like you would with
$ ./bin/k3c --help NAME: k3c - Lightweight local container platform USAGE: k3c [global options] command [command options] [arguments...] VERSION: dev (HEAD) COMMANDS: create Create a new container attach Attach local standard input, output, and error streams to a running container stop Stop one or more running containers start Start one or more stopped containers logs Fetch the logs of a container rm Remove one or more containers exec Run a command in a running container run Run a command in a new container ps List containers build Build an image from a Dockerfile images List images tag Create a tag TARGET_IMAGE that refers to SOURCE_IMAGE pull Pull an image or a repository from a registry rmi Remove one or more images push Push an image or a repository to a registry inspect Return low-level information on k3c objects events Get real time events from the server daemon Run the container daemon volume, volumes, v Manage volumes help, h Shows a list of commands or help for one command
Right now this is just an experiment. If there is sufficient interest I expect I'll integrate
k3d to create a full
k3 end to end container solution that will
fully encompass all aspects of the container development life cycle.
Windows and macOS can be fully supported to in the future.
Copyright (c) 2014-2020 Rancher Labs, Inc.
Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at
Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.