Fedora 26 Atomic Host Offers Glimpse into What's Next for Containers

Fedora 26 Atomic Host adds Kubernetes as a container and system containers, pushing the boundaries of production-level containerization technologies.

Christopher Tozzi, Contributing Editor

July 13, 2017

2 Min Read
Fedora 26 Atomic Host Offers Glimpse into Whats Next for Containers

Want to understand how container technology is continuing to evolve?

Take a look at Fedora 26 Atomic Host, the recently released operating system that pushes containers in new directions using containerized Kubernetes and system containers.

Fedora 26 Atomic Host, which was released July 11 along with other variants of the Fedora 26 operating system, is an open source, Linux-based operating system designed for deploying containers.

Atomic Host has been around for several years, but this new release introduces two notable new features.

Key New Container Features in Fedora 26 Atomic Host

Those features include changes to the way Kubernetes can be run, as well as system container features.

Kubernetes Updates

The first is the ability to run Kubernetes, a popular open source container orchestration engine for managing containers, as a container.

This matters because previously, the only way to install and run Kubernetes on Fedora was to install it directly on the operating system.

That is time-consuming and makes it difficult to switch between different versions of Kubernetes.

By placing Kubernetes inside a container, Fedora developers make deploying Kubernetes as fast and simple as deploying any other Docker container.

In essence, this means you can use containers to install the software that you use to manage your containers.

System Containers in Atomic Host

Fedora 26 also turns on a new type of container feature, called system containers.

System containers are quite different from the Docker containers that you are familiar with.

System containers let you run a guest operating system inside a containerized environment, rather than just running a single application.

Other system containers platforms exist, like OpenVZ and LXD, but Fedora 26 introduces a new type of system container framework built using OSTree.


Neither containerized Kubernetes nor system containers are totally novel concepts.

However, the latest version of Atomic Host is one of the first platforms to push both of these features toward production in a serious way.

Because Fedora serves as the basis for features that later make their way into Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a flagship enterprise Linux distribution, these new container features are a sign of functionality that will eventually reach a large group of enterprise users.

The takeaway: If you think of containers only as a way to launch end-user applications using Docker, think again.

Container technology is broader and will effect change in more diverse ways than that.

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About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Contributing Editor

Christopher Tozzi started covering the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis in 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” is forthcoming with MIT Press.

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