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Daniel Nashed


VMware PhotonOS -- Very efficient Container Linux OS

Daniel Nashed  29 April 2021 19:57:36

Image:VMware PhotonOS --  Very efficient Container Linux OS

Today in a customer meeting one of the admins mentioned Photon OS.
I never looked into it in detail. But if you are running Docker containers on VMware this could be a good choice for the host OS running on VMware.

One of the installation options is a "Lightweight Container Host"
VMware says: "Photon OS delivers just enough of a Linux operating system to efficiently run containers on"

And from what I saw this is really the case!  Plus it is very simple to install.
I have tested it as a container host. It comes with Docker 19.03.15. That's not the latest but a good and stable version.

Image:VMware PhotonOS --  Very efficient Container Linux OS Image:VMware PhotonOS --  Very efficient Container Linux OS

Of course I tried also to install Domino on it. And I looked into their Docker image.
The Docker image is very small and you can add whatever you need.
In my testing I was able to reduce the size of the image to 1.25 GB.

Some of the packages already coming with the CentOS or UBI base image, are not really needed.
And some tools like sysstat and resync add a lot of those if not already in the basic image.

Their base image is 37 MB and this already includes OpenSSL.
So I will spend some more time looking into it.

Is anyone using it for Docker hosts today?

What is your feedback and what are your experiences?

Running it with Domino

I found a very bad issue with bash on Photon OS, which broke my start script.
When invoking processed the shell received a SIGCHLD 17 / Signal child died -- which stopped the server immediately.
I added a fix to have both scripts work on Photon OS.

Beside that, it looks good! And seems to be the perfect fit for Docker base OS on VMware for sure.

-- Daniel

Update: I opened a bug report on their git repo and got immediate response and later today I got it reproduced and marked as a bug.


1Tripp Black  01.06.2021 20:03:40  VMware PhotonOS -- Very efficient Container Linux OS

Hi Daniel.

I've not used Proton yet for Domino docker installs. We have a couple, but are still using an Ubuntu vSphere template with docker installed. Since this "legacy" already works, we didn't spend the time to try Photon OS for Domino.

With one exception, we've only created a couple of VMs to check it. PhotonOS has become our new standard test functionality, throwaway VM: We create and name it deleteme, and then do whatever test we need, and then Delete from Disk in vCenter.



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