CoreOS Container Linux Alternatives





    Yes, it’s true.


    Six years since the first CoreOS release, our favorite container-optimized operating system is reaching end-of-life.


    So what's next?




  • CoreOS End-of-Life: Key Dates

    • May 26:
      • The final updates to CoreOS Container Linux will begin rolling out. Any bugs or security vulnerabilities discovered after that date will not be fixed.
    • September 1:
      • Published resources related to CoreOS Container Linux will be deleted or made read-only.
      • OS downloads will be removed, CoreUpdate servers will be shut down, and OS images will be removed from AWS, Azure, and Google Compute Engine.
      • GitHub repositories, including the issue tracker, will become read-only.
      • Documentation will continue to exist for as long as is practical, to aid migration to other operating systems.
      • Existing Container Linux machines will continue running, but will no longer be able to download updates.
      • New CoreOS Container Linux machines will not be launchable in public clouds without prior preparation.
  • Clearly, if you are using CoreOS today, or are looking for a container-optimized Linux, you need to make a plan. But what are your options? Let's look at the alternatives and the facts you need to make that plan, depending on your use case and needs. Check out the leading CoreOS Container Linux alternatives below, or jump straight to our summary and conclusion.

  • So what options are available to you?

    Fedora CoreOS

    Fedora CoreOS is Red Hat’s official successor to CoreOS Container Linux. However, it is not a simple continuation of the original CoreOS: it is rather a merging of the former Red Hat Atomic Host with CoreOS Container Linux, with some key differences you should understand.


    Read the full review

    Flatcar Container Linux

    Flatcar Container Linux is a “friendly fork” of CoreOS Container Linux, so is essentially identical. Maintained by Kinvolk, a company that worked closely with CoreOS in the early days, Flatcar is so close to CoreOS that in-place updates are practically seamless.


    Read the full review

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS) is Red Hat’s flagship container-optimized operating system. It is based on Fedora CoreOS, with each release subject to additional hardening/testing, and integration with OpenShift.


    Read the full review

    AWS Bottlerocket

    Bottlerocket is a new offering in the container-optimized Linux space, from Amazon Web Services (AWS). It follows a lot of the CoreOS philosophy — minimal OS for container workloads with automatic atomic updates — but is primarily targeted at AWS's EC2 environment and EKS Kubernetes offering.


    Read the full review