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Don't Panic: Kubernetes and Docker

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Docker as an underlying runtime is being deprecated in favor of runtimes that use the Container Runtime Interface(CRI) created for Kubernetes. Docker-produced images will continue to work in your cluster with all runtimes, as they always have.

If you’re an end-user of Kubernetes, not a whole lot will be changing for you. This doesn’t mean the death of Docker, and it doesn’t mean you can’t, or shouldn’t, use Docker as a development tool anymore. Docker is still a useful tool for building containers, and the images that result from running docker build can still run in your Kubernetes cluster.

If you’re using a managed Kubernetes service like GKE or EKS, you will need to make sure your worker nodes are using a supported container runtime before Docker support is removed in a future version of Kubernetes. If you have node customizations you may need to update them based on your environment and runtime requirements. Please work with your service provider to ensure proper upgrade testing and planning.

If you’re rolling your own clusters, you will also need to make changes to avoid your clusters breaking. At v1.20, you will get a deprecation warning for Docker. When Docker runtime support is removed in a future release (currently planned for the 1.23 release in late 2021) of Kubernetes it will no longer be supported and you will need to switch to one of the other compliant container runtimes, like containerd or CRI-O. Just make sure that the runtime you choose supports the docker daemon configurations you currently use (e.g. logging).

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More on this panic

Dockershim Deprecation FAQ

  • Dockershim Deprecation FAQ

    This document goes over some frequently asked questions regarding the Dockershim depreaction announced as a part of the Kubernetes v1.20 release. For more detail on the deprecation of Docker as a container runtime for Kubernetes kubelets, and what that means, check out the blog post Don't Panic: Kubernetes and Docker.

    Why is dockershim being deprecated?

    Maintaining dockershim has become a heavy burden on the Kubernetes maintainers. The CRI standard was created to reduce this burden and allow smooth interoperability of different container runtimes. Docker itself doesn't currently implement CRI, thus the problem.

    Dockershim was always intended to be a temporary solution (hence the name: shim). You can read more about the community discussion and planning in the Dockershim Removal Kubernetes Enhancement Proposal.

    Additionally, features that were largely incompatible with the dockershim, such as cgroups v2 and user namespaces are being implemented in these newer CRI runtimes. Removing support for the dockershim will allow further development in those areas.

Kubernetes dropping Docker is not that big of a deal

  • Kubernetes dropping Docker is not that big of a deal

    It all started so quietly. Deep in the forthcoming Kubernetes 1.20 release notes, Kubernetes, everyone's favorite container orchestrator, developers announced: "Docker support in the kubelet is now deprecated and will be removed in a future release." You'd thought from the uproar that someone just kicked your puppy. Relax.

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