Linux Containers (LXC)

Linux Containers (LXC) are operating system-level capabilities that make it possible to run multiple isolated Linux systems, or containers, on one control host (the LXC host). Linux Containers serve as a lightweight alternative to full machine virtualization via hypervisors like KVM, VMware’s ESXi or Xen.

Linux offers a powerful API and toolset for helping users easily create and manage system or application containers via Linux Containers. While Linux Containers do not create a true virtual machine (VM), they do provide a virtual environment via the cgroups features in the Linux kernel.

This LXC virtual environment has its own CPU, memory, block input and output, network functionality and more. These LXC containers typically offer less isolation than a virtual machine, but also provide lower overhead as a result of sharing some portions of the host kernel and operating system instance.

The LXC code has been released under the terms of the GNU LGPLv2.1+ license. There are also proprietary and open-source initiatives like Docker that extend the functionality of Linux Containers.

Forrest Stroud
Forrest Stroud
Forrest is a writer for Webopedia. Experienced, entrepreneurial, and well-rounded, he has 15+ years covering technology, business software, website design, programming, and more.

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