From CoreOS to Nano: Micro OSes strip down for containers

CoreOS, Red Hat, Ubuntu, VMware, Rancher, and Microsoft put unique twists on the stripped-down, container-focused, cloud-scale operating system

Man building miniature brick wall

There's an all-out war going on to see which OS will be crowned king of the cloud. And guess what? None of the traditional operating systems is going to win! They're just not designed for the cloud, and they're too bloated. Therefore, a new breed of super-skinny, minimalist operating systems is emerging to replace them.

We're going to refer to these minimalist operating systems as micro operating systems. You may have also heard them described as container operating systems, as they are designed to run containers.

In a nutshell, a micro operating system is an operating system designed for one thing, and one thing only: server workloads. There's no extra fluff included to run things like pretty graphical user interfaces, desktop productivity apps, or even server services that aren't absolutely necessary.

And while this all started out in the Linux world, the battle is so hot that it has spilled over into the Windows world.

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