Open Container Initiative Specifications Near 1.0 Completion

Thursday Jul 13th 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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A vote on the OCI image specification is approved unanimously, while a vote on the runtime specification is still ongoing.

The Linux Foundation's Open Container Initiative (OCI) has reached a major milestone with the approval of one of the cornerstone specifications that defines and enables container interoperability.

OCI originally was chartered under the name Open Container Project in June 2015 and then was renamed OCI a month later in July. The project is a multi-stakeholder effort bringing together rivals in the container space to help define key specifications to help the container market succeed and interoperate.

The two primary efforts the OCI has been working on are the runtime specification and the image format specification.

"The OCI Image Format project creates and maintains the software shipping container image format spec (OCI Image Format)," the README file for the project states.

Voting on the 1.0 specification for the OCI Image Format began on July 5 by members of the OCI technical committee. On July 12, Vincent Batts, principal software engineer at Red Hat, wrote in a mailing list message that the vote was unanimous and approved by all members.

OCI Runtime Specification Nearing 1.0 Milestone As Well

The OCI Image Format depends on the OCI Runtime Spec project, which is also nearing its 1.0 milestone.

"The Runtime Specification outlines how to run a 'filesystem bundle' that is unpacked on disk," the project states. "At a high level, an OCI implementation would download an OCI Image then unpack that image into an OCI Runtime filesystem bundle."

Voting on the 1.0 release of the OCI runtime specification is still ongoing and is expected to be completed next week. The runtime specification is also implemented in the runc tool, which in turn is also used inside of Docker's containerd as well as CoreOS's rkt container engines.

In a video interview earlier this year, Chris Aniszczyk who serves as both the Executive Director of OCI as well as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the CNCF, provided some insight into the importance of the 1.0 milestones.

"OCI is getting very close to shipping version 1.0 of the runtime and image spec," Aniszczyk said at the time, "Runc is the defacto implementation of the runtime spec, and both containerd and rkt implement the image spec."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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