The idea of immutable infrastructure was initially popularized by Netflix in 2011, but it is not yet the standard way of deploying servers. We understand and use the build-test-deploy-repeat cycle for software (especially containers), but the underlying platforms are still very pet-like and modified in production.
Justin Cormack and Rolf Neugebauer detail the cultural and technical barriers to architectures based on immutable infrastructure. Along the way, they cover properties such as fast builds, taking a minute or so, and fast boot, which allow you to build and test a whole operating system within a CI pipeline. This makes continuous deployment of the entire software stack realistic, both in the cloud and on-premises.
Justin and Rolf then offer an overview of the LinuxKit open source project. LinuxKit is not a Linux distro. It’s a set of tools for customizing, building, testing, and running immutable Linux. It is built from containers, so it is very easy to use and modify, and is not designed to be prescriptive about your systems.
Justin Cormack is an engineer at Docker with an interest in making systems software more accessible and secure.
Rolf is a member of the technical staff at Docker. He is one of the maintainers of LinuxKit.
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