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September 10th, 2007

Last week I went to Cambridge, UK with my colleague Pavel Emelyanov to take part in the LinuxConf Europe and the containers mini-summit, as well as the Linux Kernel Summit session devoted to containers. Pavel, who works in the OpenVZ kernel team, is now working on integrating our technology into the mainstream Linux kernel. To his credit, the memory controller and the PID namespace patch (see my recent blog post), which were integrated into -mm recently, are mostly due to him.

The first event in Cambridge was LinuxConf Europe, where we both presented our talks on containers -- mine was a general introduction to virtualization, containers, and OpenVZ, while Pavel described some intimate details of memory controller (read "beancounters") implementation.

The next day we had to skip the LinuxConf to take part in the containers mini-summit. This was an event for all the containers shareholders to discuss what and how to present the containers topic at the Kernel Summit. Unfortunately, Eric Biederman (Linux Networx) and Paul Menage (Google) came later, and Balbir Singh (IBM) was buzy with VM mini-summit, so we did this mini-summit in two rounds. First round was with Pavel (OpenVZ), Cedric Le Goater (IBM), Oren Laadan (of Zap -- a checkpointing and live migration project), Kamezava Hiroyuki (of Fujitsu Japan, mostly interested in resource management), and Paul (who joined us over Skype). The second round was with Eric, Paul, and Balbir -- the next day in the hall. The results of this mini-summit are a few threads on containers@ mailing list, plus a few documents here.

Finally, there was 30-minute topic on the Kernel Summit devoted to the containers. Paul and Eric have summarized what we have done so far, and what are we going to do next. There was not much discussion, which I think is healthy because now everybody knows about containers and why they are needed. Slides from the talk are available here. Jonathan Corbet (of Linux Weekly News) also provided a summary of the topic (this is still subscriber-only content, but since I'm a subscriber I can share a free link with you).

It feels like we are making good progress and are on the right path to a containers implementation in the Linux kernel. You can see some people helping to make this happen in this photo. Click the image for larger version.

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