Docker vs NGINX Unit: What are the differences?
Docker: Enterprise Container Platform for High-Velocity Innovation. The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere; NGINX Unit: A dynamic web and application server with Go, PHP, Python, Perl, and Ruby support. NGINX Unit is a dynamic web application server, designed to run applications in multiple languages. Unit is lightweight, polyglot, and dynamically configured via API. The design of the server allows reconfiguration of specific application parameters as needed by the engineering or operations.
Docker can be classified as a tool in the "Virtual Machine Platforms & Containers" category, while NGINX Unit is grouped under "Web Servers".
Some of the features offered by Docker are:
- Integrated developer tools
- open, portable images
- shareable, reusable apps
On the other hand, NGINX Unit provides the following key features:
- Fully dynamic reconfiguration using RESTful JSON API
- Multiple application languages and versions can run simultaneously
- Dynamic application processes management (coming soon)
Docker and NGINX Unit are both open source tools. It seems that Docker with 54K GitHub stars and 15.6K forks on GitHub has more adoption than NGINX Unit with 1.98K GitHub stars and 141 GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, Docker has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3527 company stacks & 3449 developers stacks; compared to NGINX Unit, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 8 developer stacks.
lxd/lxc and Docker aren't congruent so this comparison needs a more detailed look; but in short I can say: the lxd-integrated administration of storage including zfs with its snapshot capabilities as well as the system container (multi-process) approach of lxc vs. the limited single-process container approach of Docker is the main reason I chose lxd over Docker.
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