Docker vs Packer: What are the differences?
What is 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.
What is Packer? Create identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration. Packer automates the creation of any type of machine image. It embraces modern configuration management by encouraging you to use automated scripts to install and configure the software within your Packer-made images.
Docker can be classified as a tool in the "Virtual Machine Platforms & Containers" category, while Packer is grouped under "Infrastructure Build Tools".
Some of the features offered by Docker are:
- Integrated developer tools
- open, portable images
- shareable, reusable apps
On the other hand, Packer provides the following key features:
- Super fast infrastructure deployment. Packer images allow you to launch completely provisioned and configured machines in seconds, rather than several minutes or hours.
- Multi-provider portability. Because Packer creates identical images for multiple platforms, you can run production in AWS, staging/QA in a private cloud like OpenStack, and development in desktop virtualization solutions such as VMware or VirtualBox.
- Improved stability. Packer installs and configures all the software for a machine at the time the image is built. If there are bugs in these scripts, they'll be caught early, rather than several minutes after a machine is launched.
"Rapid integration and build up" is the primary reason why developers consider Docker over the competitors, whereas "Cross platform builds" was stated as the key factor in picking Packer.
Docker and Packer are both open source tools. It seems that Docker with 53.8K GitHub stars and 15.5K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Packer with 9.03K GitHub stars and 2.46K GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, Docker has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3471 company stacks & 3322 developers stacks; compared to Packer, which is listed in 113 company stacks and 20 developer stacks.