Chris Aniszczyk is The Linux Foundation’s Vice President of Developer Relations and Programs where he serves as the Executive Director of the Open Container Initiative and COO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

As we kick off 2017 and look ahead to the coming year, I want to take some time to reflect back on what the Open Container Initiative (OCI) community accomplished in 2016 and how far we’ve come in a short time since we were founded as a Linux Foundation project a little over a year ago.

The community has been busy working toward our mission to create open industry standards around container formats and runtime! Last year the project saw 3000+ commits from 128 different authors across 36 different organizations. With the addition of the Image Format specification project, we expanded our initial scope from just the runtime specification. Our membership grew to nearly 50 members with the addition of Anchore, ContainerShip, EasyStack and Replicated, which add an even more diverse perspective to the community.  We also added new developer tools projects —runtime-tools and image-tools which serve as repositories for conformance testing tools and have been instrumental in gearing up for the upcoming v1.0 release.


We’ve also recently created a new project within OCI called go-digest (which was donated and migrated from docker/go-digest). This provides a strong hash-identity implementation in Go and services as a common digest package to be used across the container ecosystem.

In terms of early adoption, we have seen Docker support the OCI technology in its container runtime (libcontainer) and contribute it to the OCI project. Additionally, Docker has committed to adopting OCI technology in its latest containerd announcement. The Cloud Foundry community has been an early consumer of OCI by embedding runc via Garden as the cornerstone of its container runtime technology. The Kubernetes project is incubating a new Container Runtime Interface (CRI) that adopts OCI components via implementations like CRI-O and rklet. The rkt community is adopting OCI technology already and is planning to leverage the reference OCI container runtime runc in 2017. The Apache Mesos community is currently building out support for the OCI image specification.

Speaking of the v1.0 release, we are getting close to launch! The milestone release of the OCI Runtime and Image Format Specifications version 1.0 will be available this first quarter of 2017, drawing the industry that much closer to standardization and true portability. To that end, we’ll be launching an official OCI Certification program once the v1.0 release is out. With OCI certification, folks can be confident that their OCI-certified solutions meet a high set of criteria that deliver agile, interoperable solutions.

We’ll be looking into the possibility of adding more projects in the coming year, and we hope to showcase even more demonstrations of the specs in action under different scenarios. We’ll be onsite at several industry events, so please be on the lookout and check out events page for details.

There is still much work to be done!  The success of our community depends on a wide array of contributions from all across the industry; the door is always open, so please come join us in shaping the future of container technology! In particular, if you’re interested in contributing to the technology, we recommend joining the OCI developer community which is open to everyone. If you’re building products on OCI technology, we recommend joining as a member and participating in the upcoming certification program.

Want to learn more about container standards? Watch the free re-play of The Linux Foundation webinar, “Container Standards on the Horizon.” Watch now!

This blog originally appeared on the OCI website.

Today The Linux Foundation is announcing that we’ve welcomed Microsoft as a Platinum member. I’m honored to join Scott Guthrie, executive VP of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, at the Connect(); developer event in New York and expect to be able to talk more in the coming months about how we’ll intensify our work together for the benefit of the open source community at large.


Microsoft is already a substantial participant in many open source projects and has been involved in open source communities through partnerships and technology contributions for several years. Around 2011 and 2012, the company contributed a large body of device driver code to enable Linux to run as an enlightened guest on Hyper-V. Microsoft has an engineering team dedicated to Linux kernel work, and since that initial contribution, the team has contributed improvements and new features to the driver code for Hyper-V on a consistent basis.


Over the past two years in particular, we’ve seen that engineering team grow and expand the range of Linux kernel areas it’s working on to include kernel improvements that aren’t specifically related to Microsoft products. The company is also an active member of many Linux Foundation projects, including Node.js Foundation, R Consortium, OpenDaylight, Open API Initiative and Open Container Initiative. In addition, a year ago we worked with Microsoft to release a Linux certification, Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate Linux on Azure.


The open source community has gained tools and other resources as Microsoft has open sourced the .NET Core, contributed OpenJDK, announced Docker support in Windows Server, announced SQL on Linux, added the ability to run native Bash on Ubuntu on Windows, worked with FreeBSD to release an image for Azure, and open sourced Xamarin’s software development kit and PowerShell. The company supports Red Hat, SUSE, Debian and Ubuntu on Azure. Notably, Microsoft is a top open source contributor on GitHub.


The Linux Foundation isn’t the only open source foundation Microsoft has committed to in 2016: in March, the company joined the Eclipse Foundation. A Microsoft employee has served as the Apache Software Foundation’s president for three years.


Linux Foundation membership underscores what Microsoft has demonstrated time and again, which is that the company is evolving and maturing with the technology industry. Open source has become a dominant force in software development–the de facto way to develop infrastructure software–as individuals and companies have realized that they can solve their own technology challenges and help others at the same time.


Membership is an important step for Microsoft, but it’s perhaps bigger news for the open source community, which will benefit from the company’s sustained contributions. I look forward to updating you over time on progress resulting from this relationship.


This Week in Linux News: Hyperledger Project could help solve counterfeit drug problem, Linux goals have changed, and more. Get the latest on open source with the weekly news digest.

1) Management consulting services company, Accenture, proposed a blockchain-supported solution to the counterfeit drug problem at a recent Hyperledger Project meeting.

Blockchain Technology Could Help Solve $75 Billion Counterfeit Drug Problem– International Business Times

2) World domination is no longer the most important goal for Linux, writes Bruce Byfield.

Linux and the Second Goal- Datamation

3) The Linux Foundation’s Open Container Initiative is “in the perfect position to draft a standard that meets everyone’s needs,” writes James Darvell.

New Container Image Standard Promises More Portable Apps– Linux Journal

4) The latest Ubuntu release emphasizes a user-friendly experience.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Brings Big Changes to the Linux Desktop– PCWorld

5) Red Hat has embraced open source OpenStack infrastructure-as-a-service cloud.

Red Hat Doubles Down on OpenStack– ZDNet