January 19, 2024

A self-contained package that wraps software and its dependencies together in a way that is portable and standardized. Can quite literally be viewed as a standardized vehicle for software in the same way a physical metal intermodal shipping container is a standardized vehicle for cargo. More technically, a container (in Linux) is a packaged userspace that you can deploy and use on top of the Linux kernel your Linux computer is already running through container runtimes like Apptainer or Docker. This “hot-swapping” of the user environment allows you to run applications requiring a specific dependency configuration through the container/container runtime without having to install the application or its dependencies on the compute host itself.