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DevOps and Docker Updates - Rootless Docker

Bret Fisher
Bret Fisher
Hey container champs! I’ve been traveling a lot (it’s conference season) and have missed a few weeks, but I’m back to talk about features you may have missed in the Docker 19.03 release in July.
Today’s issue is covering “Rootless Docker”, which allows us to run Docker without requiring root access to the host machine. Check it out!

See a Docker Rootless Demo From My Live Show
19.03 Update and Rootless Docker
With the 19.03 release of Docker came added functionality, security, and flexibility. As an operator, security is at the forefront of importance. It can positively or negatively affect your organizations safety, trustworthiness, and financial state. By running an application as root, any remote application vulnerability can possibly grant someone access to your entire system. Docker is no exception, and these risks greatly increase when your daemon interacts with the outside world. Docker defaults to running as root, but now we have an option to run it as a standard user.
DockerCon 2019 Video on Rootless mode
Test Rootless Docker In Your Browser
What is Rootless Docker and Why Do I Need It?
Linux Kernel Namespaces allow containers to create an element of isolation from the host, and these namespaces traditionally need root users to create them in Linux. Rootless Docker allows the root user within a container to map itself to a ‘rootless’ user on the host with user namespaces automatically. Even if your Docker daemon gets compromised, the attacker will not be able to have total root access on the host. Rootless mode creates a new user namespace first, the daemon starts in that new namespace, and the users inside the container are mapped to non-privileged UID range in the host namespace.
How To Install It?
This can be installed in a similar way to Docker, using an install script found in the link below. You can run this script (using TLS to ensure it’s authentic) with:
curl -fsSL -o | sh
Rootless Docker Install Script
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for exciting things,
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Bret Fisher
Bret Fisher @bretfisher

Commentary on tools and techniques I find interesting around Docker, Kubernetes, Cloud Native DevOps, and DevSecOps.

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Bret Fisher, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA