Using Containerizers

Using containerizers with Docker Engine and Universal Container Runtime

A containerizer provides a containerization and resource isolation abstraction around a specific container runtime. DC/OS containerizers support the following container runtimes:

The advantages of Universal Container Runtime (UCR) are:

  • Removes your dependency on the Docker Engine. If the Docker Engine is not responsive, restarting the Engine causes all containers on the host to stop. In addition, Docker must be installed on each of your agent nodes and you must upgrade Docker on the agent nodes each time a new version of Docker is released.
  • Is more stable and allows deployment at scale
  • Offers features not available in the Docker Engine, such as GPU and CNI support
  • Allows you to take advantage of continuing innovation within both the Mesos and DC/OS, including features such as IP per container, strict container isolation, and more. Refer to the features matrix for additional information.
  • Supports collection of container image garbage either automatically or manually

In summary, using the UCR instead of the Docker Engine:

  • Reduces service downtime
  • Improves on-the-fly upgradability
  • Increases cluster stability

Container Runtime Features

The tables below list the features available with each of the supported container runtimes, which products support the features, and where the feature can be configured.

DC/OS Features

Feature UCR Docker Comments
Command Yes Yes
Container Images Yes Yes
Image Garbage Collection Yes Yes
Pods Yes No
GPUs Yes No
URIs Yes Yes
Docker Options No Yes
Force Pull Yes Yes
Secrets Yes Yes DC/OS Enterprise only
File-based Secrets Yes No DC/OS Enterprise only
Debugging with exec Yes No CLI only
All Security Modes Yes Yes DC/OS Enterprise only

Container Backend

Feature UCR Docker
OverlayFS Yes Yes
Aufs Yes Yes
Bind Yes N/A


Feature UCR Docker Comments
Local Persistent Volumes Yes Yes
Host Volumes Yes Yes CLI only
External Volumes Yes Yes

Service Endpoints

Feature UCR Docker
Named Ports Yes Yes
Numbered Ports Yes Yes


Feature UCR Docker Comments
Host Networking Yes Yes
Bridge Networking Yes Yes
CNM N/A Yes Docker 1.11+
L4LB Yes Yes Requires defined service endpoints. TCP health checks do not work with L4LB.

Private Registry

Feature UCR Docker
Token-based Container Auth No Yes
Token-based Cluster Auth Yes Yes
Basic Container Auth No Yes
Basic Cluster Auth Yes Yes

Health Checks

Feature UCR Docker Comments
TCP Yes Yes CLI only
Command Yes Yes
Local TCP Yes Yes CLI only
Local HTTP/HTTPS Yes Yes