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Using systemd Containers

While containers are common terminology at this time, most system administrators will immediately think of Docker, or even Kubernetes when they hear the term. Containers are also a useful part of `systemd`, allowing the savvy systems operator to run one to many client instances of an operating system, from super-thin to full OS virtualization, and anything in between. It is sometimes hard to find information about `systemd` containers, and while there are MANY articles about aspects of them, there is a relatively small subset of even official documentation that goes all the way from no containers to running containers. In this lab, we'll do just that—go from having nothing container-related installed to running a Debian 10 Buster hosted container, and all the needed steps in between. This includes: * Preparing the host system for containers * Pulling down the OS image * Configuring users and passwords * Fixing access issues * Installing needed packages on the hosted OS * Running the hosted container instance as a systemd service using `systemd-nspawn` Additionally, and as promised in the associated course lesson, we'll create a Service Unit file that we can then use to instantiate the container at will or on system boot.

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Path Info

Clock icon Intermediate
Clock icon 30m
Clock icon Sep 18, 2020

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Table of Contents

  1. Challenge

    Prepare, Create, and Configure a systemd Container

    1. Prepare a system for containers.
    2. Download needed utilities.
    3. Create a container.
    4. Set passwords and manage users.
    5. Connect and disconnect from containers.
  2. Challenge

    Manage, Query, and Configure Containers

    1. Start and stop containers manually.
    2. View and understand container status.
    3. Set containers to run as nspawn services.
    4. Install needed software.
  3. Challenge

    Configure a Container as a Service Unit

    1. Set up a container as a systemd service.
    2. View container information.

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