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I totally agree. Docker feels really tidy conceptually. I ended up somehow convincing myself that adding this extra layer of technology into my (relatively tiny) infrastructure will decrease it's complexity. Unsurprisingly, the effect was the exact opposite.

I've been enjoying Nixos[0] and hope to try Nixops[1] soon. The difference between Nixos and docker is that nixos makes it possible to have a truly reproducible environment. See the surprisingly readable paper[2] for more details.

0: http://nixos.org/

1: http://nixos.org/nixops/

2: https://nixos.org/~eelco/pubs/nixos-jfp-final.pdf

I feel the exact opposite! The Dockerfile is a simple way to define my environment and it's trivial to run the app in either development, QA, or production. Throw in some of the other functionality such as being able to deploy from an image rather than having to rebuild each time, and it's been a productive addition to my toolset. I'm guessing it depends on how complex your application is, but I've found it fantastic for running Python (Flask), PostgreSQL/PostGIS, MapServer, and some other smaller applications.

And did you produce OS packages for any of that configuration work, or did you just end up dumping a bunch of files into the "image"?

It's not an image in the sense that you can run updates/installs and strip out the crap associated with that but it's so trivial to run "images" that the benefits far outweigh the additional disk space for our use cases.

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