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Very good points. I guess I'm looking at it primarily from a server OS PoV, and I find it indeed surprising that Linux has become so entrenched given it's license terms when it hasn't anything to offer beyond a POSIX-like API. You'd expect people to ship their proprietary apps on top of eg BSD base installs or POSIXish unikernels, but instead what is happening is that Docker is used. Apart from the density aspect and "microservice" trend, I conjecture that people use Docker as an isolation layer to get away from shipping GPL code. Because surely isolation from shared libs having different minor versions and install locations on Debian vs RHEL doesn't seem like a good tradeoff considering that those shared libs, when shipped as part of a Docker image, still need security updates. For me, Docker looks like a solution for a problem of our own making - that of needing different versions of shared libs, and in any case equivalently solvable by static linking.

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