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Just enough operating system

Just enough operating system

(also JeOS)

Just enough operating system definition

Just enough operating system is a minimalist version of an operating system that’s tailored and optimized for the needs of a particular application. It includes only the minimal components necessary to support those applications, thereby reducing its overall footprint in terms of size, resource usage, and potential security vulnerabilities.

This concept is popular in virtualized environments and cloud computing, where efficiency and security are paramount.

See also: cloud architecture, virtual environment

Common implementations of JeOS

  • Ubuntu JeOS. Ubuntu JeOS provides a minimal base system with the essential components to run within virtualized environments.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS. SUSE offers a JeOS version of its Enterprise Linux distribution for virtualization and cloud platforms. It’s a lightweight and compact version of their enterprise operating system, suitable for deploying applications in resource-constrained environments.
  • VMware Photon OS. Photon OS by VMware is a minimal Linux container host optimized for VMware platforms. It’s a secure, fast, and scalable solution for cloud and container environments, making it a popular choice for deploying containerized applications.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Atomic Host. Although Red Hat discontinued the Atomic Host, it was a lightweight, immutable platform designed to run containerized applications, a typical use case for JeOS. RHEL now integrates these features into its CoreOS for similar purposes.
  • Fedora CoreOS. This is a minimal, container-focused operating system designed for large-scale cloud deployments. Fedora CoreOS is intended to provide a reliable, consistent, and secure foundation for containerized environments.
  • Container-Optimized OS from Google Cloud. Specifically designed for Google Cloud Platform, this operating system is optimized for running Docker containers and comes with Docker pre-installed. It’s a secure and lightweight option for running containers on Google Cloud.
  • RancherOS. RancherOS is another lightweight Linux distribution designed to run Docker containers. It achieves its small footprint by running Docker as its only process, making it particularly suitable for containerized environments.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security

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