Table of contents

  1. Containers
  2. What is OCI?
  3. OCI Project Types
  4. Content Addressability
  5. Distributing Container Images

If you are looking for a gentle introduction to containers and the Open Container Initiative, you’ve come to the right place!


A container is generally an encapsulated environment that is created from one or more binaries (images) to provide some form of isolation. Read more about containers here.

What is OCI?

OCI stands for the “Open Container Initiative” and encompasses a group of people and a set of projects for describing container formats and interactions. For more information about OCI, see About the Open Container Initiative.

OCI Project Types

The runtime-spec, image-spec, and distribution-spec, provide details for how a container is built, or interacted with. To give you a good understanding of OCI projects, let’s talk about the goals of OCI projects. When you understand the goals of each one, this puts you in a position to understand how they are used, why they are used, and how you can contribute.

Content Addressability

How does somebody find your house to mail a letter? They have an address, or a unique identifier for the location of your house. Containers are no different - we can calculate hashes of their content called digests and then use these addresses as unique identifiers to reference the containers. Read more about Content Addressability here.

Distributing Container Images

Let’s say I have a container on my host. How do I get it to you? How can you be sure that your containers are safe if your laptop crashes? The task of distributing containers offers an entire new space of challenges. Read about distributing container images here

You made it to the bottom! Now that have an understanding of containers and the specifications, you should next read about how to contribute.


Table of contents