Packaging applications in Docker containers

Kaboxer lets users deploy applications that may be difficult to package using Docker containers.

The way distributions deliver software is changing. New package formats such as Flatpak and Snap are becoming more widespread, and containers are becoming increasingly important even for casual desktop users. There are many reasons for this. Developers want to see their software quickly reach users without having to create packages in different formats. Some approaches also allow multiple software versions to be installed simultaneously. Sandboxing as a security feature also plays a role.

In addition, not all software can be easily packaged and kept up-to-date using traditional package formats. This is especially true for distributions such as Kali Linux which ship hundreds of highly specialized applications. Many of these specialized applications are unavailable in the Debian repository. Others are difficult to package because they rely on outdated libraries that hardly any distributions come with anymore. Another reason would be to isolate apps so that they do not interfere with other programs.

Kaboxer [1], a Docker and DEB package-based application developed for Kali Linux, transparently deploys difficult-to-package applications in Docker containers within the Debian packaging system.

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