📦 A command-line utility (non-daemon) written in Go for creating Linux containers and sandboxing processes.
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James Mills 33298a005b
Fix import paths
11 months ago
.chglog Fix import paths 11 months ago
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container Fix import paths 11 months ago
dns Add support for bind mounts and inject host /etc/resolv.conf into containers 2 years ago
filesystem Change TrimLeft to TrimPrefix (#15) 1 year ago
image Fix import paths 11 months ago
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nat Remove debugging code around port mapping 2 years ago
network Fix import paths 11 months ago
reexec Initial Commit 2 years ago
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utils Skip setting swap limits on systems that don't have MEMCG_SWAP enabled and fix bug with setting CPU Period/Quote limits (Fixes #12) 2 years ago
.gitignore Add dist go .gitignore 2 years ago
.goreleaser.yml Fix import paths 11 months ago
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LICENSE Initial Commit 2 years ago
Makefile Fix Makefile so default target doesn't run box and modify the environment (Fixes #13) 1 year ago
README.md Fix import paths 11 months ago
_config.yml Set theme jekyll-theme-architect 2 years ago
go.mod Fix import paths 11 months ago
go.sum Add stub build command 11 months ago
main.go Fix import paths 11 months ago



📦 A command-line utility (non-daemon) written in Go for creating Linux containers nad sandboxing a processes.

box is basically a tiny version of docker, it uses neither containerd nor runc. box only implements a sub-set of features you may be used to coming from Docker or similar.

NOTE: This is a heavily modified fork (of was) of vessel and a reimplementation of the box utility from ulinux.


box supports:

  • Control Groups for resource restriction (CPU, Memory, Swap, PIDs)
  • Namespace for global system resources isolation (Mount, UTS, Network, IPS, PID)
  • Union File System for branches to be overlaid in a single coherent file system. (OverlayFS)
  • Isolated Networking each container get its own networking and ip address automatically (IPAM)
  • Pulling OCI images from the Docker Hub
  • Builtin basic Networking and IPAM
  • and not much else...


If you have a Go development environment setup with $GOPATH/bin/ in your $PATH the following will just work™ 😀

go get -u git.mills.io/prologic/box

Otherwise you can build from source using git (You still need the Go compiler):

git clone https://git.mills.io/prologic/box.git
cd box

Pre-built Binaries

There are pre-built binaries I publish regularly to the Releases page you can download and install. Example:

wget https://git.mills.io/prologic/box/releases/download/0.0.4/box_0.0.4_linux_amd64.tar.gz
tar xvf box_0.0.4_linux_amd64.tar.gz

Running rootless

Since box requires elevated privileges in order to create new namespaces and control groups, it must be run as root or with an effective uid of 0.

You can either run box as root, or you can install the binary with the suid bit set:

chmod u+s box


# box --help
A tiny tool for managing containers and sandbox processes

  box [command]

Available Commands:
  exec        Run a command inside a existing Container.
  help        Help about any command
  images      List local images
  ps          List Containers
  pull        Pulls an OCI compatible image from a registry
  rm          Removes a Container.
  run         Run a command inside a new Container.
  stop        Stops a Container.
  version     Display the version of box and exit

  -D, --debug   Enable debug logging
  -h, --help    help for box

Use "box [command] --help" for more information about a command.


Run /bin/sh in alpine:latest

box run alpine /bin/sh
box run alpine # same as above due to alpine default command

Run /bin/ch -c 'echo "Hwllo World"':

box run alpine -- /bin/sh -c 'echo "Hello World"'

_NOTE:: The -- is important here as this acts as the "flag terminator" for the box CLI and the run sub-command and allows you to then use command-line options that are passed to your images' entrypoint.


IP Address Management (IPAM)

Currently box has a builtin IPAM (IP Address Management) that has a hard coded subnet of A box0 bridge (switch) is setup for all containers (automatically) and containers are put into their own isolated Network Namespace and assigned an IP Address out of this subnet automatically (without requiring DHCP).

Currently there is no support for using a different subnet or assigning static IP Addresses to containers at this time.

External Networking and Port Mapping

Currently box requires and depends on the iptables binary to manipulate NAT rules to allow containers access to external networks (MASQUERADE) and mapping ports from the host to the container (DNAT).

DNS Resolvers

box injects the host's /etc/resolv.conf into a newly formed container so as long as DNS Resolution works on your host, it will work inside containers too.


box is/does NOT:

  • Designed to be used in critical production workloads.
  • Known to have any orchestrator(s) for managing services.
  • Useful for multi-host networking and has no support for it.
  • Have any support for volumes besides bind-mount(s) from the host
  • Have any other features you'd expect from Docker, Docker Swarm or Kubernetes.


box is licensed under the MIT License.