AWS Launches Command-Line Container Management Open Source Tool

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon Web Services (AWS) is seen during the 4th annual America Digital Latin American Congress of Business and Technology in Santiago, Chile, September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado/File photo

Finch is a native macOS client that supports all Mac CPU architectures as of the time of its introduction. Lima, nerdctl, containerd, and BuildKit are just a few of the open source components that are combined into Finch.

Finch is an open source, cloud-neutral command-line client for constructing, executing, and publishing Linux containers that was made available by AWS.

“Finch is our response to the complexity of curating and assembling an open source container development tool for macOS initially, followed by Windows and Linux in the future,” claim Phil Estes, principle engineer at AWS, and Chris Short, senior developer advocate at AWS. They point out that carefully selected open source, vendor-neutral applications will always make up the foundation of the Finch client.

Since Finch is built on nerdctl, the majority of the nerdctl commands and options function as they would if the programme were running under the Linux operating system. Finch enables operating containers locally, getting images from registries, and creating images using Dockerfiles. Finch can create and execute images for either the amd64 or arm64 architectures through emulation.

Estes and Short revealed that while the Finch core will continue to concentrate on vendor-neutral projects, support for downstream users building their own extensions and features is one of the ambitions for the platform’s future. To avoid “impacting or fragmenting the open source core or upstream dependencies that Finch depends on,” AWS-specific additions will be opt-in only. Extensions will be kept in separate projects with separate release cycles.

After installation, finch vm init must be used to initialise the Finch virtual environment. Finch can then be launched by running finch vm start. The run command can be used to launch a container, for instance:

<code class=" language-bash">finch run --rm</code>

If the image is missing, the run command will fetch it before creating and starting the container. When the container command terminates, the optional —rm flag will remove the container.

Currently, only macOS is supported by Finch, while the development team has expressed interest in adding support for Windows and Linux in the future. A machine with an Intel or Apple Silicon M1 processor, a minimum of two CPUs, and 4 GB of RAM are required in order to run macOS at all.


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