I am thrilled to let you know we have a Discourse 1.0.0 container based on LXC available for download and use. This makes deploying Discourse really easy for users.
Some context - We recently launched Flockport which provides ready to use instances of popular apps based on LXC containers. And we have a Discourse instance ready for download and use. See the Discourse container in action
Containers are like lightweight virtual machines, that let you run multiple Linux OS containers within your host OS. So you could be running a Debian host with for instance multiple Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu containers and vice versa. And the biggie is these containers are portable across any Linux system. So you can move your Discourse installation across servers with minimum fuss, just zip it and move!
Even better containers operate at near bare-metal speeds, there is no virtualization overhead. This is fantastic technology for end users and the only reason its not seen more widespread adoption and use is due to lack of marketing by the Ubuntu supported LXC project.
Linux containers (LXC) is supported natively in the Linux kernel. Most distributions have LXC packages available and its mostly an apt-get install away, and is fairly easy to use. See the walkthough below.
To use the Flockport Discourse container you need to install LXC and download the Discourse container . This frees you from installing and configuring web stacks and apps, just download a container and you are ready to go.
Here is a LXC walkthough
Ps: Discourse officially supports a Docker based install, so a lot of users will be aware of containers. Docker was based on the LXC project untill 0.9 when it switched to its own engine libcontainer. Docker containers and LXC containers are a bit different. Docker uses containers to build an app delivery platform and abstracts the container away to an app, while LXC gives you a full Linux environment like a lightweight VM, with some caveats.
LXC has been baking since 2009, and mainly developed by Daniel Lezcano, Serge Hallyn and Stephane Graber. It was merged into the Linux kernel around 2.6.32. Its been supported by Ubuntu since 2012, both Serge Hallyn and Stephane Graber work for Ubuntu. Given how useful the technology is for end users, its not seen as wide adoption mainly because of the low profile of the LXC project.