Phil Estes

DE & CTO,Container and Linux OS Architecture Strategy, Charlottesville, Virginia United States of America

Phil is a Distinguished Engineer & CTO, Container and Linux OS Architecture Strategy for the IBM Watson and Cloud Platform division. Phil is currently an OSS maintainer in the Docker (now Moby) engine project, the CNCF containerd project, and is a member of both the Open Container Initiative (OCI) Technical Oversight Board and the Moby Technical Steering Committee. Phil is a long-standing member of the Docker Captains program and has enjoyed a long relationship with key open source contributors and experts in the Docker ecosystem. Phil is a regular speaker at industry and developer conferences as well as meetups on topics related to open source, Docker, Linux container technology and the broader container ecosystem. Phil is a recognized subject matter expert on Linux container technology and regularly assists IBM's product teams and enterprise customers in their application of container technology for their public and private cloud solutions. Phil blogs regularly on these topics on his personal blog at He can be found on Twitter as @estesp.



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Blog Posts by Phil Estes

I've been using open source since what seems like prehistoric times. Back then, there was nothing called social media. There was no Firefox, no Google Chrome (not even a Google), no Amazon, barely an internet. In fact, the hot topic of the day was the new Linux 2.0 kernel. The big technical challenges in those days? Well, the ELF format was replacing the old a.out format in binary Linux distributions, and the upgrade could be tricky on some installs of Linux.
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Published on Dec 15, 2017
Embedding the Containerd Runtime for Fun and Profit [I] - Phil Estes, IBM

The containerd project, one of the youngest in CNCF, is purpose-built to be an embeddable container runtime expected for use within higher layer container systems like the Docker engine and the Kubernetes orchestrator. Of course, the intent is that it will be used and embedded within a variety of software systems and has been designed for easy consumption via a gRPC API and client library.

In this talk we'll walk through a straightforward example of building up a container "client" written in Go, using today's containerd client library and API. Similar to how the Kubernetes CRI uses the containerd endpoints or how the Docker engine's libcontainerd operates, our small client will have access to all the same capabilities of container lifecycle management and registry interactions provided by containerd.

To finish our tour of building a fully functioning containerd client, we will pair our new sample application with LinuxKit and the Moby tool project. Using these tools, we'll build a simple virtual machine that embeds containerd and our sample client to test interesting aspects of containerd's capabilities in our own customized Linux OS image.

About Phil Estes
Phil is a Senior Technical Staff Member in the office of the CTO of IBM Cloud. Phil is a core contributor and maintainer on the Docker engine project where he has contributed key features like user namespace support and multi-platform image capabilities. Phil is also a founding maintainer of the containerd project, and participates in the Open Container Initiative (OCI) as a contributor to the development of runc/libcontainer.

Phil guides both IBM product teams and IBM's customers in applying container technology and concepts to their own cloud native efforts. Phil speaks regularly at industry conferences and meetups and enjoys helping customers and developers alike understand this fast growing ecosystem. Phil is a member of the Docker Captains program and maintains an active blog on container topics at You can find him on Twitter @estesp.
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The day after the usual fun and excitement of DockerCon has traditionally been open source contributor and maintainer focused. With the announcement of the Moby Project back in April at DockerCon Austin, this post-DockerCon event is now more formally named the “Moby Summit” and getting bigger and better each time. In Copenhagen a few weeks ago, we had the fourth iteration of the Moby Summit and I was able to represent both the containerd project as well as a follow-up to the Serverless Panel hosted during DockerCon with a 15 minute slot on OpenWhisk and IBM’s approach to FaaS and serverless computing.

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