Today, it's pretty much all about containers, containers, containers. In a fascinating talk at O'Reilly's Velocity Conference, NY, Bryan Cantrill presented a history of containers. His talk "Stop Killing Kittens and Melting the Ice Caps: Run Containers on Bare Metal Already," chronicled the history of containers. According to Cantrill, containers spawned with chroot and FreeBSD, which came from Bill Joy. As for why containers emerged, well, according to a humorous explanation, Cantrill explains that "...we don't know why."
Kirk [McKusick] doesn't exactly know why, and I don't think Bill [Joy] necessarily knows why. It's the 80's, it's Berkley. The odds of Bill Joy being able to pass a drug test immediately after having pushed this into BSD are infinitesimally low. Certainly THC in the system if not something much more psychoactive…
Cantrill then proceeds to explore several aspects of chroot. People began using it to contain (hence the word “containers,”) untrusted software. FreeBSD then evolved into jails, which allowed chroot to migrate more towards a virtual machine-esque method of partitioning. Cantrill then launches into hardware-level virtualization, Docker, and the future of containers.
Check out Cantrill’s full talk below. At the beginning he quips about playing a containers drinking game, and if you do choose to participate, make sure to place your beverage in a proper container.