While cloud-based services are undeniably useful, there are people who prefer to do it themselves. For many of us, it’s because we want what we want the way we want it. For others, it’s the insecurity of leaving your personal information on someone’s server that you don’t control. Umbrel is a Linux distribution only for people who want to keep popular apps like NextCloud or Home Assistant on it. [ItsFoss] The initial version of Umbrel has a good review that points out some pros and cons.

What’s really interesting is the distro’s approach to installing software. Like most modern distributions, Umbrel has a package manager. Unlike most, packages are actually docker containers. So when you install an app, it’s preconfigured and lives in its own bubble, unlikely to conflict with anything else you might install.

We also like that it’s built specifically for the Raspberry Pi, although it will run on other 64-bit hardware, and you can even install it in docker on top of your normal OS. Of course, the docker container concept also has a drawback – at least for now – it can be difficult to adjust settings inside a container compared to a more conventional setup.

It amazes us that the hardware has become so capable that it is easier to replicate entire operating systems than to work out the dependency interactions required. Still, it works, and for the most part, it works well.

If you want to know more about Docker, we’ve covered this a few times in the past. You can even use for very simple development cases if you like.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *