In the fast-paced world of technology, open-source projects often experience changes in leadership and direction.
One such instance occurred when Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, recently took over LXD, a widely-used container and virtual machine manager, which was part of the Linux Containers Project for years.
This action generated mixed reactions within the open-source community. While some saw it as a positive move, expecting enhanced support and resources, others expressed concerns about the project’s future direction.
In response to this move, Aleksa Sarai, who’s been the long-time LXD packager for openSUSE, forked LXD, and driven by the desire to retain the essence of community-driven development and to provide an alternative for users seeking independence, the Incus project emerged.
The main aim of this fork is to provide once again a real community project where everyone’s contributions are welcome and no one single commercial entity is in charge of the project.
The fork occurred at the LXD 5.16 release, allowing users to upgrade from previous LXD releases up to and including LXD 5.16. However, upgrading from a later LXD release may not work because the two projects will likely diverge.
At the same time, Incus will continue to import relevant LXD developments over time, while changes and functionality exclusive to Ubuntu or Canonical’s products will unlikely be brought over.
Furthermore, an interesting debate on Hacker News has arisen, in which a user with the username markshuttle, who appears to be referring to Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and CEO of Canonical, gives more light on the topic.
Finally, remember that Incus is still in its early stages, and it remains to be seen which route it will take and whether it will accumulate the minimum critical mass of users required for its successful existence.
Update: Starting as of August 7th, 2023, Incus is an official member of the the Linux Containers project. Here’s the announcement.