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Containers are a lightweight alternative to fully virtualized machines (VMs). They use the kernel of the host system that they run on, instead of emulating a full operating system (OS). This means that containers can access resources on the host system directly.

The runtime costs for containers is low, usually negligible. However, there are some drawbacks that need be considered:

Only Linux distributions can be run in Proxmox Containers. It is not possible to run other operating systems like, for example, FreeBSD or Microsoft Windows inside a container.

For security reasons, access to host resources needs to be restricted. Therefore, containers run in their own separate namespaces. Additionally some syscalls (user space requests to the Linux kernel) are not allowed within containers.

Proxmox VE uses Linux Containers (LXC) as its underlying container technology. The “Proxmox Container Toolkit” (pct) simplifies the usage and management of LXC, by providing an interface that abstracts complex tasks.

Containers are tightly integrated with Proxmox VE. This means that they are aware of the cluster setup, and they can use the same network and storage resources as virtual machines. You can also use the Proxmox VE firewall, or manage containers using the HA framework.