Compute Engine

Containers on Google Cloud Platform


Google is making it simple to run Docker containers on Google Cloud Platform. From container-optimized VMs to our fully-hosted container management platform, there's an option for all developers interested in using containers to run their applications.

There is more to come, and we hope you get involved.

Container Engine

Google Container Engine is a hosted container management platform, that runs and manages Docker containers on Google Compute Engine virtual machines. It's powered by the open source technology Kubernetes.

For more information about Google Container Engine, read What is Google Container Engine?

Container VMs

The container-optimized VM provides a way to statically and declaratively run multiple Docker containers on a Google Compute Engine instance. Container-optimized Google Compute Engine images are Debian images with a few additions:

  • The Docker runtime is pre-installed, so you're ready to create containers as soon as your instance is up.
  • The image includes an agent that handles container manifest files, to create and monitor containers automatically.

More information about container VMs, including sample code to get you started, is available on the Container-Optimized Images page.


Kubernetes is an open source container cluster manager. It schedules any number of container replicas across a group of node instances. A master instance exposes the Kubernetes API, through which tasks are defined. Kubernetes spawns containers on nodes to handle the defined tasks.

The number and type of containers can be dynamically modified according to need. An agent (a kubelet) on each node instance monitors containers and restarts them if necessary.

Kubernetes is optimized for Google Cloud Platform, but can run on any physical or virtual machine.

To get started, visit the Kubernetes repository on GitHub.

Get involved

We encourage you to be involved in the development and design of the image and the related open source projects: