You can download VMware Photon 1.0, Revision 2 binaries through VMware's GitHub wiki page and choose from a variety of formats. For example, a full bootable ISO image is available for various installation options: The micro installation currently uses about 260 MB, while the minimal installation uses about 330 MB and the full installation demands about 1.7 GB.
VMware hypervisors using virtual hardware versions 10 and 11 also offer an Open Virtualization Appliance image that is available for minimal installations. If you choose to deploy Photon in a public cloud, you can select an Amazon Machine Image package for Elastic Compute Cloud instances or a Google Compute Engine image for GCE instances. VMware plans to release an image tailored to Microsoft Azure instances in the near future.
The VMware Photon wiki provides documentation on how to install and use Photon, including a quick-start guide and detailed instructions on how to use Photon on vSphere, Fusion, vCloud Air, GCE and Amazon Web Services. You can also find documentation to aid with troubleshooting, security, clustering and other container deployment issues.
It's important to consider support when you evaluate open source platforms for the enterprise. Although VMware remains a major contributor to the Photon project, the vendor isn't directly responsible for support. Developers and IT operations professionals need to rely on community efforts and resources -- such as wikis or the GitHub issues page -- to deploy, optimize and troubleshoot Photon. Similarly, any developer who wishes to contribute to Photon platform can access source code and make pull requests through GitHub.
Photon platform users can expect periodic patches. In general, updates within a major release are delivered as new packages each quarter. However, security updates arrive as needed. You can employ the Photon package manager (tdnf) to access and deploy available updates through the tdnf update command. The tdnf tool looks through VMware's repositories for new packages, though you can also configure other repository locations.
Remember, new packages and versions installed from repositories might cause incompatibilities or unstable behaviors in Photon due to API differences or changes in dependencies. Test any patches or updates in a protected environment before you roll new Photon code into production.
Containers are gaining traction as a fast and efficient vehicle for developing and deploying enterprise-class applications. With broad support for hypervisors like vSphere already well-established in production settings, the promise of a container-friendly OS with proven vSphere compatibility is compelling to both developers and operations staff. Photon offers another open source Linux alternative proven under VMware platforms, which allows organizations to add container support with minimal disruption to more established VM environments.
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