Flatcar Container Linux Pro


Flatcar Container Linux Pro


A minimal, secure Linux distribution for Docker and Kubernetes apps, optimized for Azure.

Flatcar Container Linux Pro is an Azure-optimized edition of Flatcar Container Linux, ideal for production container environments requiring the highest performance, security and support.

Flatcar Container Linux Pro is a self-updating operating system designed for containers, making it ideal for running Kubernetes and other container platforms. It is suitable for anyone deploying containerized applications, particularly those seeking to do so securely or at scale. "If you're doing work in the container space, Flatcar Linux is something that's really for you." - Ross Gardler, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Azure (MS Ignite 2020)

Why users choose Flatcar Container Linux Pro

  • Security: A minimal distribution with immutable file system meets NIST recommendations for application container security
  • Auto-updating: With Flatcar's robust auto-update mechanism, it's easy to keep your entire fleet up-to-date with the latest capabilities and security patches, and roll-back in the event of an upgrade issue on a specific instance.
  • Reduced complexity: As a minimal distribution, Flatcar includes just those components you need to deploy your containers, and nothing more. Also, its immutable file system and auto-update mechanism means it requires minimal operational support.
  • Community supported: Flatcar is a community-driven project, developed and supported by a global open source team.

Optimized for Azure

  • Azure-Optimized Kernel based on the 5.4 Linux kernel, optimally configured for Azure out of the box. Automated updates ensure your deployment continues to take advantage of the latest available Azure platform support.
  • Azure Accelerated Networking support for the highest possible network performance.
  • Azure GPU Instance Support comes with pre-installed drivers for all Azure GPU instance types.
  • Endorsed Distribution: Flatcar is an endorsed distribution in Microsoft Azure, ensuring a close cooperation between Microsoft and the Kinvolk team responsible for publishing the community-supported Flatcar images.

NIST Security Recommendation for Containerized Applications

Deploying a container-optimized OS like Flatcar is recommended by NIST in its application container security guide: "Whenever possible, organizations should use these minimalistic OSs to reduce their attack surfaces and mitigate the typical risks and hardening activities associated with general-purpose OSs."


Flatcar Container Linux Pro is now free, and community supported. Enterprise support is no longer included with any Kinvolk-published Flatcar Container Linux offers.