AWS has released Finch, an open source command-line tool for building, running and publishing Linux containers. Finch brings together a number of open source components, such as Lima, nerdctl, containerd and BuildKit. At the time of release, Finch is a native macOS tool with support for all Mac processor architectures.
“Finch is our answer to the complexity of creating an open source container development tool for macOS initially, followed by Windows and Linux in the future,”
said Phil Estes, Principal Engineer at AWS and Chris Short, Senior Developer Advocate at AWS.
They note that Finch will always consist of curated, vendor-neutral open source projects.
We are focused on the command line client that can help with the developer’s “inner loop” on a Mac: build, run, push/pull of Linux containers. We also are focused on being an opinionated distribution such that we have a signed .pkg installer that makes it easy for companies that need to plug in Finch to their device management suite (jamf for example)”,
said Phil Estes for CNCF Slack.
Finch is based on nerdctl, and most of the nerdctl commands and options work the same as if the tool were running on Linux. Finch allows downloading images from registries, running containers locally, and building images using Dockerfiles. Through emulation, Finch can build and run images for amd64 or arm64 architectures.
Finch currently has no graphical user interface and offers a simple command line client with no additional integrations for cluster management or other container orchestration tools. Over time, extensibility will be added to Finch with additional features that you can choose to enable.
AWS-specific extensions will be optional so as not to “impact or fragment the open source kernel or upstream dependencies that Finch depends on.” The plan is to maintain the extensions in their own projects with separate release cycles.