Container Image vs Helm Chart vs OCI Bundle

Last Updated: 2023-08-12
  • Container images: a static/immutable file with executable code that can create a container on a computing system; provides just an application, not the configuration data necessary for running it.
  • Charts: only yamls, no binaries / images, they provide instructions that tell Kubernetes where to find the container images that it needs to run a certain application.
  • a single chart could install multiple applications. E.g. install web server and database in one chart.
  • Helm charts are more like a complete software installation package. When you run a Helm chart, it installs not just application binaries, but also all of the configuration data necessary to run an application.
  • Helm charts work only for installing software on Kubernetes; containers can run anywhere.
  • Both Helm charts and container images can be stored in a registry like Harbor.
  • OCI Bundle: can have both Charts and Images.