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Chapter 1. Overview

The atomic command-line tool provides a way to interact and manage Atomic Host systems and containers. It provides a high level, coherent entrypoint to the system and makes it easier to interact with special kinds of containers, such as super-privileged containers, and debugging tools.

The atomic command uses tools such as docker, ostree and skopeo to manage containers and container host systems. There are also a lot of features built into the atomic command that are not available in the docker command. These features allow you to use special commands for image signing, image verification, the ability to install a container - mounting file systems and opening privileges.

Understanding LABELs: Dockerfiles support storing default values for some commands that atomic can read and execute. These are called "LABEL" instructions and they make it easy to ship images with their own suggested values, and simplifies running complex docker commands. For example, if a Dockerfile contains the LABEL RUN, running atomic run <image> executes its contents. The commands in atomic that use labels are install, uninstall, mount, unmount, run, and stop.