August 4, 2021

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Cryptocurrency Miners Force Changes to Free Tiers at Docker

Cryptocurrency Miners Force Changes to Free Tiers at Docker

From today’s edition of Mike Melanson’s “This Week in Programming” column:

This week, Docker announced some changes to Docker Hub Autobuilds — the primary one of interest being that autobuilds would no longer be available to free tier users — and much of the internet let out a collective groan to the tune of “this is why we can’t have nice things…!”

“As many of you are aware, it has been a difficult period for companies offering free cloud compute,” wrote Shaun Mulligan, principal product manager at Docker in the company’s blog post, citing an article that explores how crypto-mining gangs are running amok on free cloud computing platforms. Mulligan goes on to explain that Docker has “seen a massive growth in the number of bad actors,” noting that it not only costs them money, but also degrades performance for their paying customers. And so, after seven years of free access to their autobuild feature, wherein even all of you non-paying Docker users could set up continuous integration for your containerized projects, gratis, the end is nigh. Like, really, really nigh, as in next week — June 18.

While Docker offered that they already tried to correct the issue by removing around 10,000 accounts, they say that the miners returned the next week in droves, and so they “made the hard choice to remove Autobuilds….”

For its part, Docker has tried to again stave off the criticism, offering users a discount on subscriptions, and offering members of its open source program the ability to continue to use autobuilds for free…

Docker says they’ve also changed Autobuild “to take advantage of BuildKit by default for improved build performance,” increased the number of parallel builds for subscribers, and increased the build instance types, “so you get a beefier machine to build on!” While the changes were apparently inspired by their struggles with cryptocurrency miners, “All of these improvements should see a faster and more stable build experience with lower queue times…”

“We really appreciate your support and the community’s understanding as the whole industry battles against these abusive few.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.