Overview of Docker

Overview of Docker
Written by Shuvhojit DebNovember 20, 2021
8 min read
Shuvhojit Deb

Full Stack Developer

Today we will know everything about Docker

What is Docker?

Docker is an open-source containerization platform. It enables developers to package applications into containers—standardized executable components combining application source code with the operating system (OS) libraries and dependencies required to run that code in any environment. Containers simplify the delivery of distributed applications and have become increasingly popular as organizations shift to cloud-native development and hybrid multi-cloud environments.

Developers can create containers without Docker, but the platform makes it easier, simpler, and safer to build, deploy and manage containers. Docker is essentially a toolkit that enables developers to build, deploy, run, update, and stop containers using simple commands and work-saving automation through a single API.

It used to be that when you wanted to run a web application, you bought a server, installed Linux, set up a LAMP stack, and ran the app. If your app got popular, you practiced good load balancing by setting up a second server to ensure the application wouldn't crash from too much traffic.


Why should we use Docker?

One of the great things about open source is that you have a choice in what technology you use to accomplish a task. The Docker engine can be useful for lone developers who need a lightweight, clean environment for testing, but without a need for complex orchestration. If Docker is available on your system and everyone around you is familiar with the Docker toolchain, then Docker Community Edition is a great way to get started with containers.

Docker enhanced the native Linux containerization capabilities with technologies that enable:

  • While LXC containers often reference machine-specific configurations, Docker containers run without modification across any desktop, data center, and cloud environment.
  • With LXC, multiple processes can be combined within a single container. With Docker containers, only one process can run in each container. This makes it possible to build an application that can continue running while one of its parts is taken down for an update or repair.
  • Docker can automatically build a container based on application source code.
  • Docker can track versions of a container image, roll back to previous versions, and trace who built a version and how. It can even upload only the deltas between an existing version and a new one.
  • Existing containers can be used as base images—essentially like templates for building new containers.
  • Developers can access an open-source registry containing thousands of user-contributed containers.

Why Has Docker Become so Popular?

  • Docker is lightweight.
  • It is portable everywhere.
  • It is very fast.
  • Deckor has no hypervisor.

Docker Tools and Terms

Image: Image is an executable package that has everything that is needed for running applications, which
includes a configuration file, environment variables, runtime, and libraries.

DockerFile: Every Docker container starts with a simple text file containing instructions for how to build the
Docker container image. DockerFile automates the process of Docker image creation. It’s essentially a list of
command-line interface (CLI) instructions that Docker Engine will run to assemble the image.

Build: Creates an image snapshot from the Dockerfile.

Docker Daemon: Docker daemon is a service running on your operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows
or Apple macOS, or iOS. This service creates and manages your Docker images for you using the commands
from the client, acting as the control center of your Docker implementation.

Docker Registry: A Docker registry is a scalable open-source storage and distribution system for docker
images. The registry enables you to track image versions in repositories, using tagging for identification. This
is accomplished using git, a version control tool.

Docker Engine: The system that allows you to create and run Docker containers.

Docker Container: A lightweight software package/unit created from a specific image version.

DockerHub: Image repository where we can find different types of images.

Alternatives to Docker

Linux containers have facilitated a massive shift in high-availability computing. There are many toolsets out there to help you run services, or even your entire operating system, in containers. The Open Container Initiative (OCI) is an industry standards organization that encourages innovation while avoiding the danger of vendor lock-in. Thanks to the OCI, you have a choice when choosing a container toolchain, including Docker, CRI-O, Podman, LXC, and others.

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