Docker is an open-source containerization platform that allows developers to build, package, and ship applications in standard isolated containers in independent environments that are isolated from the infrastructure. The environments in which applications are shipped are known as containers. In containers, applications are packaged along with their dependencies, including system, runtime configurations, libraries, and source code. Containers allow developers to run code in any environment compilation or dependency issues. Developers can install Docker on Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems as well as on cloud platforms like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.
Advantages of containerization
Docker is backed by the principles of collaboration, transparency, and scale with intention. Developers across the globe have widely adopted containerization technology for its apparent benefits, which are:
- Containers allow for fast and simple deployment of distributed applications.
- Docker makes it fast and easy to build lightweight Docker images securely. Each Docker container only contains a single application and its dependencies. Only one application can run at a time, which makes Docker containers quite lightweight.
- Docker is multi-platform. Containers are portable and can run on any virtual environment and operating system without the need for modification or compilation. Docker containers can run on Azure, AWS, Google cloud, Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. Simply launch your containers, and the application will launch and run on any platform.
- Because Docker containers run in isolated environments, it is easy to create and delete the environments without interfering with other operations. Compared to virtual machines, containers can be built and deleted a lot more easily and faster.
- Containerization makes it possible to reuse existing containers for faster development of Docker images. With the shared registry from which, developers can access containers developed by other users.
- Containerization enables easy tracking and rollbacks of container versions enabling developers to build efficient software.
What are the system requirements for Docker installation on Windows?
Docker is open-source, and its versions can be installed on Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems. While on Linux, the Docker engine can be installed directly, some requirements need to be met to install the Docker Desktop version for Windows OS. Still, Docker Desktop is very easy to install and run on your Windows OS, provided the following requirements are met:
- Windows 10 (Professional, Business, Education, or Home) versions or higher
- 64-bit processing
- 4GB system RAM or higher
- Windows Hyper-V with container feature enabled in Windows
- BIOS-level hardware virtualization
Remember that all these requirements, installation guides, downloads, community forums, FAQs, video resources, and other links can be found on the homepage for Docker documentation.
How to install Docker on Windows
Before installing Docker on Windows, it is important to note that virtualization should be enabled in the BIOS of the desktop.
Secondly, if you have Windows versions older than Windows 10, you need to first install the Docker toolbox that comprises an Oracle VM and other components required to set up Linux Kernels required for Docker containers. Step-by-step Docker installation on Windows
Register an account on the Docker official website. This should give you access to downloads. Once you have registered and signed in, navigate to Docker Desktop for Windows.Download/install the Docker File. Download the installer (Docker Desktop Installer.exe). Once downloaded, find it in your downloads and double-click it to run the installer.
Before installation, you are required to have enabled the Hyper-V Windows feature on the configuration page. The following guidelines should help you enable Hyper-V on Windows 10. During installation, you will be directed by the prompts that will appear on your screen and wait till the installation is complete.
Once installation is complete, click ‘close’ and restart your computer.In case your admin account is different from the user account, ensure that you have added the user to the Doker-users group to give the user access to download the Docker files. How to install Docker from the Command line option
You can also download Docker to your desktop using the command line option. To do this, you still need to have downloaded and run the Docker Desktop Installer (Docker Desktop Installer.exe). The Windows command line used to install Docker is the start /w “Docker Desktop Installer.exe” install. where the admin account is different from the user account, run the net localgroup docker-users <user> /add command to add a user to the Docker-users group.
Basic Docker Configuration
To set up Docker, Click on Docker on your PC’s start menu, and it will launch for the first time. As it launches for the first time, a prompt will appear on your screen for the Docker subscription agreement.
Accept the terms and conditions by clicking the “accept” button. Once you have accepted the terms and conditions, a Quick Start Guide will be launched. This guide should direct you to perform simple Docker tasks like running Docker containers and building a Docker image.
As we have seen, you need to restart your computer after successfully installing Docker. The next step is to install Windows Setup for LINUX (WSL 2).
This virtualization engine allows developers to run Linux binary files natively on Windows. This configuration is as simple as Docker installation because you only need to follow the prompts.
Docker containerization technology has helped developers to build and run high-quality applications along with their dependencies in isolated environments called containers. Containerization has been adapted widely because it lets developers ship standard containers fast across environments without the hassle of compiling code or configuring the app for the new environment.
Also, containerization enables fast scaling of applications in virtual cloud environments and version control. In essence, Docker simplifies application development.