Understanding Docker: Part 1 | Basics

i.hrishikesh nate
4 min readJun 14, 2023

Docker is an open-source platform that allows you to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of applications using containerization. Containers provide an isolated and lightweight environment for running applications, making it easier to package and distribute software across different systems. Here’s a step-by-step overview of Docker from start to end:

1. Installation:
— To begin using Docker, you need to install the Docker Engine on your system. Docker supports various operating systems like Linux, Windows, and macOS. Visit the Docker website to download and install the appropriate version for your OS.

2. Images:
— Docker uses images as the building blocks for containers. An image is a read-only template that includes everything needed to run an application, such as the code, runtime, libraries, and dependencies. Images are created using Dockerfiles, which are text files containing instructions for building the image.
— You can search for existing images on the Docker Hub, a public registry of Docker images. Docker Hub contains a wide range of pre-built images for popular software, including databases, web servers, and programming languages.

3. Containers:
— A container is a runnable instance of an image. It represents an isolated environment where an application can run without interfering with the host system or other containers. Multiple containers can run simultaneously on a single host machine.
— You can create a container using the `docker run` command, specifying the image you want to use. Docker will download the image if it doesn’t exist locally and then start the container.
— Containers are lightweight and start quickly since they share the host system’s OS kernel. They are also portable, meaning you can run the same container on different machines without worrying about dependencies.

4. Dockerfile:
— Dockerfile is a text file that contains a set of instructions for building a Docker image. It defines the base image, any additional dependencies or packages required, environment variables, and the commands to execute during container initialization.
— To build an image from a Dockerfile, you use the `docker build` command. Docker reads the instructions in the Dockerfile and executes them step by step to create a new image.
— Building Docker images from Dockerfiles allows you to version control your images and automate the image creation process.

5. Volumes:
— Docker volumes provide a way to persist and share data between containers and the host system. Volumes allow you to store and manage data outside the container’s lifecycle, ensuring data durability and portability.
— With volumes, you can mount directories or files from the host machine into the container, or create named volumes that are managed by Docker. This enables you to separate the application’s data from the container itself, making it easier to update or replace containers without affecting the data.

6. Networking:
— Docker provides networking capabilities to enable communication between containers and the external world. By default, containers can communicate with each other using a bridge network created by Docker.
— You can also create custom networks to isolate containers or connect them to specific network interfaces on the host machine. Docker supports different network drivers, including bridge, host, overlay, and macvlan, to suit various use cases.

7. Orchestration:
— Docker Swarm and Kubernetes are popular orchestration tools used to manage and scale containerized applications across multiple hosts or clusters.
— Docker Swarm is a native clustering and orchestration solution provided by Docker. It allows you to create a swarm of Docker nodes, deploy services across them, and handle scaling and load balancing.
— Kubernetes (often abbreviated as K8s) is an open-source container orchestration platform that provides advanced features for managing containerized applications at scale. Kubernetes has a more extensive set of features, including auto-scaling, rolling updates, and service discovery.

8. Docker Compose

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— Docker Compose is a tool that simplifies the process of defining and managing multi-container applications. It uses a YAML file to describe the services, networks, and volumes required by your application.
— With Docker Compose, you can define the relationships between containers, specify environment variables, mount volumes, and configure networking. It allows you to start and stop the entire application stack with a single command.

9. Registry:
— Docker Registry is a service for storing and distributing Docker images. It can be either a public registry like Docker Hub or a private registry running on your infrastructure. A private registry provides control over image distribution and adds an extra layer of security.

This overview provides a high-level understanding of Docker from installation to various aspects of containerization. Docker has many more features and advanced configurations available, so it’s recommended to explore the official Docker documentation and tutorials for more in-depth information.

Source: https://docs.docker.com/get-started/

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i.hrishikesh nate

Security Researcher | Application Security | Linux | Bug Hunter