Setting Up a Developer Environment Using Docker

Integrate with your favorite tools throughout your development pipeline – Docker works with all development tools you use including VS Code, CircleCI and GitHub. If you do not have the ubuntu image locally, Docker pulls it from your configured registry, as though you had run docker pull ubuntu manually. They use Docker to push their applications into a test environment and execute automated and manual tests. Develop your application and its supporting components using containers. Discover why the worlds most essential organizations rely on NETSCOUTs Visibility Without Borders platform to keep their networks secure, available, and unstoppable. Here’s what you need to know about this popular technology.

what is a docker in software development

So you see, Docker is indeed quite valuable for developers. In the rest of the article, I’ll break down how I built myself a dev environment using Docker. Through conferences, training, consulting, and online resources, TechWell helps you develop and deliver great software every day. In the context of Docker, continuous integration refers to integrating source code that is checked into a source code control system into a Docker image continuously with each successive check-in.

By combining automation, hermetic builds, and immutability, we’ll be able to rebuild older versions of our code. This may be required to reproduce a bug, or to address vulnerabilities before shipping a fixed artifact. How do you create an organization that is nimble, flexible and takes a fresh view of team structure? These are the keys to creating and maintaining a successful business that will last the test of time.

A Docker-based Dev Environment

Docker provides the ability to package and run an application in a loosely isolated environment called a container. The isolation and security allows you to run many containers simultaneously on a given host. Containers are lightweight and contain everything needed to run the application, so you do not need to rely on what is currently installed on the host. You can easily share containers while you work, and be sure that everyone you share with gets the same container that works in the same way. Developers can use Docker Compose to manage multi-container applications, where all containers run on the same Docker host.

what is a docker in software development

Choose option 2 to populate using the default settings. Docker client is a command-line tool you use to interact with the Docker daemon. You call it by using the command docker on a terminal. You can use Kitematic to get a GUI version of the Docker client. With all this in place, let’s start by building a Docker dev environment.

As one of the top 10 financial services companies in the world, ING operates on global scale. The biggest pain point Spotify experienced managing such a large number of microservices was the deployment pipeline. With Docker, Spotify was able to pass the same container all the way through their CI/CD pipeline.

Feel free to pass it along to others on your team, like a tester or another developer. Virtual machines are an abstraction of physical hardware turning one server into many servers. The hypervisor allows multiple VMs to run on a single machine. Each VM includes a full copy of an operating system, the application taking up tens of GBs, so they can be slower to boot.

Developers can cut down costs and development time using Docker. Running this command immediately launches you into a Zsh shell with agnoster theme running, as can be seen in Figure 12. In order to snapshot your work, first let’s put in some work! Specifically, let’s install the agnoster theme and powerline fonts so within my Docker image, I can see Git integration on the terminal.

How Docker reduces development costs?

Because Docker containers are lightweight, a single server or virtual machine can run several containers simultaneously. A 2018 analysis found that a typical Docker use case involves running eight containers per host, and that a quarter of analyzed organizations run 18 or more per host. It can also be installed on a single board computer like the Raspberry Pi. Container images become containers at runtime and in the case of Docker containers – images become containers when they run on Docker Engine. Available for both Linux and Windows-based applications, containerized software will always run the same, regardless of the infrastructure. Containers isolate software from its environment and ensure that it works uniformly despite differences for instance between development and staging.

  • The content of the Dockerfile should be adjusted to your own application.
  • Since ours is a Flask app, we can see for answers.
  • Scaling and language-specific app development according to your demands are safe in our hands.
  • Something that worked on a developer’s computer may not work on the server.
  • For more information visit /consulting or email us at
  • Docker, if simply put, is a tool designed to create, deploy and run applications by using containers.

Docker, when used properly, can be beneficial quite quickly. Containerization, in general, is the natural next step in the software development industry and won’t disappear anytime soon. Docker may be replaced by other tools or the next versions of Docker, but the general concept will remain. But as with every tool, Docker won’t help you if it is not used properly. So before your development team starts to complain about Docker, let them read our free ebook Docker Deep Dive – they will thank you later.

Since our application is written in Python, the base image we’re going to use will be Python 3. Images – The blueprints of our application which form the basis of containers. In the demo above, we used the docker pull command to download the busybox image.

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If some requirement changes, the Dockerfile could be modified accordingly to generate a new image with a new tag. Consequently, multiple versions of software could be made available using different tags. For example, if a software depends on a specific version of Java, the Java version is also downloaded and installed with the other software that is downloaded and installed.

Just copy the container IDs from above and paste them alongside the command. When you call run, the Docker client finds the image , loads up the container and then runs a command in that container. When we run docker run busybox, we didn’t provide a command, so the container booted up, ran an empty command and then exited.

Whenever a developer makes changes to the image, a new top layer is created, and this top layer replaces the previous top layer as the current version of the image. Previous layers are saved for rollbacks or to be re-used in other projects. More specialized container security software has also been developed. For example, Docker now include a signing infrastructure allowing administrators to sign container images to prevent untrusted containers from being deployed. The developers would be better off adopting Platform-as-a-Service systems rather than managing the minutia of self-hosted and managed virtual or logical servers.

Docker isn’t a substitute for virtual machines

VMs integrate an Operating System’s user space and kernel space. Generally, Docker is a system tool that, as a developer, you can use to develop, set up, and run applications with the help of containers. So, when it comes to Docker DevOps, developers can use it to easily collect and pack all application parts, including libraries and multiple other dependencies. Developers can quickly ship the collection out as one package through Docker DevOps.

Additionally, when this Docker Ubuntu image is set up, I’m essentially working in it as root. I wish to work as a non-root user, like I usually do. So, I also want to create a sudo-able user called devuser. Although the gamble of a one-size-fits-all operating system right out of the box worked out well for Windows and Microsoft, the advent of the cloud challenged this approach. For one thing, running unnecessary code in the cloud started equating to real dollars in operational cost. But more than that, the lack of flexibility it lent meant that everything needing to be scriptable wasn’t scriptable.

what is a docker in software development

Once a container is created, a writable layer is added on top of the unchangeable images, allowing a user to make changes. The network create command creates a new bridge network, which is what we need at the moment. The Docker bridge driver automatically installs rules in the host machine so that containers on different bridge networks cannot communicate directly with each other.

We also specify depends_on, which tells docker to start the es container before web. Docker containers provide a way to get a grip on software. You can run your Docker container on any OS-compatible host that has the Docker runtime installed.

Using custom code in Docker

This layer hosts changes made to the running container and stores newly written and deleted files, as well as changes to existing files. The only changes we made from the original docker-compose.yml are of providing the mem_limit and cpu_shares values for each container and adding some logging configuration. This allows us to view logs generated by our containers in AWS CloudWatch.

Open the file located in the flask-app folder and edit the Name of the image to your image’s name. Don’t worry, I’ll explain the contents of the file shortly. When you are done, click on the radio button for “Upload your Code”, choose this file, and click on “Upload”. We’ve looked at images before, but in this section we’ll dive deeper into what Docker images are and build our own image!

Docker seems to be hosting a service and interact with it remotely rather than using it as a service to connect to. Here we provide the name of the keypair we downloaded initially , the number of instances that we want to use (–size) and the type of instances that we want the containers to run on. The –capability-iam flag tells the CLI that we acknowledge that this command may create IAM resources. Unsurprisingly, we can see both the containers running successfully. But does Compose also create the network automatically? Just a few lines of configuration and we have two Docker containers running successfully in unison.

Deploy your applications in separate containers independently and in different languages. Reduce the risk of conflict between languages, libraries or frameworks. Personalize developer access to images with roles based access control and get insights into activity history with Docker Hub Audit Logs.

Docker swarm mode also can be used to manage many Docker containers across multiple Docker hosts. Docker containers make it easy to put new versions of software, with new business features, into production quickly—and to quickly roll back to a previous version if you need to. They also make it easier to implement strategies like blue/green deployments. All of the containerized apps share a single, common operating system , but they are compartmentalized from one another and from the system at large. The operating system provides the needed isolation mechanisms to make this compartmentalization happen. Docker wraps those mechanisms in a convenient set of interfaces and metaphors for the developer.