Initial Steps for Using Docker as a Driving Force in DevOps

This article delves into the aspect of why Devops is widely making use of Docker to optimize deployment. Know what exactly Docker is, what features of Docker make it a great choice for Devops and how you can get started with Docker in your organization.

Docker is a very useful DevOps tool that can be learned quickly. Over 6.5 million developers currently use Docker to scale DevOps applications. However, for many beginners, the unique nature of the DevOps platform deters them from learning it.

In this tutorial you can quickly learn Docker without any previous knowledge. You only need to learn a few commands to get started. You can also streamline development with third-party tools like JFrog.

Of course, Docker also has a lot of commands and arguments, but you can quickly learn a handful that can be used for 80% of the challenges that you will encounter. After that, you will understand the basics and will be able to use your new knowledge to overcome countless DevOps challenges.

1. What is Docker?

Docker has become a widely used DevOps tool. This platform uses containers to develop, compile and execute applications.
The keyword here is "container". Containers allow developers to package an application with all its components (e.g. libraries and other dependencies) and then deliver it as a package.

Let's take a quick look at the most important features of Docker.

The most important features of Docker

Docker requires fewer resources than classic virtualizations (virtual machines), because it provides a smaller operating system footprint through using containers. Here are some important features of this DevOps platform:
  • The process of "containerization" allows a simple and seamless cooperation of different company departments with each other (e.g. development, QM, operation).
  • Docker containers can be deployed anywhere (e.g. on virtual machines, physical servers, cloud servers).
  • Docker containers are usually very resource-efficient and therefore easy to scale.

Based on the details above, you can see that Docker uses containers to deploy and run applications as a ready-made "package" and that it has some advantages in terms of low resource consumption and scaling.

The best way to learn and understand Docker is to get some experience with it yourself. In the next step, you will how to download, install and configure it on an operating system of our choice.

2. Download Docker and use it locally

Docker can be installed on a variety of operating systems, although it is best to use Linux for professional applications. To gain some experience with the tool, a local installation on your Windows computer or Mac is sufficient at first. Afterwards, you may want to install Docker on Windows. First of all, you have to download the "Docker Windows Installer" from the official website. (Note: There you can also find the installer for Mac OS and a guide for Linux)

3. Docker installation and configuration

Once you have downloaded the file, you can start the installation.
  1. open the installer file
  2. start the installation and press "OK
(Note: Did you encounter any issues with the installation process? In Windows 10, there are some software requirements during installation. If an installation is not possible because you are not using Windows 10 or 64-bit, you can alternatively download the somewhat older "Docker Toolbox" from the official website. This is compatible with older systems.

Now Docker Desktop is installed locally. The process may take a few minutes.

Your computer may need to be restarted after the installation to complete the setup of Docker (this was the case for me).

After the restart, you can continue.

If you see an error message, you need the latest WSL update, which you can download from the Docker website. Once the installation is complete and Docker starts up for the first time, you will see a confirmation window.

Now let's look at how Docker Desktop can be used to work with containers on Windows.

Next, run your command line, which varies depending on the operating system. The command lines for each operating system are listed below:
  • Windows: Search for the command prompt (or PowerShell) under Windows. Run the command prompt or PowerShell after that.
  • MacOS: Search for the "Terminal" with the Finder under MacOS. Start the Terminal afterwards.
You need the command line to give Docker commands so we can control the tool.

Don't worry. You will learn the most important commands step-by-step and don't need any previous knowledge of the command line.

You Are Ready to Start Using Docker!

The information listed above will help you install and start using Docker. You will need to learn more about the details in the future to get started.


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