About Docker Engine

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Develop, Ship and Run Any Application, Anywhere

Docker is a platform for developers and sysadmins to develop, ship, and run applications. Docker lets you quickly assemble applications from components and eliminates the friction that can come when shipping code. Docker lets you get your code tested and deployed into production as fast as possible.

Docker consists of:

  • The Docker Engine - our lightweight and powerful open source containerization technology combined with a work flow for building and containerizing your applications.
  • Docker Hub - our SaaS service for sharing and managing your application stacks.

Why Docker?

Faster delivery of your applications

  • We want your environment to work better. Docker containers, and the work flow that comes with them, help your developers, sysadmins, QA folks, and release engineers work together to get your code into production and make it useful. We’ve created a standard container format that lets developers care about their applications inside containers while sysadmins and operators can work on running the container in your deployment. This separation of duties streamlines and simplifies the management and deployment of code.
  • We make it easy to build new containers, enable rapid iteration of your applications, and increase the visibility of changes. This helps everyone in your organization understand how an application works and how it is built.
  • Docker containers are lightweight and fast! Containers have sub-second launch times, reducing the cycle time of development, testing, and deployment.

Deploy and scale more easily

  • Docker containers run (almost) everywhere. You can deploy containers on desktops, physical servers, virtual machines, into data centers, and up to public and private clouds.
  • Since Docker runs on so many platforms, it’s easy to move your applications around. You can easily move an application from a testing environment into the cloud and back whenever you need.
  • Docker’s lightweight containers also make scaling up and down fast and easy. You can quickly launch more containers when needed and then shut them down easily when they’re no longer needed.

Get higher density and run more workloads

  • Docker containers don’t need a hypervisor, so you can pack more of them onto your hosts. This means you get more value out of every server and can potentially reduce what you spend on equipment and licenses.

Faster deployment makes for easier management

  • As Docker speeds up your work flow, it gets easier to make lots of small changes instead of huge, big bang updates. Smaller changes mean reduced risk and more uptime.

About this guide

The Understanding Docker section will help you:

  • See how Docker works at a high level
  • Understand the architecture of Docker
  • Discover Docker’s features;
  • See how Docker compares to virtual machines
  • See some common use cases.

Installation guides

The installation section will show you how to install Docker on a variety of platforms.

Docker user guide

To learn about Docker in more detail and to answer questions about usage and implementation, check out the Docker User Guide.

Release notes

A summary of the changes in each release in the current series can now be found on the separate Release Notes page

Feature Deprecation Policy

As changes are made to Docker there may be times when existing features will need to be removed or replaced with newer features. Before an existing feature is removed it will be labeled as “deprecated” within the documentation and will remain in Docker for, usually, at least 3 releases. After that time it may be removed.

Users are expected to take note of the list of deprecated features each release and plan their migration away from those features, and (if applicable) towards the replacement features as soon as possible.

The complete list of deprecated features can be found on the Deprecated Features page.


Docker is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. See LICENSE for the full license text.

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