What is Docker?

Docker serves as a platform for reliably constructing, deploying, and distributing applications.

  • A virtual machine acts as an abstraction of hardware resources, managed through hypervisors like VirtualBox, VMware, and Hyper-V (exclusively for Windows).
  • Containers provide an isolated environment for running applications, essentially operating-system processes with their own file systems.
  • Unlike resource-intensive and slow-to-start virtual machines, containers are lightweight and quickly launched since they share the host’s kernel.
  • The kernel, the core of an operating system, oversees applications and hardware resources. Due to differing APIs, Windows applications can’t run on Linux without interfacing with a Windows kernel. Windows 10 now incorporates a Linux kernel alongside its native one, facilitating native Linux application execution.
  • Docker operates on a client/server architecture, with the client component communicating via a RESTful API with the server, known as the Docker engine or daemon, which executes tasks in the background.
  • Leveraging Docker, applications can be packaged into images, enabling deployment on any Docker-compatible machine.
  • An image comprises everything essential for running an application, including a streamlined OS, runtime environments (e.g., Node, Python), application files, third-party libraries, and environment variables.
  • Packaging an application into an image necessitates crafting a Dockerfile, containing all the directives for assembling the application into an image.
  • Images can be shared by publishing them to Docker registries, with Docker Hub being the most prominent registry.

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