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Docker Hello World example

Docker Hello World example

Docker is a container manager, which means that is able to create and execute containers that represent specific runtime environments for your software. In contrast with virtual machines like VirualBox, Docker uses resource isolation features of the Linux kernel to allow independent "containers" to run within a single Linux instance, avoiding the overhead of starting and maintaining virtual machines.

The following table gives a direct comparison between virtual machines and containers:

Virtual Machines (VMs) Containers
Represents hardware-level virtualization Represents operating system virtualization
Heavyweight Lightweight
Slow provisioning Real-time provisioning and scalability
Limited performance Native performance
Fully isolated and hence more secure Process-level isolation and hence less secure

A computer with docker can run multiple containers at the same time. Docker containers can easily to ship to remote location on start there without making entire application setup.

In other words, Docker is a tool to avoid the usual headaches of conflicts, dependencies and inconsistent environments, which is an important problem for distributed applications, where we need to install or upgrade several nodes with the same configuration.

An image is a lightweight, stand-alone, executable package that includes everything needed to run a piece of software, including the code, a runtime, libraries, environment variables, and config files.

A container is a runtime instance of an image—what the image becomes in memory when actually executed. It runs completely isolated from the host environment by default, only accessing host files and ports if configured to do so.

# archlinux
pacman -S docker

sudo systemctl start docker.service

Docker has a public repository of runtime environments(i.e. Docker images), which is called Docker Hub. In this repository allows Docker download and start an specific runtime environments for an specific software (e.g. MongoDB or MySQL) without any installation procedure.

If you're running Docker on Linux you need to run all the following commands as root or you can add your user to docker group and re-login:

sudo usermod -aG docker $(whoami)

You can learn about the Docker environment using

docker info

First of all search Docker container images from Docker hub. For example, below command will search all images with Debian and list as output.

docker search debian

Now download the Docker container with name Ubuntu on your local system using following commands.

docker pull debian

The following docker run command will create a new container using the base ubuntu image. -t will give us a terminal, and -i will allow us to interact with it. We'll rely on the default command in the Ubuntu base image's Docker file, bash, to drop us into a shell.

docker run -ti debian

Install nginx to debian

apt-get update
apt-get install nginx

Let’s see what containers we have at the moment:

docker ps -a

Save changes to image nginx-template

# get CONTAINER ID
docker ps

# save image
docker commit 10388fa5cf2b nginx-template

List images

docker images

Run image

docker run -ti nginx-template
nginx -v

Shared folder

If you close the running container, all the data related to that container will be lost. This is normal in Docker world.

For example, in our container, nginx writes all data in a path specified in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf.

If you persist the data in a folder which is shared to a host computer that Docker runs, you can use the -v option inside the run command. For example:

docker run -d -v /host/path/dir:/tmp nginx-template

This will map /host/path/dir which is in your host machine to /tmp which is in the container. Whenever data updated to the path inside the container, it will automatically be accessible inside the host machine. Even if you close the container, the data will stay in the path inside the host machine.

Port exposing

Let say that nginx is running inside the container.

service nginx start

You can expose the nginx port outside the container on port 80, and you can use the following command to access from outside the container with port 8000.

docker run -ti -p 8000:80 nginx-template

-p specifies the port we are exposing in the format of -p local-machine-port:internal-container-port. In this case we are mapping port 80 in the container to port 8000 on the server

Changing the docker's default storage disk

The following config will guide you through a process of changing the docker's default /var/lib/docker storage disk space to another directory. There are various reasons why you may want to change docker's default directory from which the most obvious could be that ran out of disk space. The following guide should work for both Ubuntu and Debian Linux or any other systemd system. Make sure to follow this guide in the exact order of execution.

sudo systemctl stop docker.service

Let's get started by modifying systemd's docker start up script. Open file /lib/systemd/system/docker.service with your favorite text editor and replace the following line where /new/path/docker is a location of your new chosen docker directory

#FROM:
ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker daemon -H fd://
#TO:
ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker daemon -g /new/path/docker -H fd://

Reload systemd daemon

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl start docker.service

Writing dockerfile

To build a Docker image you need to create a Dockerfile. It is a plain text file with instructions and arguments. Here is the description of the instructions we’re going to use

  • FROM - set base image
  • RUN - execute command in container
  • ENV - set environment variable
  • WORKDIR - set working directory
  • VOLUME - create mount-point for a volume
  • CMD - set executable for container

Let’s create an image that will get the contents of the website with curl and store it to the text file. We need to pass website url via environment variable SITE_URL. Resulting file will be placed in a directory mounted as a volume.

FROM debian:latest
RUN apt-get update
RUN apt-get install --no-install-recommends --no-install-suggests -y curl
ENV SITE_URL https://google.com/
WORKDIR /data
VOLUME /data
CMD sh -c "curl -L $SITE_URL > /data/results"

Dockerfile is ready, it’s time to build the actual image.

Execute the following command to build an image:

docker build . -t test-curl
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