What is Docker?

Docker is a computer program that performs operating-system-level virtualization. It is used to run software packages called containers. Containers are isolated from each other and bundle their own application, tools, libraries and configuration files. All containers are run by a single operating-system kernel and are thus more lightweight than virtual machines. Containers are created from images that specify their precise contents.

Docker Desktop for Mac

If you are a Mac user, installing Docker is straightforward. Following instructions were adapted from the Docker webpage

  1. Create a Docker ID to access Docker Hub.
  2. Download installer from Docker Hub.
  3. Double-click Docker.dmg to open the installer, then drag the Docker icon to the Applications folder.dragdrop
  4. Double-click Docker.app in the Applications folder to start Docker. docker-app-in-apps
  5. Alternatively, Docker.app can be found using the Spotlight Search function of Mac. docker-spotlight-searchYou are prompted to authorize Docker.app with your system password after you launch it. Privileged access is needed to install networking components and links to the Docker apps.

    The Docker menu in the top status bar indicates that Docker Desktop is running, and accessible from a terminal: whale-in-menu-bar


Refer to the Docker Webpage for Mac for general information and troubleshooting

Docker Desktop for Windows

Following instructions were adapted from the Docker webpage.

  1. Create a Docker ID to access Docker Hub.
  2. Download installer from Docker Hub.
  3. Double-click Docker Desktop Installer.exe to run the installer.
  4. Follow the instructions on the installation wizard to accept the license, authorize the installer, and proceed with the install.

    When prompted, authorize the Docker Desktop Installer with your system password during the install process. Privileged access is needed to install networking components, links to the Docker apps, and manage the Hyper-V VMs.

  5. Click Finish on the setup complete dialog and launch the Docker Desktop application.
  6. Docker Desktop does not start automatically after installation. To start Docker Desktop, search for Docker, and select Docker Desktop in the search results.docker-app-search
  7. When the whale icon in the status bar stays steady, Docker Desktop is up-and-running, and is accessible from any terminal window.        whale-icon-systray-windows                                                                                                      After installing the Docker Desktop app, you also get a pop-up success message with suggested next steps, and a link to the documentation.docker-app-welcome-windows

Docker Toolbox for Windows 10 Home and earlier

If you are a Windows user and Docker Desktop is not available for your machine, you can install Docker Toolbox instead, which is a legacy desktop solution. Docker Toolbox provides a way to use Docker on Windows systems that do not meet minimal system requirements for the Docker Desktop for Windows app. Following instructions were adapted from the Docker webpage.

  1. Make sure your windows system supports Hardware Virtualization Technology and that it is enabled. If you are a Windows 10 Home user, follow these instructions.
  2. Download the latest version of Docker Toolbox. Go to Toolbox Releases  and download the latest .exe file. DockerFiles
  3. Install Docker Toolbox by double-clicking the installer. The installer launches the “Setup – Docker Toolbox” dialog. If Windows security dialog prompts you to allow the program to make a change, choose Yes. The system displays the Setup – Docker Toolbox for Windows wizard.wizard
  4. Press Next to accept all the defaults and then Install. Accept all the installer defaults. The installer takes a few minutes to install all the components
  5. When notified by Windows Security the installer will make changes, make sure you allow the installer to make the necessary changes. When it completes, the installer reports it was successfulfinish
  6. Uncheck “View Shortcuts in File Explorer” and press Finish. The installer adds Docker Toolbox, VirtualBox, and Kitematic to your Applications folder and creates respective icons on your Desktop.icon-set
  7. Click the Docker QuickStart icon to launch a pre-configured Docker Toolbox terminal. If the system displays a User Account Control prompt to allow VirtualBox to make changes to your computer. Choose Yes. The terminal does several things to set up Docker Toolbox for you. When it is done, the terminal displays the $ prompt.