Docker 101
Hackerschool, NUS Hackers

Why Containers

Containers are Cheap


Containers are Cheap

  • Docker provides lightweight virtualization with almost zero overhead.
  • Start and stop containers within seconds.

Containers are Portable

Containers contain all the required software dependencies to run your application.

Once a container is built, you can be sure it runs "the same way" on any host operating system with the same Linux kernel.

Containers in OSes

2006 Process Containers, later renamed to cgroups
2008 LXC: implemented using cgroups and kernel namespaces
2013 Docker: initially built on LXC, but now runs on libcontainer

2006: Process Containers


2008: LXC Containers, and 2013: Docker


What is Docker?

Docker is a toolchain for managing containers.


What You'll Do Today

You'll be packaging a simple application with Docker.

If time permits, we'll cover additional things, such as passing environment variables.

Docker Basics

Pulling images

docker pull alpine


alpine is an image for a tiny Linux distribution, used by Docker for most of its official images.

A container image is a lightweight, stand-alone, executable package of a piece of software that includes everything needed to run it: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, settings.

alpine is pulled from the Docker Registry, where hundreds of thousands of images are hosted.

Starting a container

docker run alpine

What is happening here?

Running a command

docker run alpine echo "Hello from alpine!"

Docker Status

List all docker images:

docker images

List all running docker containers:

docker ps

List all docker containers (including stopped containers):

docker ps -a

Entering a Container Interactively

docker run -it alpine sh
uname -r                        # 4.9.41-moby
hostname                        # container_id
whoami                          # root
id                              # uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root),1(bin)...

Inside alpine

Docker images consist of multiple layers:


Layers for the ubuntu image

Observe the output for the following:

docker pull ubuntu:15.04
docker history ubuntu

Declare layers with a Dockerfile

FROM ubuntu
MAINTAINER Kimbro Staken

RUN apt-get install -y software-properties-common python
RUN add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js
RUN echo "deb precise universe" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
RUN apt-get update
RUN apt-get install -y nodejs
#RUN apt-get install -y nodejs=0.6.12~dfsg1-1ubuntu1
RUN mkdir /var/www

ADD app.js /var/www/app.js

CMD ["/usr/bin/node", "/var/www/app.js"] 

Dockerfile Cheatsheet

Command Info
FROM Sets the Base Image for subsequent instructions.
RUN execute any commands in a new layer on top of the current image and commit the results.
CMD provide defaults for an executing container.
EXPOSE informs Docker that the container listens on the specified network ports at runtime.
ENV sets environment variable.
COPY copies new files or directories to container.
ENTRYPOINT configures a container that will run as an executable.
VOLUME creates a mount point for externally mounted volumes or other containers.
WORKDIR sets the working directory.
ARG defines a build-time variable.
LABEL apply key/value metadata to your images, containers, or daemons.

Docker Networking

Docker creates three networks by default. We're mostly concerned with bridge.

$ docker network ls

NETWORK ID          NAME                DRIVER
7fca4eb8c647        bridge              bridge
9f904ee27bf5        none                null
cf03ee007fb4        host                host

How bridge works

Unless specified otherwise, the docker container will connect to this default bridge network. This provides a means of Docker containers to access the outside world. This is achieved through rules on the kernel's iptable.

By default, none of the ports are published and the outside world has no access to the docker containers.

Running a Simple Webserver

nc -ll -p 8080 -e /bin/echo -e "HTTP/1.1 200 OK\n\n$(date)\n"

Allowing Ingress

docker run -p 5001:8080 alpine \
       nc -ll -p 8080 -e /bin/echo -e "HTTP/1.1 200 OK\n\n$(date)\n"

As a daemon:

docker run -p 5001:8080 -d alpine \
       nc -ll -p 8080 -e /bin/echo -e "HTTP/1.1 200 OK\n\n$(date)\n"

Exercise: package a Node.js Server with Docker

curl -i http://localhost:5001/
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
X-Powered-By: Express
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 14
ETag: W/"e-ZohVPp9YwmNT/yh3111KJ3ZG6Uk"
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2017 18:34:46 GMT
Connection: keep-alive

Hello world!!

Server code

General Instructions

  1. Install the Node.js runtime (use Ubuntu)
  2. Copy the files into the container
  3. Get the node package manager npm
  4. Run npm install
  5. Run npm start to start server

But… I want to change my files!

docker run -d my/webserver
# Create file locally
docker exec -it container_name sh
ls #WAT

Mounting Volumes

There are three types of mounts:

  1. Volumes are managed by docker. Volumes also support the use of volume drivers, which allow you to store your data on remote hosts or cloud providers, among other possibilities.
  2. Bind Mounts may be stored anywhere on the host filesystem.
  3. tmpfs mounts are stored in the host system's memory only.

Mounting the /src directory

docker run -p 5000:8080 -v ~/path/to/directory:/usr/src/app/src my/webserver

Beyond Docker

Docker is the building block for many devops solutions.

  1. Container Orchestration: Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry etc.
  2. Monitoring: cAdvisor, InfluxDB etc.
  3. Reverse Proxies and Load Balancers: fabio etc.

Docker makes microservices manageable and scalable.

Thank You

Date: 2017/10/14

Author: Jethro Kuan

Created: 2018-05-02 Wed 15:45

Emacs 26.1 (Org mode 9.1.9)