Introduction to Docker Hosts
Docker Hosts are the machines on which Docker daemon runs as a process and allow us to run the application as a container. Those machines can be physical machines or virtual machines running Linux or Windows OS. In other words, the machine on which we install Docker becomes Docker Host, for example, if we install Docker on our laptop, that laptop works as a Docker Host now and we can create Docker images, container, volumes and networks on that laptop. It allows us to run multiple containers and provides isolation among them. Each container has its own namespace, cgroup, network configuration, etc.
How Hosts work in Docker?
Any workstation on which we install Docker becomes Docker Host. It provides a platform on which Docker daemon runs. We then run containers, build images, volumes, networks, etc from Docker CLI. It is underlying hardware.
As we know, it is a physical machine or VM on which Docker daemon is installed, we need Docker client to interact with the Docker daemon running. We can either install Docker CLI or Docker client on Docker Host or any different remote computer. When we run any container on the Docker Host using Docker CLI, it gets executed as below:
1. As soon as we hit enter after typing the command, CLI makes a REST API call to docker daemon in JSON format.
2. Docker daemon checks for the Docker image that is mentioned in the command locally and if it does not find the image locally then it goes to the Docker registry and searches there, if it finds the image over there, it first pulls that image locally and then starts the container.
When we talk about containers it looks similar to VMs however the main difference is containers do not have a full-blown operating system. It uses Docker Host’s kernel to access the resources. Also, all the required binaries or libraries to run an application are encapsulated in an image called Docker image.
Creation of Windows Docker Host
Given below shows the creation of windows docker host:
1. First, we have to download the installation package from hub.docker.com.
2. Go to this link and click on ‘Get Docker’.
3. Once you downloaded the installation package, double click on the package to execute it, click on Run when prompted.
We get below window:
4. It will take few minutes as per network speed and once completed.
We get below window:
5. Installation gets started as soon as we press the ‘Ok’ button.
6. Once the installation has been completed, we get the below window to restart the host.
7. After the restart, we see the shortcut ‘Docker Desktop’ and if we check the hidden icons, we can see services are getting started.
8. Now, open PowerShell and run the command as below:
9. We can now create containers, images, volumes, etc. On this newly created Docker Host, however, we can manage this as well.
It is a standalone Docker remotely Host and it is good for testing purpose and development. In the production, we need to initialize swarm mode to use multiple Docker Host that creates Docker Swarm or cluster.
Creation of Linux Docker Host
We will install Docker on Cent OS7 to make it Docker Host.
1. First, we need to install below packages as device-mapper is default storage driver for CentOS7 and earlier.
$sudo yum install -y device-mapper-persistent-data lvm2
In the above snapshot, we see that those packages are already installed.
2. Now, add Docker repository using below command.
$sudo yum-config-manager \
3. Below is the command to install Docker CE i.e. Community Edition, Docker CLI i.e. Docker client to communicate with Docker daemon and contianerd.io.
$sudo yum install -y docker-ce-18.09.5 docker-ce-cli-18.09.5 containerd.io
4. After the installation, we must start the docker service and enable it so we do not have to start it if the server gets rebooted.
$sudo systemctl start docker
$sudo systemctl enable docker
5. In the end, we need to add the user who is going to execute the Docker commands to the ‘docker’ group otherwise we have to use ‘sudo’ in every command.
$sudo docker version
6. Let’s add the user to the ‘docker’ group using below command.
$sudo usermode -a -G docker <user_name>
7. Now, run the docker commands without sudo.
8. That’s it, we have successfully converted CentOS 7. Now, we can run all the docker commands.
Given below are the advantages mentioned:
- We can easily convert our normal computer as a Docker Host to run docker commands for testing or development purposes.
- It is independent of OS and platform which means we can create a running Windows, Linux, or Mac, and from normal computer to VM hosted on public clouds like AWS, Azure, GCP, or any public cloud environment.
- It provides isolation between containers which means containers do not have knowledge about other containers on the same host.
- It provides better resource utilization as compared to VM.
- If an application is running as a container, it gives us guarantee that it will run exactly the same on other as well without any error.
It is nothing but any bare metal server or VM running on any server or hosted on public cloud which has Docker daemon running on it. It refer to a node in a Docker swarm or cluster. We cannot run windows containers like IIS server on Linux Docker Host however we can run windows containers as well as linux containers on Windows Docker Host.
This is a guide to Docker Hosts. Here we discuss how hosts work in docker, creation of windows docker host, creation of Linux docker host and advantages respectively. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –