Native Docker Apps Arrive for Mac and Windows

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 25, 2016

Docker has just become available as a native application for Mac and Windows via a new beta program. As The Next Web has noted: "It’s a neat move for those who don’t like using VirtualBox, as Docker notes its desktop app uses Alpine Linux on top of xhyve (Mac) or Hyper-V (Windows) to run virtual machines. The virtual machine is also managed by the Docker app, so there’s no need for docker-machine."

Docker notes that the new apps, aimed at developers who wish to build, assemble and ship applications on Windows or Mac, are “the simplest way to use Docker on your laptop."

The two new releases represent significant software architecture changes that were made to optimize Docker for an OS-native experience. As a native Mac and Windows app, Docker can now be installed, launched and utilized from a system toolbar just like any other packaged application available in native App Stores.

According to Docker Inc.:

"Docker for Mac and Windows include extensive system-level development that directly integrates Docker with host-native virtualization (e.g. Apple Hypervisor framework and Microsoft Hyper-V), networking, filesystems and security capabilities. Users for the first time now have a uniform Docker experience across Linux, Mac and Windows platforms. These integrated products include Docker Compose and Notary tools and offer a streamlined installation process that no longer requires non system, third-party software like VirtualBox. This results in significantly faster performance and improves the user experience in terms of developer workflow and file synchronization for editing and testing code."

"The innovation of “in container” development for Mac and Windows users provides great benefits to the 88% of developers that code in multiple programming languages. These products remove the need to install and configure application language specific dependencies on a developer’s machine, and help avoid the resulting convoluted workflows. Instead, developers can simply use a single text editor or IDE to code their application. The result is even faster Docker-driven iteration cycles for those using programming stacks that can do live code reload (e.g. node.js, ruby, python) because code changes can be tested instantaneously on the laptop without the need to restart or rebuild the container every time. A Docker ‘build’ is only executed when the developer wants to ship their Dockerized application from their machine to a registry. “In container” development is backed by a feature to directly mount the application code and data in a volume which automatically refreshes the application when code changes are made."

 “As a third-birthday gift to Docker users, we are excited to deliver this powerful evolution of our developer tools,” said Solomon Hykes, founder, CTO and Chief Product Officer for Docker. “Docker for Mac and Windows reflects deep OS system-level work from our Unikernel Systems team and demonstrates how, moving forward, we can leverage native platform capabilities to provide users with the same optimized Docker experience on all platforms. These integrated software packages are designed to remove an additional layer of ‘dependency hell’ for Mac and Windows developers by allowing them to develop directly inside a container.”

For more information read the blog on Docker for Mac/Windows. You can also watch a video online, and go to sign up for the beta.