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Docker 101

Docker is a popular platform for developing, shipping, and running applications inside containers. Containers are lightweight and isolated environments that package an application and its dependencies, making it easy to deploy and run consistently across different environments. If you're a beginner looking to get started with Docker, here are some fundamental concepts and steps to help you on your journey:

Step 1: Install Docker

First, you need to install Docker on your machine. Visit the official Docker website and download the Docker Desktop application for your operating system.

Step 2: Understand Key Docker Concepts

  • Container: A container is a lightweight, standalone executable package that includes everything needed to run a piece of software, including the code, runtime, libraries, and system tools.
  • Image: An image is a blueprint for creating containers. It is a read-only template that defines the application and its environment.
  • Dockerfile: A Dockerfile is a text file that contains instructions for building a Docker image. It specifies the base image, the application code, and the configuration.
  • Registry: A Docker registry is a service that stores Docker images. The Docker Hub is a popular public registry, but you can also use private registries.

Step 3: Create and Run Your First Container

Start with a simple example. Open a terminal and run the following command to create and run a basic container:

docker run hello-world

This command downloads the `hello-world` image from Docker Hub and runs a container based on it. You should see a message indicating that your installation appears to be working correctly.

Step 4: Manage Containers

  • To list all running containers, use `docker ps`.
  • To list all containers (including stopped ones), use `docker ps -a`.
  • To stop a running container, use `docker stop <container_id>`.
  • To remove a container, use `docker rm <container_id>`.
  • To clean up unused images, use `docker image prune`.


Remember that Docker is a vast ecosystem, and there's a lot more to discover as you gain experience. Start with these basics, and you'll be well on your way to understanding and using Docker effectively for your development and deployment needs.