Docker Training in the Library

On May 9th the Wolbach library hosted a training on Docker, a development tool that allows users to package up a piece of software within the environment necessary to run that software (including all of its dependencies) into a single unit, called a container. This can aid in sharing software, reproducing scientific results, and preserving software’s original look and feel. Docker containers function a little bit like virtual machines but are much more lightweight and faster due to the lower overhead CPU cost; they are designed specifically for a given application and thus only have to start up the relevant processes.

Jonas Rosland (@jonasrosland), from EMC{code} and the Docker Boston Meetup, along with Andrew Odewahn (@odewahn) from O’Reilly Media, ran the day long event. Most attendees arrived with almost no experience with Docker, which made Jonas’s ground-up approach to the topic perfect. He began by explaining the goals of Docker, how it became the tool/service it is today, and how we can all get involved. Once we knew more of the groundwork, he walked us through some of the basics to setting up a Docker container using the command line. After lunch and some further practice, Andrew demonstrated Launchbot, a graphical user interface (GUI) for Docker that he is developing for O’Reilly Media. Still in its beta phase, Launchbot looks very promising for making Docker easy for anyone to use with minimal training.

Anyone interested in using Docker is welcome to check out our notes on the Docker training, which include some basic commands for getting set up and links to useful companion sites like Docker Hub. Additionally, the Docker Boston Meetup is a very active community of Docker users and a great way to get more involved. As it happens, this local group is one of the largest Docker meetup groups in the world!

Photo of workshop participants - taken by Jonas Rosland

Photo of workshop participants – taken by Jonas Rosland

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