Docker has had a tremendous influence on the development community. The market for Docker services and tools is expected to reach $993 million by the year 2024. It is growing at a rate of 35.6% every year.
Despite the robust solutions and flexibility of Docker solutions, developers still have raised a number of valid criticisms. They often complain that the Docker platform is poorly focused and lacks many of the solutions that they need the most.
In particular, Docker developers feel that the platform does not offer enough support for new desktop applications. Docker Desktop was developed to solve some of these challenges. Unfortunately, expanding the capabilities of the Docker Desktop interface was not a priority for Docker.
At a conference in New England, a few experts discussed their experience with some new Docker
Desktop features. They were playing around with Docker and trying to get it to run a desktop application. This is something that cannot be done without deviating from the traditional Docker framework, which isn’t very intuitive for most desktop applications. It may require hacking certain aspects of the platform, which could lead to stability issues and bugs.
Fortunately, the new announcement will change this. Docker will be a more reliable tool for these types of applications and we will witness some improvements with Docker registry.
Docker Pledges To Resolve Limitations With Desktop Solutions
The Docker development community has acknowledged their shortcomings when it comes to desktop applications. They have recently announced that they will make Docker Desktop a major focus in 2020 and beyond.
Mike Vizard of Container Journal alluded to these changes on March 10. Vizard reported that Docker was unveiling its new online product strategy. He reported that Justin Graham, who is the vice president for products of the corporation, announced some major changes that are in the pipeline.
Graham didn’t delve into a ton of detail in the initial announcement. However, these changes became much clearer with the more recent update.
Docker has finally acknowledged that the desktop applications will be a core focus of their new business model. Graham made a statement that was published in SD Times.
“We’ve already begun talking with some great partners in the industry and are excited to bring to you what we’ve been thinking here. The overall goal is to provide you solutions here that match your level of maturity or desired level of abstraction, all in a multi-cloud and vendor-neutral way,” Graham told journalists.
Why Is Docker Such A Reliable Tool? Will Improvements To The Docker Desktop Platform Transform the Direction of the Docker Community?
Before you can understand the relevance of Docker Desktop, it is important to understand the nature of the platform itself. You can find a brief primer on Docker below.
Docker is a platform that allows to manage “containers”, something similar to the virtual machines of all the life, but without the overload of having to simulate another complete system with its kernel and its things… These containers found a perfect environment in the servers, where they allow to mount more VPS, or where they allow that each microservice runs in an isolated way without the need of several machines.
However, these systems are not oriented to “desktop” machines and are particularly badly behaved with X11. This is because for a program to work on X11 it would be necessary to raise a socket from the host, i.e. from outside the container, something that cannot be automated through these tools (although it can be with a shell script). Another solution is to raise a VNC server inside the container, but we can sense that the performance is “limited”.
Well, there is a project that tries to solve this problem, this is Subuser. We could say, and they do, that Subuser is a lightweight Qubes OS, it just gives an abstraction layer over Docker to allow desktop applications to work transparently (or almost). To do this they implemented a bridge for the graphical interface, and a permission management system.
We can quickly see how it works, the installation is very simple, but if we use the master branch of the git it can give problems, so it’s probably a good idea to check out the newest release of Docker Desktop. It should resolve these issues.