Docker for Mac Beta Review

The application packaging fits in perfectly with OS X. It is a DMG with a single “Docker” app that you drag into the Applications folder.

Perfect OS X Packaging

When you run it, it first asks for root permission to install some things. This is nothing new as we’re all used to Docker needing deep system hooks to get its job done.

After that it starts little helper in the OS X System bar as well as some crazy cool and complicated xhyve stuff on the system.

What is this magic?!
There’s the Docker madness I expect!

xhyve is extremely cool technology which wraps the native OS X Hypervisor Framework for a virtualization backend. No longer do we need a heavy weight VirtualBox, VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop installed and running as a “side car” to run Linux programs on a Mac.

I’ve been following community efforts about running Docker under xhyve for a while now, but there’s nothing like Docker Inc. packaging it up. There are some really hard problems around virtual machines, filesystems and networking that Docker has fixed and will support going forward.

This is a game changer for local development tools.

The final bit is a new `docker` client, version 1.11.0, which has more smarts about how to find and interact with this Docker server. No more strange environment variables to discover and set in your ~/.bash_profile.

It works the same, but not needing to manage a `docker-machine` or delegate to VirtualBox feels light years better. The alpine-based redis image downloads and starts in less than 5 seconds! Click here to see an animation.

Hello Redis in seconds! No `docker-machine start`

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