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Volker Schukai
Volker Schukai

Posted on • Updated on

Do You Need Docker Desktop For Linux?

I read with interest Docker's announcement that Docker for Linux is coming or rather, it is already there now.

But do we really need it?

What is the target audience?

Linux containers, cgroups and namespaces have been around for a while, but docker has made it usable for the mass market.

I think it's great what docker has done here in the last few years, even if it never paid off financially.

Whether Mirantis does it better?

But I digress. Back to docker desktop for linux.

Docker on Linux (without Desktop) has always been very good and just worked.

In Windows environments it was not always so easy. Docker Desktop has done a lot here to make Docker on Windows viable.

In the windows world, the product certainly has its justification, but for Linux?

What problem does docker desktop solve for linux?

With Podman and the Docker Tools, we have had working engines on Linux for a very long time.

Many IDE like VC-Code or IntelliJ also have interfaces for Docker in the bag.

There are also already a number of simple UI for docker like lazydocker or

I celebrate the fact that vendors now offer their software for Linux as well, making professional tools with commercial support available.

However, I have yet to see any advantage of Docker Desktop.

What does the manufacturer write about this?

A unified Docker experience across all major OS’s

Ok, this is important for those who are switching or working in multiple worlds. Those who use Linux at home and macOS in the office are probably grateful for the integration.

Immediate access to new features (such as Docker
Extensions), that have historically only been available on
Desktop for Windows and Mac

I don't understand the point. it's a bit meaningless.

The seamless Kubernetes integration that Docker Desktop provides

Does it matter? i deploy kubernetes via a ci/cd pipeline rather than from the developer machine.

The Docker Desktop UI that makes it so much easier to
manage volumes, containers and images, as well as
providing insights in to the Docker processes running
locally on your machine

This is certainly an advantage for developers who are not familiar with the command line. A good UI can be really helpful.

For me, it does not solve any problem and I suspect that it will not be widely used.

Note at the end

What I like is that there are packages for it and you don't have to use snap or flatpak. The size of the documentation is also quite large.

apt-get install docker-desktop
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Are any of you using it
and if so,
what advantage
does the product offer you?

Top comments (12)

pcjmfranken profile image
Peter Franken • Edited

It is a bloated, non-performant, and hostile piece of....

It has never not had major performance and stability issues, continuously tries to send telemetry data by various sneaky means (the opt-out switch is just for show), new unnecessary and mostly unremovable crap is being added with each update, it can't even handle the established DevContainer conventions... I could go on for a while.

It's not solving any real problems, but it does saddle you up with a bunch of new ones. Not a great deal.

volker_schukai profile image
Volker Schukai

i didn't want to write it so drastically, but that was also my experience in the years i had used it on windows.

pcjmfranken profile image
Peter Franken

The latest Docker Desktop release for MacOS has been out for a couple of days now, and it's made the whole thing - including the daemon - entirely non-functional. This update brought "extensions" (aka liabilities, enabled by default of course), disabling them plays a part in the issue. People at Docker are "looking into it".

Their pricing seems fair, that is, until you start calculating in all the never-ending stream of problems they're causing, the majority being completely unnecessary and easily avoidable.

So yeah, hence my somewhat emotional response :)

alesbe profile image
alesbe • Edited

Docker desktop made me change permanently to Linux haha, I used Windows my whole life, until I started working with Docker. To run Docker on Windows you need WSL2 and Docker Desktop, I didn't like to open it every time I wanted to run a container or just use powershell because at least for me the experience wasn't the same using WSL, also I found easier to run things like mongoDB and other server environment software directly on Linux instead of windows without using WSL (just a virtual environment of the Ubuntu terminal).

I think that Docker Desktop it's helpful to manage containers in a desktop environment, but once you get used to the terminal, you'll end up using the terminal because it's faster than opening the desktop environment and consume more time and resources, but I think that supporting desktop version for Linux users it's also a great thing, because it can reach more people! 🙌

volker_schukai profile image
Volker Schukai

I can understand that. :-)

i don't know how it is now, but in the past.
docker desktop under windows always had quality problems.
relatively often after an update the daemon was no longer accessible.

hackme profile image

Not needed

volker_schukai profile image
Volker Schukai

thank you for the comment.

giovannimazzuoccolo profile image
Giovanni Mazzuoccolo

The only advantage that I have with docker desktop is to open a container CLI with one click, without copy-pasting the id (maybe there is a quick way to do it by command line that I do not know :) )

volker_schukai profile image
Volker Schukai

do you use linux or windows? if linux what tools did you use before?

giovannimazzuoccolo profile image
Giovanni Mazzuoccolo

Mac and linux. On Linux I used docker and docker-compose from command line

antoonline profile image
Anto Online

I agree and also cannot see the real value-add. No doubt some business exec had a say and said: unified blah blah all os blah enterprise. :)

volker_schukai profile image
Volker Schukai

ok, i see you are not a fan of it either :-)