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Docker in Action

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The idea behind Docker is simple. Create a tiny virtual environment, called a container, for your application that includes only its particular set of dependencies. The Docker engine accounts for, manages, and builds these containers through functionality provided by the host operating system. Software running inside containers share the Linux OS and other resources, such as libraries, making their footprints radically smaller, and the containerized applications are easy to install, manage, and remove. Developers can package their applications without worrying about environment-specific deployment concerns, and the operations team gets cleaner, more efficient systems across the board. Better still, Docker is free and open source.

Docker in Action teaches readers how to create, deploy, and manage applications hosted in Docker containers. The book starts with a clear explanation of the Docker model of virtualization, comparing this approach to the traditional hypervisor model. Developers will learn how to package applications in containers, including specific techniques for testing and distributing applications via Docker Hub and other registries. Readers will learn how to take advantage of the Linux OS features that Docker uses to run programs securely, and how to manage shared resources. Using carefully-designed examples, the book teaches you how to orchestrate containers and applications from installation to removal. Along the way, you'll learn techniques for using Docker on systems ranging from your personal dev-and-test machine to full-scale cloud deployments.

304 pages, ebook

First published December 31, 2015

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Jeff Nickoloff

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5 stars
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100 (40%)
3 stars
79 (32%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 38 reviews
Profile Image for Jakub.
235 reviews
June 15, 2016
Not sure what exactly was wrong but after reading first part of the book i was lost. mostly by how docker and container was described. But that could be only me.

as for the rest of the book, it contains lots of examples... good for a blog post. i would rather see some real life example where this can help and how this can solve our problem, than how to set up wordpress on my local machine.

Side note, i don't quite like Manning Publications as they are having source code as image in ebooks - so they can do annotation. this is causing that some part of the book are hard to read.

Profile Image for Miloš.
65 reviews3 followers
February 5, 2017
A great read and excellent reference for best-practice approaches in building and running Docker images; unlike most of the reviewers of the book, this hasn't been my first introduction to Docker, having worked with it for well over a year now and also having read other materials on the subject. What this book had that other sources lacked was succinctly written experience-backed when, what and why's that were fun to read to boot.
Profile Image for Sebastian Gebski.
955 reviews843 followers
April 16, 2016
This book is enough to put you in action, but it won't make you running :)

The best thing about it is that it doesn't stop at single container level & it introduces tools that operate on the higher level of abstraction: Compose, Machine & Swarm. Other thing worth mentioning is some hints for common problems with dockerizing infrastructure: persistence (data, storage) & service discovery.

What is lacking then? Examples are far too simple & limited. This book just screams for more practical samples (patterns even) & scenarios. Even if it provides you the foundation to work things out on your own, some practical reference would be more than welcome.

To summarize: it's a good resource on Docker. Solid 3-3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Christophe Addinquy.
389 reviews16 followers
September 30, 2017
This is a decent book, for sure, also well illustrated. But it's more a reference book than an "in action" one. It's feature-oriented, rather than usage-oriented, and it would be appreciated if more opiniated advices were given. From a development perspective, it missed pieces about dockerability of the applications.
Ma note de lecture en Français ici
Profile Image for Stephen.
Author 7 books12 followers
February 5, 2017
A readable overview of how Docker works and how you can use it. The bulk of the book is about using and modifying existing docker images, but it also covers custom images, compose, swarm, and machine.

If you have been wanting to learn about Docker but haven't found the time to understand what it is and why it can be useful, this book is a good place to start.
Profile Image for Abeer.
209 reviews1 follower
March 7, 2021
This book is good to give the big picture and introduce the concepts, and for me it is rich of professional hints, but its examples are as-toy examples that haven’t run anything resembling the real world. The practical side of the book is not useful for real-world situations, it might be handy just for illustrating and testing concepts with the corresponding commands.
Profile Image for Dimos Raptis.
Author 2 books1 follower
May 15, 2021
At the time I decided to read this book, I already had some personal experience with the basic capabilities of Docker. I had used it to perform testing with Dockerised environments etc. I was looking for a book that would help me get a deeper understanding of some of the implementation details of Docker hoping that would help me use it more effectively and spend less time going through Stackoverflow questions and blogs each time I was having a hard time achieving what I wanted. I think the book filled this gap very well. It gives a nice overview of the various parts of Docker with a good deep dive on the various parts (e.g. volumes, networking etc.), how they are designed and what this means for you as a user. It also contains a small section in the end with a brief introduction on how you can use clustered Docker environments using Docker Machine and Swarm. That last part doesn't go into great detail, so that's something to keep in mind if that's what you're looking to get from the book.

Sometimes, some concepts (e.g. chroot, union filesystems, MNT namespaces) were mentioned without being fully explained and people without enough low-level knowledge might get confused, but I would say spending a few minutes reading the corresponding Wikipedia pages would give one the necessary background to follow along.
49 reviews6 followers
May 31, 2020
This is a good and easy read that'll help one to get a grasp of the Docker fundamentals. One of the difficulties I had when initially learning Docker was how things worked and why some seemingly quirky Docker behavior actually makes sense. This book explains it, in plain English, and without pretending that it made sense to begin with.

This makes sense when you consider the mechanics at work. The link mechanism injects IP addresses into dependent containers, and containers that aren’t running don’t have IP addresses. If you tried to start a container that has a dependency on a container that isn’t running, Docker wouldn’t have an IP address to inject. In chapter 5, you’ll learn to connect containers with user-defined bridge networks to avoid this particular dependency problem. The key point here is that Docker will try to resolve a container’s dependencies before creating or starting a container to avoid application runtime failures.

This is one of the most useful Docker books I've read thus far.
Profile Image for Bahram.
16 reviews
January 21, 2020
It was really enjoyable to read this about.
I read this about because I wanted to use Docker images inside our CI/CD pipelines, the book is really informative and the writer strives to cover different aspects of Docker, from the basic concept to a topic more advanced such as Docker Swarm.
The thing that makes this book so different is the recipe that the writer followed to covered a sophisticated idea. At first, the writer introduces the basic command to achieve the desired result. Then, he will show a proper way, more specifically a way to automate this boring task!

After reading this book, you will not only gain a deep understanding of the docker itself but also you will grasp a general idea of any kind of orchestrator.
212 reviews7 followers
February 9, 2018
The author gives a good motivation for the use of Docker containers in both personal and professional uses and gives details on usage beginning with basic command line image/container creation all the way up to using Docker Machine and provision servers and Docker Swarm to run jobs in a cluster.
Not much is said about the actual implementation of Docker, which would have been interesting but would have made it a very long book. This one is very practical and immediately usable.
Profile Image for German Tebiev.
35 reviews5 followers
December 23, 2020
Среднего размера книга, рассказывающая о работе с Docker'ом в различных аспектах. Достаточно внимания уделено устройству самого механизма, сетевым соединениям, безопасности и созданию кластеров контейнеров. О последнем рассказывает в рамках технологии Docker Swarm, о чём автор предупреждает в самом начале книги. Выбор технологии для создания кластеров контейнеров обусловлен удобством объяснения основных механик.
Profile Image for Patrick.
16 reviews
September 10, 2020
This book walks you through Docker in a step-wise fashion. Before reading this book, I could create minimal Docker containers. I had very little in basics, but by the time I finished reading this book, I could do much more with Docker.

For anyone starting on Docker, this is the go-to book. You will be introduced to Docker the product, Docker the platform, containerization, and more.
535 reviews10 followers
June 9, 2019
An easy to follow introduction to Docker that explains all the important parts to use it from your development environment up to production. The examples are to the point and help you to get a quick start with your own images.
104 reviews
August 9, 2020
Excellent book on Docker.

Part tutorial. Part reference manual.

The exercises are excellent.

By the end of the book you will be comfortable using Docker. You won't know everything, but you'll know all the important bits and know where to look to find the rest.
Profile Image for Vergiliu.
14 reviews1 follower
May 4, 2017
Geared towards a more "beginners in Docker" audience, the book is doing its job rather well with lots of concepts being presented and described.
Profile Image for Yong Lai.
88 reviews
November 18, 2017
Very thorough introduction on Docker. Great examples to guide you step by step to make sure you understand each concept. Clear writing with good structure. Highly recommended to Docker beginners.
December 11, 2018
Книга помог��а понять зачем мне docker нужен. Теперь проще читать документацию.
Profile Image for Ryan Jackson.
57 reviews6 followers
April 20, 2019
Better than I expected! A lot packed into a small book. Information rich, and easy to digest. Some of which I didn't find anywhere else.
Profile Image for Luboš.
412 reviews53 followers
March 16, 2017
In this book, he goes from zero to Docker, shows prac- tices of deploying Docker in production, and demonstrates many features of Docker with comprehensive descriptions and comparisons of various ways of achieving the same task.
Profile Image for Michael.
95 reviews
November 29, 2021
This is an intelligent and detailed review of Docker’s features. Especially found chapter 7.2 in my edition called “Going Deep on Docker Images and Layers” to be an insightful learning that I will certainly use.
Profile Image for Jeanne Boyarsky.
Author 30 books67 followers
May 3, 2016
I'm three chapters short of finishing “Docker in Action.” Usually, I finish a book before reviewing it but I wanted to get my review in before the coderanch.com book promotion for this title.

Anyway, good book. It covers the concepts well in addition to providing examples you can easily follow along with and best practices. There was even a scavenger hunt activity to get you familiar with search. I also liked the disclaimers about chaning tech and how to excuse the poor passwordss “suppose the DBA is a cat lover and hates strong passwords”

My favorite chapter was chapter 9 (which is online for free at Manning's site). In addition to explaining different models, it had a comparison table on how each hosting mechanism scores on various attributes with notes on each. It also had a great diagram for each. My second favorite chapter was chapter 8 which covers each of the instructions for a docker file.

So what prevented me from giving a perfect score? Little things. There's a reference to Appendix B, but no Appendix. I'd have liked a comparison of all the models (without notes) in Chapter 9. There were some forward references that confused me. Nothing terrible, but I can't give a perfect star rating. I still recommend you buy the book. It's great for getting started with Docker or learning about best practices.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.
571 reviews13 followers
October 23, 2016
Автор очень хорошо знает, о чем пишет, но совсем не умеет объяснять.

Главы про то, что я и так знаю, я пролистал просто для того, чтобы освежить и структурировать свою память. Узнал при этом пару-тройку новых для меня трюков и приемов - понятно, что все есть в документации, но там слишком много.

А глава про то, что я не знал (swarm) так и не дала мне вообще никакого понимания, как этим пользоваться, кроме самого верхнеуровнего (что есть такая штука).

Глава про варианты доставки имиджей просто ужасна - бессмысленные и длинные таблицы "за" и "против" для вариантов доставки, скучное разжевывание очевидных вещей.

Вообще, книга очень неконсистентна. Автор то начинает в мельчайших подробностях объяснять азы Линакс, явно предполагая что пишет книгу для вообще не технических людей (правда, непонятно, каких - менеджмента? зачем тогда детали, как реально что-то сделать; начинающих devops? так есть море великолепных книг про linux для чайников).
То автор начинает сыпать деталями и командами, которые мне, как программисту, совсем не очевидны, это скорее для опытных девопсов. Впрочем, это было скорее полезно и интересно - почитать в интернете про встреченные в книге непонятные места.

Ну и понятно, что для столь динамичной штуки, как докер, книга, вышедшая в 2015 (и, видимо, написанная в 2014) уже сейчас читается как частично устаревшая. Но это уже явно не вина автора..

Profile Image for Arun.
157 reviews34 followers
September 20, 2019
Read the MEAP version (V8). Rating 3.5 - good for getting a high level understanding of the docker concepts.

The book is divided into three logical sections with many chapters within each of the sections.
I felt the quality of the content went down a little after the first section (which was great).

In section two, there were many typos/couldn't run the code snippet type of issues and the phrases/sentences used were confusing sometimes.

Section three was about swarm and multi-node deployments etc, and it was good overview with hands-on practice.

All the section have hands-on practice. I might be reading few other books to compare against this.
26 reviews
February 6, 2017
Great book covering the basics on Docker. My only wish is that there was more discussion on real world implementations.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 38 reviews

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