getting started with docker

Docker is a light virtualization solution, it doesn’t virtualize hardware. That’s why getting started with Docker is pretty quick and does not need huge hardware resources. Whether you are a Windows, Linux, or Mac user, setting up an environment for Docker is easy. In this short tutorial, I’ll have a quick overview of the pre-requisites that you’ll need to take a deep dive in Docker. 

Docker is available on a variety of Linux platforms, macOS and Windows 10 through Docker Desktop. You can download the installation package for your preferred operating system. 

So, before installing Docker, let’s have a quick review of the system requirements.  Keep in mind the following three prerequisites for almost every operating system where you are going to install the Docker engine. Let’s call them the general hardware requirements, which are:

  • A 64-bit processor
  • 4 GB system RAM
  • BIOS-level hardware virtualization support. [For Windows OS] 

I hope you have ideas about what is Docker and what is Docker used for as discussed in my earlier articles. Now let’s talk about the Docker Engine prerequisites.

1. Docker Prerequisites for Linux(Ubuntu)

We are going to use Ubuntu in all our Docker tutorials. Ubuntu is my favorite Linux distribution and the whole world loves it. 

To install Docker Engine on Ubuntu, you need the 64-bit version of one of these Ubuntu versions:

  • Ubuntu Focal 20.04 (LTS)
  • Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 (LTS)
  • Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 (LTS)
  • Ubuntu Hirsute 21.04
  • Ubuntu Groovy 20.10

Docker Engine is supported on x86_64 amd64, and armhf architectures. All modern systems or computers come with these architectures, so your computer should have one of these. 

By the way, I am going to install VMware before enabling virtualization on my Windows 10 PC.  Afterward, I’ll install Ubuntu Linux on VMWare Workstation 16 Player which is freely available for personal use. If you would like to use Virtual Box, that’d be great too.

2. Docker Prerequisites for Windows 10

The Docker Engine you are going to install is known as Docker Desktop. Docker Desktop has an Installer.exe file to install the Docker software. Following are some of the prerequisites for Windows:

Windows 10 64-bit OS with any of the following editions:

  • Home
  • Pro
  • Enterprise
  • Education

3. Docker Prerequisites for Mac

For Mac users, you must meet the mentioned requirements to successfully install Docker Desktop for Mac.

Docker Desktop currently supports macOS Mojave, macOS Catalina, and macOS Big Sur. You must have version 10.14 or newer.  It is strongly recommended to upgrade to the latest version of macOS.

For users having Mac with Apple silicon must have installed Rosetta 2

Your system must have at least 4 Gigs of RAM and the latest version of Virtualbox. The older versions (prior to 4.3.30) of Virtualbox are not compatible with Docker Desktop anymore. Therefore, if you have such a version, make sure to uninstall it and install the latest version. 

Happy Docking!

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