Archive for April, 2015

Using Docker on Early Release

Monday, April 27th, 2015

I can officially announce that my book Using Docker: Developing and Deploying Software with Containers is available on early release from O’Reilly.


The book is split into three parts:

  1. Background and Basics. The book starts off by looking at what Docker is, why it’s so important and how to get started using it, including a tutorial chapter designed to bring all readers up-to-speed with the basics of Docker. The last chapter of part 1 describes how Docker works in more detail and the underpinning concepts you need to understand in order to use Docker effectively.

  2. The Software Lifecycle with Docker. The central part of the book walks through using containers from development, through testing and into production. A small web app is developed throughout these chapters, serving as an illustrative example and discussion point. Topics discussed cover both development issues (how to write and test code with containers) and operations issues (how to run containers in production, as well as monitoring and logging).

  3. Tools and Techniques. The final section goes into advanced details and the tools and techniques needed to run clusters of Docker containers safely and reliably. If you are already using Docker and need to understand how to scale-up or solve networking and security issues, this is for you.

The early release currently has rough, unedited versions of all of Part 1 and Part 2 up to (but not including) monitoring and logging. Part 3 is currently in the works. Be warned that the book is still in a very early stage. The disadvantage of this is that parts are missing and the prose still needs work, but the advantage is that you can — if willing! — provide feedback and help shape the book.

The cover of the book is a bowhead whale (possibly the world’s longest lived mammal). Some people have complained that she or he looks a little "unwell". This is probably quite accurate; O’Reilly bases its covers on historical engravings, so it’s likely the original artist based the image on a whale that had been beached or washed up. Personally, I like my whale, though I haven’t managed to come up with a name yet. If you have a good suggestion, let me know — there’s a free copy of the book in it if I decide to use it!

This is proving to be a difficult book to write, not least because new versions of Docker and supporting tools mean I constantly have to re-write and re-evaluate content. I really appreciate all the feedback and support I get (positive and negative!), and a particular shout-out needs to go to Container Solutions who let me rant at them and publish my ramblings and CloudSoft who generously let me use their office in Edinburgh when I need to.

If you feel brave enough to take a look at the early release, you should be able to find a discount code on my twitter page. If you already have a copy, please consider sending me feedback or joining the google group discussion; the only way I can write the book you’re looking for is if you tell me what you’re looking for!

P.S. There have been some complaints about the cost of international shipping of the dead-tree version. I’m reliably informed that this will come down once the book is out and should be around 8 euros. Of course, you can also get it from Amazon.