Using Docker on Early Release

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.

14 Responses to “Using Docker on Early Release”

  1. Angus McIntyre Says:

    Obviously, a whale on the cover of a book about Docker has to be called Moby Dock.

  2. Adrian Mouat Says:

    Thanks Angus :)

    Unfortunately, I don’t think Docker Inc would be happy if I did that (as you probably know Moby Dock is the name of their mascot) . Also, Moby Dock is a blue whale.

  3. Angus McIntyre Says:

    Alas, I didn’t know Moby Dock was already taken. I guess the joke was much too obvious for someone not to have thought of it before.

    Bow Geste (after the novel by P.C. Wren)?

    Bowtis Redding (“Sitting on the Dock of the Bow”)?

    Mister Cetus (from ‘Balaena mysticetus’)?

    Sigh. I’m trying much too hard, aren’t I?

  4. Adrian Mouat Says:

    Ha, I like Bowtis Redding. I’m still undecided though.

  5. what Says:

    Sorry but the price is disappointing

  6. Adrian Mouat Says:


    Sorry you feel that way. The book price was set by the publisher; I didn’t have any input. Please do note that you can get a significant discount with the code on my twitter page.

  7. Hamza Says:


    Thanks for writing this book, I have just started reading it. I just wanted to suggest mentioning vagrant and how that ties into using docker as a development enviroment especially if you are not running under Linux. They have excellent support for docker as detailed here:

    Also when is the final release scheduled for?


  8. Adrian Mouat Says:

    Hi Hamza,

    Thanks for the comment!

    Vagrant is definitely a useful tool, especially for development environments.

    However, I really want to keep this book focused on Docker, so I would rather point people to docker-machine and boot2docker.

    I’m working on the last chapter at the minute, so release isn’t too far away, but I can’t give you a date as of yet.


  9. 0ddmean Says:

    Hi, just finished ‘hello world’ section of your book translated into Russian (isbn 9785970604267). Thanks for your work!

  10. Prashanth Says:

    I wanted an understanding of Docker as a background to start on Kubernetes. I picked up ‘Using Docker’ and I liked how the content is organized and presented. It starts with brief description on Docker containers and then gets into quick install of docker and first steps into running docker and then start explaining the concepts in more detail. This helps understanding concepts. I was interested in understanding more on basic linux container concepts such as namespaces, cgroup, overlay filesystem etc. The book briefly covers it.

    I’m looking for a similar styled, but more in-depth book on Kubernetes covering concepts, installation, administration and monitoring. Any suggestions ?

  11. Adrian Says:

    @Prashanth, that’s a good question but I’m afraid I don’t have a good answer. I see there are some recent O’Reilly books by people that I know are knowledgeable:

    – Programming Kubernetes by Michael Hausenblas and Stefan Schimanski

    – Managing Kubernetes by Brendan Burns, Craig Tracey (Brendan is one of the founders of k8s and Craig was part of Heptio, so you couldn’t find more knowledgeable authors).

    I guess look at the first book if you plan on writing applications or systems that run on k8s and the second book if you’re interested in starting and managing your own cluster.

    There’s also Kubernetes Up and Running, but that might be a little too introductory.

    As a free resource, Kubernetes The Hard Way by Kelsey Hightower is pretty awesome

  12. Backlithwy Says:

    or their samples written

  13. Premiumqnu Says:

    text carrier and protective

  14. Holographicjql Says:

    Middle Ages as in Western

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