A Review Of The Docker Book

The Docker Book is a newly published book from James Turnbull, whose name you will recognize if you’re at all familiar with DevOps, Puppet, or Docker itself. It’s a nice introduction to what Docker is and how to get started using it. It’s like Goldilocks — not too detailed, not too superficial, just right.

The book starts from the basics, assuming no prior knowledge with Docker, or even most of the core concepts of virtualization, but moves quickly through these topics into installing Docker and getting started with it. The important and useful tasks — starting, stopping, interacting with containers, running containers as daemons, and so on — are all covered in the right amount of detail.

After this, the book switches into building your own images and using them for real things. There’s a couple chapters dedicated to some sample applications. These aren’t silly hello-world applications, either — we’re talking about real, useful apps, like your own continuous integration system running Jenkins CI.

The final two chapters are about using the Docker API, getting help, and extending and contributing to Docker itself (it’s opensource, of course).

So what do I think? First, great job James. I know it’s a lot of work to write a book like this (275 pages). Second, since Docker is very new, obviously things are going to change a lot, and in my opinion James has gone into just the right level of detail, keeping that in mind. The book doesn’t feel bleeding-edge to me, though. It’s pretty well thought-out and professionally written, clear and concise. I have a feeling it will get a lot deeper and more detailed in future editions, but right now it’s a great way to get started with Docker!

I'm Baron Schwartz, the founder and CEO of VividCortex. I am the author of High Performance MySQL and lots of open-source software for performance analysis, monitoring, and system administration. I contribute to various database communities such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, Redis and MongoDB. More about me.