Docker Essentials

This is a free book and course showing you the essentials of how to dockerize and deploy applications with Docker. You'll learn how to develop, test, and debug your applications when the code is running inside a Docker image or container, and not on your local development machine, debug containers when they don't work properly, and deploy your code to production — or anywhere else.
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Why Get The Book and Course?

Modern, web-based applications play a central role in modern life. They let us do almost all of our essential tasks online, whether that's communicating with friends and family to shopping and banking.

However building and deploying them can be a challenge for two key reasons:
  1. Working with other developers; and
  2. Deploying applications to remote environments without encountering bugs because of differences between the development and remote environment
This course will teach you the essentials of how to develop and deploy applications (using PHP examples) with Docker. You'll learn how to develop, test, and debug their applications, debug containers when they don't work properly, and deploy your code to productionor anywhere else.

What You'll Learn

Docker's Essential Terminology

Before you dive into creating a local development environment using Docker Compose, you'll learn some essential terminology that you need to be aware of, terms such as Image, Container, and Registry.

How to Install Docker

Now that you know some of the key terminology, it's time to install Docker and the related tools that you'll need to follow along with the book. In this chapter, you'll learn how to do that on the three major operating systems: Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.

How to Build a Local Development Environment

In this chapter, you're going to get your hands dirty with Docker by learning how to build a development environment which mirrors production (or any other environment). You're going to learn the essentials of Dockerfiles and Docker Compose files (docker-compose.yml) to build a 3-service configuration that can run an application on your local development machine. On top of that, you're going to learn the essential Docker commands for starting and stopping containers and testing that they're running properly.

How to Debug Docker Containers

Now that you've learned how to create a basic setup with Docker Compose, you're going to learn how to do basic container debugging. If things go wrong, you need to know how to figure out what’s going wrong and why. With that knowledge, you can either fix the problem or ask someone for help if you’re unable to fix it on your own. So in this chapter, you're going to learn the docker commands to debug containers.

How to Run Tests and Debug Apps Running Inside Docker Containers

Docker and Docker Compose make it pretty trivial to build local development environments. But what about running tests and debugging applications running inside containers, versus on your local development machine? How do you run unit, functional, acceptance, and other types of tests when the code and runtime are inside Docker containers, not on your local machine? How do you do step-through debugging?

In this chapter, I'll show you how to augment the configuration which we've built so far, to do both. Specifically, I'll show you how to run tests using PHPUnit and Codeception and to do step-through debugging using PhpStorm. In future editions of the book, I may expand this chapter to include other languages, such as Java or Python.

How to Deploy Apps to Production

In the final chapter of the book, you'll learn how to build Dockerfiles and Docker Compose files to deploy applications to a remote environment. You'll also learn some of the things that you need to consider when deploying containers to remote environments, versus on your local development machine, as well as learn about building, tagging, and pushing Docker images to image registries, and how to create Docker contexts so that you can work with multiple remote Docker daemons. It won't make you a DevOps guru, but you'll be that much less reliant on them.

Why are the Book and Course Free?

It might seem a little too good to be true, that a professional book and course on Docker are free. But, I can assure you that they both are, and that there is nothing shady going on. The book and course are free for several reasons:

  • I use Docker on a regular basis and have gained so much by doing so.
  • I see many others struggling as I did, when I first started using Docker. I want to help them avoid the mistakes that I made and come up to speed with Docker quicker and easier than I did. Consequently, I see a huge need for a book and course like this and believe that they will help become as comfortable using Docker as I am.
  • I want to give back to the community that helped me learn Docker over the last number of years.
  • Finally, the book and course are a thank you to everyone who has bought my books or taken my premium courses.

While I've spent over 200 hours on Docker Essentials so far, enough people enjoy my teaching style and continue learning with one of my books or premium courses. So, it all works out for all of us in the end! That said, you can support the project, if you'd like; I'd be very grateful if you do.

Who's the Author?

Hi, I'm Matthew Setter. I've been developing web-based applications since 1996 and developing with PHP since version 3 — way back in 1999 before it even had OOP support. I've been involved in building all kinds of PHP-based applications in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany. I'm also a PHP editor in the Twilio Voices team.

I regularly share what I know and am continuing to learn about PHP and web development more broadly on my site: Web Dev with Matt. I was the co-host of The Undercover elePHPant, a podcast about scaling and optimizing PHP applications. I'm also the author of Mezzio Essentials, Zend Framework 2 Foundations, Mezzio: Getting Started, Zend Db Deep Dive, and Zend Framework 2: The Basics.

Photo of Matthew Setter (@settermjd), author of Mezzio Essentials

Want to Listen to the Docker Essentials Talk?

If you're not sure if the book is for you, come and listen to me give a talk, based on the book, and see what you think. The talk's titled "Deploying PHP Apps with Docker Compose - The Essentials". Yes, it does have an emphasis on PHP, but that's because most of my experience is with PHP. The approach that the book and talk cover can be applied regardless of the language that your application is developed with.

Upcoming Dates

Previous Dates

Want Me to Give the Talk at Your User Group?

DM me on Twitter or email me and let's work out a date.