Using Docker containers on the public cloud

Introduction

This document – available here – is an introduction to the use of Docker containers. These are software constructs that ‘contain’ an entire computing environment that can be bundled as a file called a Docker image. This image can be transported to another physical computer and reconstituted there. We recommend reading the Wikipedia Docker(software) entry as a first step in understanding the Docker project / phenomenon. Docker containers provide you with intrinsic portability for your computing environment and reproducibility of execution results.

Warnings

* Please let us know if you have a ‘vendor lock-in’ horror story; we are looking for evidence that this as more than an urban myth. In any event: Docker containers are often presented as an antidote to vendor lock-in; so this remark is just a bit of (dubious!) folk wisdom.*

Additional remarks

The configuration and tutorial entries at the Geohackweek web pages are together a tutorial for getting started with Docker containers. It is tailored to the event (November 2016); an update would be appreciated to generalize the solution away from geohackweek.

The above material also indicates how Docker containers can be integrated with Jupyter notebooks.

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