Technically Speaking

The Official Bigstep Blog

Docker Best Practices

Lean, uncomplicated, standardized, easily manageable: that’s the essence of Docker containerization. Using best practices assures that all of the benefits of Docker containerization are fully realized and you’re making full use of this powerful tool. Here are the Docker best practices that will help you make the best of the lean, mean Docker containerization that has become so popular among developers.

Make Use of Trusted Builds

Trusted Builds makes things simpler.

The Trusted Builds feature allows you to simplify and share repositories. The key is to do all your development and testing locally before pushing it. If you build locally and test locally, it will perform the same way when it is pushed somewhere else.

Keep Layers to a Minimum


Too many layers makes things unnecessarily complicated.

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Avoid unnecessary layers. The trick is to find a good balance between readability and the lowest number of layers possible. Only add additional layers when there is a strategic reason for doing so.

Use Only One Container Per Process

Decouple applications into separate containers—one for each process. This makes horizontal scaling easier and allows you to recycle containers. To handle services that are dependent on each other, use the container linking feature instead of housing them in the same Docker container.

Don’t Install Unnecessary Packages

Avoid installing unnecessary packages. This reduces the file size, lessens the complexity of dependencies, and cuts down on build times. For example, there isn’t any need to include a text editor in a database image; it’s just a waste of resources. Eliminate the excess whenever and however possible.

Take Advantage of DockerIgnore

DockerIgnore is a handy way to exclude unnecessary files and directories from the build context and final image. This feature allows for speedier and more efficient load times and saves many megabytes of wasted upload time.

Build Containers That Are Easy to Replace

Containers should be ephemeral. That is, containers should be designed so that stopping and deleting them and replacing them with another should require only minimal setup and configuration. Think in terms of easy disposability when building Docker containers.

Be Specific About Tags

Docker Build will generate a tag that is easily read by people. This helps you manage the images more easily later. Use the -t option for the Docker Build feature.

The bottom line: Docker containerization best practices are all about keeping it simple and clean. Avoid any practices that unnecessarily bloat the process. Think in terms of leanness, and Docker will reward you with flexibility, quicker load times, and greater usability.

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