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Docker vs Docker Machine: What are the differences?

What is Docker? Enterprise Container Platform for High-Velocity Innovation. The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere.

What is Docker Machine? Machine management for a container-centric world. Machine lets you create Docker hosts on your computer, on cloud providers, and inside your own data center. It creates servers, installs Docker on them, then configures the Docker client to talk to them.

Docker belongs to "Virtual Machine Platforms & Containers" category of the tech stack, while Docker Machine can be primarily classified under "Container Tools".

"Rapid integration and build up" is the primary reason why developers consider Docker over the competitors, whereas "Easy docker hosts management" was stated as the key factor in picking Docker Machine.

Docker and Docker Machine are both open source tools. Docker with 54K GitHub stars and 15.6K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Docker Machine with 5.4K GitHub stars and 1.56K GitHub forks.

Spotify, Pinterest, and Twitter are some of the popular companies that use Docker, whereas Docker Machine is used by Docker, DNT, and Medallia. Docker has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3527 company stacks & 3449 developers stacks; compared to Docker Machine, which is listed in 43 company stacks and 47 developer stacks.

Decisions about Docker and Docker Machine
Florian Sager
IT DevOp at Agitos GmbH · | 2 upvotes · 372.8K views

lxd/lxc and Docker aren't congruent so this comparison needs a more detailed look; but in short I can say: the lxd-integrated administration of storage including zfs with its snapshot capabilities as well as the system container (multi-process) approach of lxc vs. the limited single-process container approach of Docker is the main reason I chose lxd over Docker.

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Pros of Docker
Pros of Docker Machine
  • 824
    Rapid integration and build up
  • 692
  • 521
    Open source
  • 505
    Testa­bil­i­ty and re­pro­ducibil­i­ty
  • 460
  • 218
  • 185
  • 106
    Upgrading / down­grad­ing / ap­pli­ca­tion versions
  • 88
  • 85
    Private paas environments
  • 34
  • 26
    Limit resource usage
  • 17
    Game changer
  • 16
    I love the way docker has changed virtualization
  • 14
  • 12
  • 8
    Docker's Compose tools
  • 6
    Easy setup
  • 6
    Fast and Portable
  • 5
    Because its fun
  • 4
    Makes shipping to production very simple
  • 3
    Highly useful
  • 3
    It's dope
  • 2
    Its cool
  • 2
    MacOS support FAKE
  • 2
    Simplicity, isolation, resource effective
  • 2
    Open source and highly configurable
  • 2
    Does a nice job hogging memory
  • 2
    Package the environment with the application
  • 2
    Very easy to setup integrate and build
  • 2
    HIgh Throughput
  • 2
    Docker hub for the FTW
  • 2
  • 0
  • 12
    Easy docker hosts management

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Cons of Docker
Cons of Docker Machine
  • 8
    New versions == broken features
  • 6
    Unreliable networking
  • 6
    Documentation not always in sync
  • 4
    Moves quickly
  • 3
    Not Secure
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    What companies use Docker?
    What companies use Docker Machine?
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    What tools integrate with Docker?
    What tools integrate with Docker Machine?

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    What are some alternatives to Docker and Docker Machine?
    LXC is a userspace interface for the Linux kernel containment features. Through a powerful API and simple tools, it lets Linux users easily create and manage system or application containers.
    Rocket is a cli for running App Containers. The goal of rocket is to be composable, secure, and fast.
    Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
    Cloud Foundry
    Cloud Foundry is an open platform as a service (PaaS) that provides a choice of clouds, developer frameworks, and application services. Cloud Foundry makes it faster and easier to build, test, deploy, and scale applications.
    Vagrant provides the framework and configuration format to create and manage complete portable development environments. These development environments can live on your computer or in the cloud, and are portable between Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
    See all alternatives