Image: Jack Wallen

Docker is one of the most powerful ecosystems to have hit the IT landscape in a long time. For the most part, using Docker isn’t all that difficult; but for some, having to work with the command line isn’t a means to an efficient end. That’s why there have been plenty of GUI tools developed to make the various tasks considerably easier.

One such tool is Shipyard. The simplicity and ease of use it offers is definitely worth the short time it takes to deploy. I want to demonstrate just how easy it is to pull an image and deploy a container from that image. I’ll demonstrate with Nginx and make the container visible to the network on port 80.

This demonstration will assume you already have Shipyard deployed. If not, check out my post on how to get Shipyard up and running.

Pulling the image

Pulling an image from Docker Hub is already a simple task (i.e. docker pull nginx). But with Shipyard, that command is made even easier with a click of the button. Log onto Shipyard and then go to the Images tab. Click on the Pull Images, type nginx, and click Yes (Figure A).

Figure A

The image is now available for container deployment.

Deploying a container

Now it’s time to deploy our Nginx container. Since Shipyard is already running on port 8080, we’ll need to ensure that Nginx runs on a different port. The obvious choice is the standard http port 80.

Click on the Containers tab and then click Deploy. In the resulting window ( Figure B), there are quite a lot of options to be configured. The secret here is that only a few are required to get your container deployed.

Figure B

At a bare minimum (for our Nginx container), you must fill out the following:

  • Image name – The name of the image to be used (in this case, nginx)
  • Container name – The name that will be used for the container (we could call this nginx)

Port configuration must also be configured. Most likely, you do not need to have all ports automatically exposed, so leave that option disabled. You will, however, need to fill out the necessary port information ( Figure C).

Figure C

If you need your container to listen to all addresses on the host, fill out If you need the container to listen to a specific address (say one associated with a specific network interface, enter that particular address). If you happen to already have a server running on the host at the standard port, you could create this new container to run on container port 80 and host port 81. That way, when you point a browser to http://SERVER_IP:81, it will automatically direct it to the Nginx container port 80.

After this is filled out, scroll down and click the Deploy button. Your container should now be listed as running ( Figure D).

Figure D

Believe it or not, that’s how simple it is to deploy a container with Shipyard. Granted, this is a very basic container, but it works and Shipyard will give you all the information you need to manage that container. You can even drop into the console for the container, for further customization. To do this, click the wrench icon associated with your newly deployed container and click Console. In the resulting window click Run and the container’s console will appear ( Figure E). You can now get to work within the container.

Figure E

Shipyard is all you need

If you’re looking for one of the best means of managing your Docker images and containers, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better solution than Shipyard. This incredibly powerful, web-based GUI, is all you need to strip away the complexity of Docker.