Michael Irwin – Docker https://www.docker.com Thu, 23 Feb 2023 18:31:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.2.2 https://www.docker.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/cropped-Docker-favicon-32x32.png Michael Irwin – Docker https://www.docker.com 32 32 Introducing the Docker+Wasm Technical Preview https://www.docker.com/blog/docker-wasm-technical-preview/ Mon, 24 Oct 2022 14:00:00 +0000 https://www.docker.com/?p=38243 Editor’s note: With the release of Docker Desktop 4.15, Docker+Wasm is now in beta! Check out the documentation to learn more.

The Technical Preview of Docker+Wasm is now available! Wasm has been producing a lot of buzz recently, and this feature will make it easier for you to quickly build applications targeting Wasm runtimes.

As part of this release, we’re also happy to announce that Docker will be joining the Bytecode Alliance as a voting member. The Bytecode Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating secure new software foundations, building on standards such as WebAssembly and WebAssembly System Interface (WASI).

bytecode alliance logo

What is Wasm?

WebAssembly, often shortened to Wasm, is a relatively new technology that allows you to compile application code written in over 40+ languages (including Rust, C, C++, JavaScript, and Golang) and run it inside sandboxed environments.

The original use cases were focused on running native code in web browsers, such as Figma, AutoCAD, and Photoshop. In fact, fastq.bio saw a 20x speed improvement when converting their web-based DNA sequence quality analyzer to Wasm. And Disney built their Disney+ Application Development Kit on top of Wasm! The benefits in the browser are easy to see.

But Wasm is quickly spreading beyond the browser thanks to the WebAssembly System Interface (WASI). Companies like Vercel, Fastly, Shopify, and Cloudflare support using Wasm for running code at the edge, and Fermyon is building a platform to run Wasm microservices in the cloud.

Why Docker?

At Docker, our goal is to help developers bring their ideas to life by conquering the complexity of app development. We strive to make it easy to build, share, and run your application, regardless of the underlying technologies. By making containers accessible to all, we proved our ability to make the lives of developers easier and were recognized as the #1 most-loved developer tool.

We see Wasm as a complementary technology to Linux containers where developers can choose which technology they use (or both!) depending on the use case. And as the community explores what’s possible with Wasm, we want to help make Wasm applications easier to develop, build, and run using the experience and tools you know and love.

How do I get the technical preview?

Ready to dive in and try it for yourself? Great! But before you do, a couple quick notes to keep in mind as you start exploring:

  • Important note #1: This is a technical preview build of Docker Desktop, and things might not work as expected. Be sure to back up your containers and images before proceeding.
  • Important note #2: This preview has the containerd image store enabled and cannot be disabled. If you’re not currently using the containerd image store, then pre-existing images and containers will be inaccessible.

WASM is no longer in beta. Download Docker Desktop to start using it.

Are there any known limitations?

Yes! This is an early technical preview and we’re still working on making the experience as smooth as possible. But here are a few things you should be aware of:

  1. Docker Compose may not exit cleanly when interrupted
    • Workaround: Clean up docker-compose processes by sending them a SIGKILL (killall -9 docker-compose).
  2. Pushes to Hub might give an error stating server message: insufficient_scope: authorization failed, even after logging in using Docker Desktop
    • Workaround: Run docker login in the CLI

Okay, so how does the Wasm integration actually work?

We’re glad you asked! First off, we need to remind you that since this is a technical preview, things may change quite rapidly. But here’s how it currently works.

  1. We’re leveraging our recent work to migrate image management to containerd, as it provides the ability to use both OCI-compatible artifacts and containerd shims.
  2. We collaborated with WasmEdge to create a containerd shim. This shim extracts the Wasm module from the OCI artifact and runs it using the WasmEdge runtime.
  3. We added support to declare the Wasm runtime, which will enable the use of this new shim.
docker containerd wasm diagram

Let’s look at an example!

After installing the preview, we can run the following command to start an example Wasm application:

docker run -dp 8080:8080 --name=wasm-example --runtime=io.containerd.wasmedge.v1 --platform=wasi/wasm32 michaelirwin244/wasm-example

Since a few of the flags might be unfamiliar, let’s explain what they’re doing:

  • --runtime=io.containerd.wasmedge.v1 – This informs the Docker engine that we want to use the Wasm containerd shim instead of the standard Linux container runtime
  • --platform=wasi/wasm32 – This specifies the architecture of the image we want to use. By leveraging a Wasm architecture, we don’t need to build separate images for the different architectures. The Wasm runtime will do the final step of converting the Wasm binary to machine instructions.

After the image is pulled, the runtime reads the ENTRYPOINT of the image to locate and extract the Wasm module. The module is then loaded into the Wasm runtime, started, and networking is configured. We now have a Wasm app running on our machine!

This particular application is a simple web server that says “Hello world!” and echos data back to us. To verify it’s working, let’s first view the logs.

docker logs wasm-example
Server is now running

We can get the “Hello world” message by either opening to http://localhost:8080 or using curl.

curl localhost:8080

And our response will give us a Hello world message:

Hello world from Rust running with Wasm! Send POST data to /echo to have it echoed back to you

To send data to the echo endpoint, we can use curl:

curl localhost:8080/echo -d '{"message":"Hi there"}' -H "Content-type: application/json"

And we’ll see the data sent back to use in the response:

{"message":"Hi there"}

To remove the application, you can remove it as you do any other Docker service:

docker rm -f wasm-example

The new integration means you can run a Wasm application alongside your Linux containers (even with Compose). To learn more, check out the docs!

What’s next for Wasm and Docker?

Another great question! Wasm is rapidly growing and evolving, including exploration on how to support multi-threading, garbage collection, and more. There are also many still-to-tackle challenges, including shortening the developer feedback loop and possible paths to production.

So try it out yourself and then let us know your thoughts or feedback on the public roadmap. We’d love to hear from you!

Creating the KubeCon Flappy Dock Extension https://www.docker.com/blog/creating-the-kubecon-flappy-dock-extension/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 15:20:46 +0000 https://www.docker.com/?p=33978 During KubeCon EU 2022, our Docker team was able to show off many of our latest releases, including Docker Desktop for Linux and Docker Extensions. Community feedback on these has been overwhelmingly positive! To help demonstrate the types of extensions available, we demoed the Disk Usage extension and built our own extension just for the conference: Flappy Dock! Let’s dive into the extension and how we built it.




The Makeup of an Extension

In case you haven’t built your own extension, extensions are simply specially formatted Docker images that contain a frontend and optional backend services. The frontend is simply a web app that’s extracted from the image and rendered within Docker Desktop. Therefore, anything that can run in a web browser can run as an extension! The extension’s metadata.json (more on that later) configuration file tells Docker Desktop how to install and use it.

As we looked around for fun ideas for KubeCon, we decided to run a simple game. Fortunately, we found a web adaptation of Flappy Bird on GitHub — thanks nebez/floppybird! This would be a perfect starting point.

Converting Flappy Bird to Flappy Dock

While Flappy Bird is fun, why don’t we make it match our nautical theme while using Moby and Molly? Luckily, that’s a pretty easy change to make with the following steps.

1) Using the NGINX Container

After cloning the repo locally, we can launch the app using an nginx container. Using the new Featured Images page, I can start my container with a few clicks. If I start an nginx container, select the directory I cloned the repo into, and open the site, I get Flappy Bird! Feel free to play a game or two (use either the mouse or spacebar to play the game)!




2) Swapping Out Our Images

To customize the game, we need to swap out some images with some Docker-themed images! Each of the following images go into the assets folder.


3) Changing Your CSS

We’ll modify the css/main.css and replace the original sky, ceiling, and land assets with our new images. If we refresh our browser, we should have the following now!




Our images are now in place, but we’ll need to tweak the colors where the images aren’t being used. We’ll do that next!

In the css/main.css file, make the following changes:

  1. In the #sky declaration, set the background color value to #222D6D
  2. In the #land declaration, set the background color value to #094892


You can see our game coming together!




4) Updating Your Game Code

With both CSS classes in place, let’s update the game code to randomly choose a character. We also must clear out the previous character choice, since you can play the game multiple times without refreshing the page. In the js/main.js file, locate the showSplash function. At the top of that function, add the following:

const useMolly = Math.floor(Math.random() * 2) === 0;
  .addClass(useMolly ? "molly" : "moby");


Finally, check out your game. You should now successfully have either Moby or Molly as your main character while playing Flappy Dock!





Turning Flappy Dock into an Extension

Now that we have our web-based game ready to go, it’s time to turn it into an extension! As we mentioned earlier, an extension is simply a specialized image that contains a metadata.json with configurations.

To use the docker extension commands, first install the Docker Extension SDK plugin (instructions can be found here). This is currently the only method to install an extension not listed in the Extensions Marketplace.

1) Adding Configurations to the Root

In the root of our project, we’re then going to create a metadata.json file with the following contents:

 "icon": "docker.svg",
 "ui": {
   "dashboard-tab": {
     "title": "Flappy Dock",
     "root": "ui",
     "src": "index.html"


This configuration specifies the extension title and the location within the container image that contains the web-based application.

2) Creating an Image

Now, all that’s left is to create a container image. We can use the following Dockerfile to do so!

FROM alpine
LABEL org.opencontainers.image.title="Flabby Dock" \
   org.opencontainers.image.description="A fun extension to play Flappy Bird, but Docker style!" \
   org.opencontainers.image.vendor="Your name here" \
   com.docker.desktop.extension.api.version=">= 0.2.3" \
   com.docker.extension.screenshots="" \
   com.docker.extension.detailed-description="" \
   com.docker.extension.publisher-url="" \
   com.docker.extension.additional-urls="" \
COPY metadata.json .
COPY index.html ui/
COPY assets ui/assets
COPY css ui/css
COPY js ui/js


The Dockerfile here simply puts the metadata.json at the root and copies other key files in the locations we specified in our config. You can also use various labels to describe the image (which is helpful for images in the Marketplace).

At this point, we can build our image and install it with the following commands:

docker build -t flappy-dock .
docker extension install flappy-dock


3) Confirming Within Docker Desktop

Within Docker Desktop, we should now see Flappy Dock in the sidebar! If you click on it, you can play the game!





For KubeCon, we added a few additional changes to the app — including a running total score, run count, and an available “easy mode” with extra space between the pipes. Want to learn more? Check out our version of the code in this GitHub code repo.


While a fairly basic example — by building Flappy Dock into an extension — we demonstrated how to turn any web-based interface into an extension. If you have ideas for your own tools, documentation, or even games, we hope this blog post helped out!

If you want to dive deeper into Docker Extensions and explore the additional capabilities provided through the SDK (including running Docker commands, listing containers and images, and more), visit the resources below. We’d love to hear your feedback and about what you want to build with Docker Extensions!