Cloud Computing, Containerization, DevOps

6 Mins Read

Run GUI Application Inside Docker Container

Overview

Docker is a set of platforms such as service products (PaaS) that use an operating system-level recognition to deliver software to packages called containers. Containers are segregated and include their software, libraries, and configuration files; they can communicate with each other through well-defined channels. All containers are managed by a single operating system kernel, so they use fewer resources than a virtual machine.

Differences between Docker Containers and Virtual Machines

1. Docker Containers

Docker containers contain dual, libraries, configuration files, and the app itself.

They do not have a guest OS for each container and rely on the OS kernel below, which makes containers easier.

Containers share resources with other containers on the same host OS and provide OS level process separation.

2. Virtual Machine

Virtual Machines (VMs) work on Hypervisors, allowing multiple Virtual Machines to operate on a single machine with its operating system.

Each VM has its copy of the operating system and operating system with the required banners, which makes it very large and requires additional resources.

They provide a breakdown of the Hardware process and are slow to launch.

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Why do we use Docker?

Using Docker allows you to send code faster, evaluate application performance, move code seamlessly, and save money by improving app usage. With Docker, you get one thing that can work reliably anywhere. The simple Docker syntax gives you full control. The extensive discovery means that there is a solid natural system of tools and applications that are not on the shelf ready for use with Docker.

Benefits of Docker

Docker is a container installation that lets you create, send, and run applications easily with the help of containers. It is about packing applications with all their required libraries and others dependent on the developer container.

Docker was launched in 2013 by American technology company Docker, Inc. – formerly known as dot Cloud. As well as containers, Docker has a few other great components as well – Docker Images, File Docker, Docker Registries, etc.

 

Indeed, with the help of Docker – developers can code or build applications without having to worry about the environment.

Advantages of Using Docker

1. Consistent & Isolated Environment

The first advantage of Docker is that it gives you a consistent and unique environment. It takes responsibility to classify and disassemble your applications and applications in such a way that each container can access all the necessary resources in one way, that is, without interruption or going to another container. Ultimately allows you to use multiple containers at the same time on the same host. In addition, as each container is only allowed to access the allocated resources – it helps to reduce the risk of a few potential problems such as downtime, etc. Also, you can easily delete any application by deleting its container, and it will not leave behind temporary files, etc. on your system.

In simple terms, the implication of a fixed location here is that the Docker image created by you during any development phase will work similarly to other stages of SDLC such as testing, production, etc.

2. Rapid Application Deployment

Docker intensifies the application process to a great extent. It optimizes the entire development life cycle by providing a quality work environment for developers. You need to know that Docker creates a container for each process and that Docker applications do not start on the OS – that saves a lot of time. Docker containers come with minimal operating time requirements that allow for immediate use. Here, you do not need to set a new location – you have to download the Docker image to use it in different locations. And let us tell you – these images are very small in size and also promote the instant application. Docker is preferred for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI / CD) workflow.

3. Better Portability

Another Beneficial Benefit of Docker Portability! Apps created with Docker containers are very portable. Docker Containers can work on any platform, whether Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform, VirtualBox, Rackspace server, or any other platform, although the OS host must support Docker. Since the app and all its dependencies are integrated into a Docker container – you can send it to any program that supports Docker, and the app will do the same. For example, Docker containers can quickly move from cloud to localhost and vice versa. The following results in various benefits such as wasting time and resources on-site setups, error correction problems in areas, etc. It helps engineers make the development process more responsive and faster.

4. Cost-Effective

Needless to say, every technology organization wants to choose such development and supply systems or services that can help them reduce overall costs without compromising the normal workflow or product quality. And Docker can help them accomplish this task! As Docker minimizes the need for additional development infrastructure and the container created for each process can be shared with other applications in the form of these applications installed containers using less memory compared to virtual machines – making the development and feeding process less expensive. With Docker, developers can use multiple containers on a single server resulting in better utilization of resources. At that point, Docker later needed a smaller team of experts compared to the traditional workflow which led to a reduction in organizational staff costs.

Steps to Run GUI Application Inside Docker Container

Step 1 – Start Docker Services

To make use of the docker service and check its status, use the below commands to check the status:

Step1

Step 2 – Pull the Centos Image from DockerHub

This will by default pull the centos image from DockerHub with the latest version of centos and will store it in a local system.  So, that you can create the containers from the image. Use the below command to pull any image from DockerHub.

Step2

Step 3 – Customized Docker Image Building

If we want to run a GUI program inside Docker Container let’s say for example ‘’firefox’’. So, what do we have to do? So, first, we have to install the software.  We can create a customized container image that has the required software to run the application. This process is known as creating a customized docker image. For this, the best approach to create a customized image is by creating a “Dockerfile”.

If you are creating a Dockerfile then the filename where you will be writing the script to create the image must be named “Dockerfile”

Step3

Step 4 – Now let’s build the image

Step4Once the build is done, let’s launch the container

Step4b

Here you will see errors, we are not able to launch the firefox container. Why?

The main logic here is firefox need one environmental variable to run itself. This variable helps firefox to project its GUI tab on the screen. Now we know that the docker container does not have a GUI screen to run the firefox program. So, we need to tell the container to use the host system GUI screen and for that, we are going to use that environmental variable by adding the env option in the command. So run the below command.

Now there is one more option we are using in the above command i.e., net=”host”. Because we are goanna connect our docker container with your RHEL8 host system network card. This option is needed because after launching the container it will give you the GUI window, whatever you will search in the GUI window needs to go to the docker container via the docker host. For that connectivity, we used that option in a command.

Step4c

Conclusion

As you can see, we have successfully launched the firefox program inside the docker container.

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FAQs

1. What is Docker Image?

ANS: – A Docker image is a non-editable file containing libraries, source code, tools, and other items required to run applications. Docker images are sometimes known as snapshots because of their read-only nature. Snapshots are representations of an application and its VE (virtual environment) at a specific moment in time. Docker is one of the most well-known virtualization programs ever because of its consistency. Developers may explore and test programs in various scenarios thanks to the ability to stamp time.

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