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Introduction to Docker containers

How to work effectively with containers

Topic: System Administration
Sean Kane

Containers are often advertised as solving a multitude of problems relating to delivering and maintaining highly available software in the always-on, global environment that most organizations must serve today, but how can they actually help you? What problems are you actually experiencing that can be solved with containers and its closely related technologies?

After learning about Docker images, it is important to understand how containers work and how you can interact with them in your regular workflow. This class will give you a solid understanding of the technologies that enable containers, how developers can use containers to simplify their daily workflow, and how operations can utilize containers to increase stability, flexibility, and security in their production environments.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, hands-on, online course, you’ll understand:

  • The history of containers.
  • How to read container logs.
  • How to access container statistics and events.
  • How to debug live containers.
  • What kernel functions enable containers.
  • How to control resource usage for containers.
  • How to tune Linux capabilities for Containers.
  • How to leverage Secure Computing Mode.

And you’ll be able to:

  • Feel comfortable using containers in your workflow.
  • Limit the number of resource a container can consume.
  • Improve the security of your container.

This training course is for you because...

  • You need to understand how to utilize containers effectively in development and production environments.


  • Basic comfort with the Unix command line is helpful.

Recommended preparation:

  • A modern computer and OS
    • Recent Linux, OS X, or Windows 10
    • root/admin rights
    • CPU Virtualization extensions MUST be enabled in your BIOS/EFI
    • Reliable and fast internet connectivity
  • Docker Desktop or Engine (Community Edition)
  • A graphical web browser
  • A text editor
  • A software package manager
  • Git client
  • General comfort with the command line will be helpful.
  • Optionally, have the following command-line tools installed: tar, wget, curl, jq, and an SSH client
  • Introduction to Docker images (live online training course with Sean Kane)

  • Take Docker Images (live online training course with Sean Kane)

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Sean Kane is a lead site reliability engineer at New Relic. He's had a long career in production operations, with many diverse roles across a broad range of industries. Sean is the lead inventor on a container-related patent and spends a lot of his spare time writing, teaching, and speaking about modern production operations. He is an avid traveler, hiker, and camper and lives in the US Pacific Northwest with his wife, children, and dogs.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Introduction (30 minutes)

  • Presentation: Docker Terminology
  • Presentation: History of Containers

Container Details (30 minutes)

  • Exercise: Ports and Volumes
  • Exercise: Container Logging
  • Exercise: Container Statistics
  • Exercise: Container Events

Debugging and Resources (60 minutes)

  • Exercise: Debugging Container
  • Presentation: Kernel Functionality
  • Exercise: Controlling Resource Usage

Container Security (60 minutes)

  • Exercise: Container UID
  • Exercise: Privileged Containers
  • Exercise: Linux Capabilities
  • Exercise: Secure Computing Mode
  • Review