Docker is looking to increase users’ portability and agility with its newly announced native apps: Docker for Mac and Docker for Windows. Both are entering private beta.

“These are really tools that will help developers become more agile, develop microservice-based applications, and bring the power of Docker to development,” said Patrick Chanezon, chief developer advocate at Docker.

According to him, the company found that developers were coming across technical limitations with Docker Toolbox, forcing them to develop workarounds. With Docker for Mac and Windows, users can now install, launch and utilize Docker from a system toolbar just like any other packaged app, he explained.

(Related: Docker focuses on unikernels)

The new solutions feature deep system-level development that integrates Docker with host-native virtualization (such as Apple Hypervisor and Microsoft Hyper-V), networking, filesystems, and security capabilities. In addition, the solutions include Docker Compose, Docker Notary, and a streamlined installation process that no longer relies on third-party software like VirtualBox.

The benefits of these new solutions, according to Chanezon, include:

  • Ease of use and performance: Docker for Mac and Windows utilizes native hypervisor capabilities that increase performance and reliability.
  • Resolved dependency issues: The solution does not rely on any third-party dependencies, comes integrated with Docker tools, leverages native virtualization, and allows users to use any version-control manager.
  • Polyglot development: Developers can use a single text editor or IDE to code their application. “We see that more and more developers are becoming polyglot and building microservice applications where different microservices may be developed in different languages,” said Chanezon. “When you need to install and manage different versions of these languages on your laptop, it is really painful. Docker for Mac and Docker for Windows makes it easy to have polyglot workflows on a single laptop.”
  • Advanced networking capabilities: Docker for Mac and Windows includes a DNS server for containers, integrates with Mac OS X and Windows networking systems, and allows users to use Docker over a VPN.

Chanezon said that Docker for Windows is not yet up to par with Docker for Mac’s features, but the company is currently working on improving the Windows platform to get it to the same level.

In addition, Docker is looking into integrating Kitematic’s UI element designed to manage containers into a native UI for both Mac and Windows, as well as adding support for Windows containers.