Docker, Inc., the corporate sponsor of the open platform for distributed applications, today announced the acquisition of Canadian startup Kitematic and its eponymous, popular open source software tool. The Docker experience is enhanced through Kitematic and its graphical user interface (GUI)-driven workflow that automatically installs Docker on a user’s Mac to build, ship and run Docker containers in just minutes. The ease and speed of the Kitematic workflow has resonated with developers experimenting with Docker for the first time, receiving over 2,600 stars on GitHub in less than six months.

“We are thrilled to be bringing the Kitematic team on board to help expand our efforts in creating tooling that enriches the developer experience,” said Solomon Hykes, chief architect of the Docker Project and founder and CTO of Docker, Inc. “Kitematic reflects our original vision for Docker which was to make a great tooling for developers, who in turn would then use it to make great tools. Adding talented people like the Kitematic team to Docker is how we ensure that we keep focused on tackling new challenges for developers as they arise. We are also proud to announce that the Kitematic tool remains open source and free.”

The first step of the Docker journey to distributed applications starts with building and running a container and through Kitematic that initial step happens in less than five minutes – including the time to download the Kitematic package. Kitematic leverages Docker Machine, one of Docker’s three orchestration tools, to configure a developer’s Mac as a “Docker host” and then subsequently install and run the Docker Engine. The developer is then presented with a catalog of curated content which includes images for Nginx, Minecraft, Redis, and more that they can build, ship and run as Docker containers on their laptop.

The initial Kitematic feature set includes:

  • One-click installer for Docker on a Mac
  • Intuitive GUI
  • Ability to search and pull all public images in Docker Hub
  • Images can be downloaded and run as containers
  • Simple one-click commands
    • Create and run container
    • Run, restart and access container
    • Access to dev’s code to modify container
  • Advanced automation features include:
    • Mapping ports
    • Mounting drive volumes
    • Modifying environment variables
    • Getting log information

“The Kitematic team from the start was laser-focused on helping developers with their Docker experience,” said Jeff Morgan, co-founder of Kitematic. “We have been using Docker ourselves since version 0.3 and wanted to find a way to amplify our own personal successes with it for developers everywhere. That’s how Kitematic was born and now that we are a part of Docker, we have great leadership and support to help advance developer experience across different aspects of the Docker platform.”

Kitematic aligns with Docker’s strategy around open source acquisitions, which is to identify those who have exhibited leadership in the ecosystem and that share a vision of expanding critical tooling for developers and sysadmins. Docker’s acquisition of Orchard in the summer of 2014 was Docker’s first and was focused on a different facet of the developer experience; composition of multi-container applications. That acquisition lead to the creation of an orchestration tool called Docker Compose, which was recently made available for download. Kitematic also follows the recent acquisition of SocketPlane, which will be focused on addressing and accelerating the operational solutions around Docker networking by leading ecosystem collaboration around APIs. Overall, these open source acquisitions have centered on expanding the pool of users leveraging Docker in their daily workflows, which is highly beneficial to the broader ecosystem of partners building differentiated solutions that support the journey to dockerized distributed applications.