Today, the entire IT world is utilizing the power of a container to do some amazing stuff. No doubt, containerization has turned out to be a boon for the tech market. (Here, I am particularly talking about the Docker)
- Most of the times you have heard that people generally use containers for Enterprise Server Applications. But standing alone from the crowd, is it possible to use containers for a Desktop environment?
And the answer is a big YES.
- Did you know, that the Docker container has a huge scope when it comes to impacting the Development Environment?
The best part about Docker is that — using docker, you can containerize almost every single technology you work on. From launching the environment to deploying some real servers on it — just a second away!
- Now, the most important question — How is it possible to run a GUI based app inside Docker? Here is the answer:
If we talk about the running nature of any application, you can find only two of them:
- Applications that run in the background such as webservers.
- Applications that run in the foreground (generally, GUI based) such as a web browser.
In this blog, I am going to show you how to run this second type of application inside a docker container.
Let’s first try to run a GUI application (say, Firefox) inside a docker container.
To launch a docker container with ‘centos’ as its base image:
docker run -it --name gui centos
After launching and getting inside the container, let’s install firefox:
yum install firefox -y
- Yum is the package manager of Centos. And you do not need to configure inside the docker because the centos image comes with pre-configured yum.
After installing Firefox, if you try to launch firefox using ‘/usr/bin/firefox’ command, it will show the above error:
The error says that a “DISPLAY” environment was not found. So, here are the steps we are going to perform in order to solve the error:
- Create a Docker image that has firefox installed
- Launching container by providing it with a DISPLAY variable. Also, we will launch it in a ‘host’ network. Host network by default exposes a container so that it can be directly used from the base OS.
Let’s try to carry out the same:
Dockerfile for creating the docker image:
RUN yum install firefox -y
Creating the docker image:
docker build -t docker_gui .
I have created the same:
And now, it is the time to launch the container:
docker run -it --env="DISPLAY" --net=host --name firefox docker_gui
And the GUI application (firefox) has been launched inside the container:
That was all as of now. I hope you liked the above blog.
- This practical was just a small demonstration of the magical stuff that can be done using Docker.
Docker has an amazing scope in the IT world. Top MNCs are leveraging the benefits of Docker to a huge extent.
- I hope you got to learn something unique from the above article. I am a DevOps Enthusiast and I keep on writing similar exciting blogs on trending technologies.
- You can check out my LinkedIn profile mentioned below. Feel free to DM me in case of any queries/suggestion and follow me on Medium.
Shubham Mehta - Technical Volunteer - ARTH - The School of Technologies | LinkedIn
✨ I am an active learner who likes to challenge every problem with a can-do mindset in order to make any idea a…