Docker Swarm Rocks
Docker is a great tool (the "de facto" standard) to build Linux containers.
Docker Compose is great to develop locally with Docker, in a replicable way.
Docker Swarm Mode is great to deploy your application stacks to production, in a distributed cluster, using the same files used by Docker Compose locally.
So, with Docker Swarm Mode you have:
- Replicability, use the same files as when developing locally.
- Simplicity and speed for development and deployment.
- Robustness and security, with fault-tolerant clusters.
Docker Swarm mode
If you have Docker installed, you already have Docker Swarm, it's integrated into Docker.
You don't have to install anything else.
Whenever you read here "Docker Swarm" we are actually talking about "Docker Swarm mode".
Not the deprecated product called "Docker Swarm".
Some of the main alternatives are:
To use any of them you need to learn a huge new set of concepts, configurations, files, commands, etc.
Docker Swarm mode
Docker Swarm mode is comparable to them.
But it, with all the ideas described here, is what I would recommend for teams of less than 200 developers, or clusters of less than 1000 machines.
This includes small / medium size organizations (like when you are not Google or Amazon), startups, one-man projects, and "hobby" projects.
Set up a distributed cluster ready for production.
...In about 20 minutes.
If it doesn't work for you, then you can go for Kubernetes, Mesos or any other.
Those are great tools. But learning them might take weeks. So, the 20 minutes spent here are not much (and up to here you already spent 3 minutes).
With Docker Swarm mode you can start with a "cluster" of a single server.
You can set it up, deploy your applications and do everything on a $5 USD/month server.
And then, when the time to grow comes, you can add more servers to the cluster.
With a one-line command.
And you can create your applications to be ready for massive scale from the beginning, starting from a single small server.
About Docker Swarm Rocks
This is not associated with Docker or any of the tools suggested here.
It's mainly a set of ideas, documentation and tools to use existing open source products efficiently together.
- To know some Linux.
- To know some Docker.
Install and set up
Install a new Linux server with Docker
- Create a new remote VPS ("virtual private server").
- Deploy the latest Ubuntu LTS ("long term support") version. At the time of this writing it's
- Connect to it via SSH, e.g.:
- Define a server name using a subdomain of a domain you own, for example
- Make sure the subdomain DNS records point to your VPS's IP address.
- Create a temporal environment variable with the name of the host to be used later, e.g.:
- Set up the server
# Set up the server hostname echo $USE_HOSTNAME > /etc/hostname hostname -F /etc/hostname
Note: If you are not a
root user, you might need to add
sudo to these commands. The shell will tell you when you don't have enough permissions. Note that
sudo does not preserve environment variables by default, but this can be enabled via the
- Update packages:
# Install the latest updates apt-get update apt-get upgrade -y
- Install Docker following the official guide...
- ...or alternatively, run the official convenience script:
# Download Docker curl -fsSL get.docker.com -o get-docker.sh # Install Docker using the stable channel (instead of the default "edge") CHANNEL=stable sh get-docker.sh # Remove Docker install script rm get-docker.sh
- If you are setting up multiple nodes (servers/VPSs), repeat these steps for each one.
- Make sure you use a different domain/subdomain for each node.
Set up swarm mode
In Docker Swarm Mode you have one or more "manager" nodes and one or more "worker" nodes (that can be the same manager nodes).
The first step is to configure one (or more) manager nodes.
- On the main manager node, run:
docker swarm init
Note: if you see an error like:
Error response from daemon: could not choose an IP address to advertise since this system has multiple addresses on interface eth0 (188.8.131.52 and 10.19.0.5) - specify one with --advertise-addr
...select the public IP
184.108.40.206, and run the command again with
docker swarm init --advertise-addr 220.127.116.11
Add manager nodes (optional)
- On the main manager node, for each additional manager node you want to set up, run:
docker swarm join-token manager
- Copy the result and paste it in the additional manager node's terminal, it will be something like:
docker swarm join --token SWMTKN-1-5tl7yaasdfd9qt9j0easdfnml4lqbosbasf14p13-f3hem9ckmkhasdf3idrzk5gz 18.104.22.168:2377
Add worker nodes (optional)
- On the main manager node, for each additional worker node you want to set up, run:
docker swarm join-token worker
- Copy the result and paste it in the additional worker node's terminal, it will be something like:
docker swarm join --token SWMTKN-1-5tl7ya98erd9qtasdfml4lqbosbhfqv3asdf4p13-dzw6ugasdfk0arn0 22.214.171.124:2377
- Check that the cluster has all the nodes connected and set up:
docker node ls
It outputs something like:
ID HOSTNAME STATUS AVAILABILITY MANAGER STATUS ENGINE VERSION ndcg2iavasdfrm6q2qwere2rr * dog.example.com Ready Active Leader 18.06.1-ce 3jrutmd3asdf1ombqwerr9svk cat.example.com Ready Active Reachable 18.06.1-ce i9ec9hjasdfaoyyjqwerr3iqa snake.example.com Ready Active Reachable 18.06.1-ce
You have a distributed Docker swarm mode cluster set up.
Check other sections in the documentation at https://dockerswarm.rocks to see how to set up HTTPS, you still have time, the 20 minutes are not over yet.
Then you can see how to deploy stacks, etc.
You already did the hard part, the rest is easy.