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Docker Makes Another Careful Acquisition With Kitematic

By - Source: Docker

Today, Docker announced yet another acquisition. Kitematic, a tool that helps Mac users get quickly started using Docker through a GUI, is joining the Docker family. This is Docker's second carefully-chosen acquisition this month, and fourth one to date.

Last week, the company announced the purchase of SocketPlane, a six-person startup that combines OpenvSwitch and Docker in a software defined networking (SDN) tool. Last year's acquisitions of Orchard in July and Koality in October have both proven to be successful for Docker. Orchard became Docker's Compose tool, while Koality is now Docker Hub Enterprise (DHE).

Kitematic was started by three students from the University of Waterloo who wanted to build a product that would make Docker easier to use to encourage more developers to dive in. The project launched with a beta in September 2014 and has over 10,000 downloads to date.

Kitematic is a GUI that sits on top of the Docker command line interface. It's able to shorten the time that it takes to install and set everything up that you’ll need to run Docker to just a few minutes by installing all of the necessary components for you. It also gives developers a simple GUI to work with to run and manage containers. In short, Kitematic makes Docker containers more accessible to developers, and the folks at Docker hope that it will help increase adoption of their platform.

"The reason we're really excited about Kitematic is that we think it really opens the door to potentially double the market of people who are looking to explore and discover Docker's possibilities," Justen Stepka, director of product management at Docker told Tom's IT Pro in an interview. "For people who are trying to figure out what Docker is capable of, Kitematic really accelerates that process."

With just one click in the GUI, you can create and run a container; similarly, you can access or restart a container with just a single click. The graphical interface also offers a way to search and download public images in the Docker Hub. In addition, Kitematic includes some advanced automation features such as mapping ports, mounting drive volumes, modifying environment variables, and getting log information, according to the release notes.

The open source tool is going to remain open and free, and Docker hopes to invest more in the tool while improving its features and integration. In the short term, Docker is planning on adding a push/pull feature for private images along with login integration with the Docker Hub. By mid-year, developers can look forward to Windows integration, according to Stepka.

As for the three founding members of Kitematic, their journey continues along with their project as they join the Docker team in San Francisco. Their story is quite incredible, and you can read about on their blog.

"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," said Solomon Hykes, chief architect of the Docker Project and founder and CTO of Docker. "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."