Recess on the Docker playground

Play-with-Docker: A free online playground for learning Docker

Jane Elizabeth
© Shutterstock / thawatchai lappuchudom

Want to learn Docker, but not sure about shelling out your pennies? Time to check out Play-with-Docker. This free in-browser Docker playground helps devs learn how to use containers, easy as pie.

Containers! The move from the monolith to microservices has been a tech revolution. But what if you haven’t yet learned how to work with containers yet? Docker is here to make sure you aren’t missing out.

Play-with-Docker (PWD) is an in-browser solution to all of your how-do-I problems. It’s a free online sandbox for hungry young devs to tool around and learn the ins and outs of Docker. It gives the experience of having a free Alpine Linux Virtual Machine in browser, where you can build and run Docker containers and even create clusters in Docker Swarm Mode.

According to Victor Coisne of Docker, the under the hood Docker-in-Docker (DinD) is used to give the effect of multiple VMs/PCs. Plus, there’s also a training site for PWD with a number of labs and quizzes for all levels to make sure you really understand what you’re coding.

Let’s be clear: this isn’t a free replacement for the paid Docker nodes. (Well, maybe if you’re fast enough.) Devs are allowed four hours of free playground time before the session and all its instances are deleted.

SEE MORE: Moby Project — The “Lego Club” of Docker containers

What’s new in the playground?

There are a few new changes to PWD to make the playground even spiffier.

  • PWD Docker Machine driver and SSH – Want to share your Docker playground during workshops and training sessions? This allows users to create and manage their PWD hosts easily through their favorite terminal including the option to use ssh related commands.
  • Adding support for file upload – Upload your Dockerfile directly into your PWD windows with a simple drag and drop of your file in your PWD instance
  • Templated session – This feature lets you spin up a 5 nodes swarm in a matter of seconds using predefined templates.
  • Showcasing your applications with Docker in a single click – This is an embeddable button that you can use in your sites to set up a PWD environment and deploy a compose stack right away. Plus, it includes a chrome extension that adds the “Try in PWD” button to the most popular images in DockerHub.

Also, the creators of PWD, Docker captains Marcos Nils and Jonathan Leibiusky, held a session at DockerCon earlier this year. You can check out their talk for a deep dive into the infrastructure and roadmaps here.

Interested in trying out the PWD playground yourself? Head on over to Play-with-Docker and see how easy it is for yourself!

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Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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