If you are using Apple Mac OS and wanted to test-drive docker container there is a simple solution for that coming from VMware called AppCatalyst. I’m using VMware Fusion but i wanted a smarter solution to deploy Docker images like e.g. boot2docker does. So AppCatalyst gives you the power of the VMware hypervisor technology with an easy to use CLI and API to manage your VMs. As a little Background or Use-Case i wanted to run the docker image greencape/jekyll to test drive Markdown and Jekyll for my local writing of this blog. So we have a Use-Case and we have a technical solution for that - let’s start with the download…

At first you have to download VMware AppCatalyst and install the PKG-File to your Mac.

You should set the AppCatalyst BIN Directory /opt/vmware/appcatalyst/bin as PATH Variable to /etc/paths.

Fig 1. Quick Overview of Appcatalyst and first test of Docker Image vmwarecna/nginx:latest

As you can see on this Terminal Screenshot - there are only a few Operations available for the appcatalyst command. And you need only a few seconds to get a Docker image up and running.

Fig 2. First test of Docker Image vmwarecna/nginx:latest
Fig 3. List of command operations available

Usage : appcatalyst [domain] [command]

Virtual Machine Operations:

  • appcatalyst vm list
  • appcatalyst vm create [id]
  • appcatalyst vm clone [parentId] [id]

Virtual Machine Power Operations:

  • appcatalyst vmpower list
  • appcatalyst vmpower on [id]
  • appcatalyst vmpower off [id]
  • appcatalyst vmpower shutdown [id]
  • appcatalyst vmpower suspend [id]
  • appcatalyst vmpower pause [id]
  • appcatalyst vmpower unpause [id]

Guest OS Operations:

  • appcatalyst guest getip [id]
Fig 4. Create and start the first Docker Host

Once you have AppCatalyst up and running let’s create the first Docker Host based on VMware Photon TP2 coming with the August Release of AppCatalyst.

Fig 5. Get IP of Guest OS
Fig 6. SSH to the Guest OS
Fig 7. Docker Host and API is ready - start Docker commands at your choice...

Have some fun with AppCatalyst, Photon and Docker!

More Information: Project Bonneville - Application Containers with VMware vSphere

What else to do:

Have to manage the Photon Host and it’s IP address to avoid regular IP changes. I found this blog post by Florian Grehl at virten.net about changing the IP address on a Photon Host.