In recent years, docker has created a containerization boom around the world by providing a way to easily create and run application containers. Containers save people from dependency hell by packaging the software with the operating environment it needs. Although docker was designed to be neither an operating system container nor an operating system running directly on the bare metal, docker’s powerful suite of tools will also give us tremendous convenience in managing our desktop system running on bare metal.
Why using docker image as a desktop system is a good idea? Let’s begin with talking about the inconvenience of the normal way how people are managing their desktop systems. Nowadays, most of us has more than one computer, and we want these computers to be “consistent”. Here when I say “consistent”, I mean, for example, I begin writing a document on one computer (say, at home) and am unable to finish it before having to switch to another computer (say, at work). I don’t want to worry about copying it manually to another computer, instead, I want it to be able to magically appear there so I can access it at any time. This is exactly what cloud sync disks like Dropbox do for us. However, for geeks, what cloud sync disks do is far from enough. For example, you are busy with a project, which uses a number of programming languages, libraries, and a bunch of GUI and non-GUI tools. As you keep trying new things, you install new tools and change configurations continually on your system. It would be nice if these changes can be synced across different devices automatically so that when you install something you won’t need to install it one by one on each of your computers.