Jack Wallen shows how you can expand the Docker Desktop feature set by adding Portiner to the mix.
Docker Desktop is the official GUI for Docker container management. With this cross-platform tool, you can do just about anything you need to work with your implementations. The only downside to Docker Desktop is that it only allows you to manage containers on the same host where the app is installed. If you want to use it to connect to a remote server, you’re out of luck.
However, I’ve found that the web-based Portiner, which can connect to a remote environment, is a bit more robust in features. Portiner allows you to manage literally every aspect of containers.
When I discovered that it is possible to add Portiner to Docker Desktop, I was excited. By adding Portiner to Docker Desktop, you extend the feature set to give the application more power, control and flexibility.
For anyone serious about managing your Docker containers with a GUI, it’s well worth adding Portiner to Docker Desktop, and I’ll show you how.
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What you need
All you need for this to work is a running instance of Docker Desktop. If you don’t already have that up and running, here’s a tutorial that walks you through the process†
With that out of the way, let’s add Portainer.
How to install Portaine
The developers of Docker Desktop have made this incredibly easy, thanks to a handy Marketplace, where you can install Portiner and a host of other extensions like anchor, JFrog, Lens, Meshery, OpenShift, Snyk, and more.
To install Portiner, open Docker Desktop. Once the app is running, click Add extensions in the left navigation (Image A†
Click install associated with Portainer and type your user password when prompted. The installation should finish pretty quickly and once it’s done you’ll see Portiner in the left sidebar (Figure B†
Click the Portaine list and then click Get Started (Figure C†
Add a remote Docker connection
If your Docker server is running on the same machine you installed Docker Desktop on, simply click Get Started to connect to that environment.
However, if your Docker server is remote, click Add Environments. In the resulting window (Figure D), click the Docker tab.
Let’s say you want to name your environment Docker Swarm and the controller is at IP address 192.168.1.13. For that you would add
Docker Swarm as the name and then in the space, type Environment URL
Once you’ve done that, scroll down and click Add Environment (Figure E†
If you go back to the main Portainer window (Figure F), you should now see your external environment added with all the stats displayed.
And that’s all there is to adding Portiner to Docker Desktop and connecting it to a remote environment. Enjoy that newfound power and flexibility with Portiner.
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