When using Docker, there are problems that will arise that you cannot solve on your own. When these situations arise, it is necessary to reach out to the Docker Community. The different ways in which you can seek the knowledge of other developers are Docker community forum, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), Twitter, Stack Overflow, GitHub project bug tracker and mailing list. In the subsequent sections of this post, we will demonstrate how each platform is used.
The Docker community forum is geared towards those who contribute and work on Docker. The forum provides a public platform where issues on design, Docker best practices and projects within the Docker tool set. To participate in discussions, you need to login using a Docker Hub account. To create a Docker hub account, navigate to the Docker hub website https://hub.docker.com/. You will be required to provide a Docker ID, an email address and a password.
Once you provide the required information click on sign up. Check your email and click on the confirmation link provided. Navigate to the Docker forum here https://forums.docker.com/ and login with your Docker ID and password. After logging into the forum, you can access knowledge base, community forums, documentation, technical support and service status.
IRC tools provide users with a quick access to the knowledge base of the most knowledgeable users. IRC enables communication in text form. Communication happens in a client server model where the user installs a client on a local machine. The client then communicates with the server to send messages to other clients. Although there are many IRC clients for brevity, we will only demonstrate the use of two clients Webchat and IRCCloud.
To access Webchat navigate to this link https://webchat.freenode.net/ and provide a nickname and the channels you are interested in. For now, we are interested in the #docker channel. After providing the required information, click on connect.
After connecting, you need to register your nickname before you can join the channel. The command line bar at the bottom of the page is the interface that you will use for all interactions such as executing commands and sending messages. To get help on commands available, execute /msg NickServ help in the command line bar.
To register your nickname execute the command below, you need to provide your nickname, a password and an email address of your choice.
/msg NickServ REGISTER @docker1 firstname.lastname@example.org
After registering, check your email for further instructions on completing your registration. For example, to verify my email I had to execute the command below that was sent to my email
/msg NickServ VERIFY REGISTER mwiraria ybexswqfjqcg
After logging out and before you can use Webchat you need to provide your password using the command shown below.
/msg NickServ identify @docker1
To join a Docker channel, use the command below
After joining a channel, you can then send messages.
Another IRC client that can be used is IRCCloud. This client has a free and a paid version. The free version has limited features so to enjoy a complete set of features you need to pay. The client is accessed through this link https://www.irccloud.com/invite?channel=%23docker&hostname=chat.freenode.net&port=6697. As a first time user, you need to register by providing your email address. You will then receive an invite through your email to complete registration by providing a nickname and a password.
You need to edit settings and ensure secure port is checked.
Registering your nickname is done just like in the Webchat client. You need to provide a password and an email address. The command below registers a nickname.
/msg NickServ REGISTER @docker1 email@example.com
Activation instructions will then be sent to the email you provided. For example, to activate my account I had to execute the command below.
/msg NickServ VERIFY REGISTER mndigar ahmwnqpbbwqn
If you logout, you need to provide your password next time using the command below.
/msg NickServ identify @mwiraria1
To join Docker channel, use this command:
Another way to get help on Docker problems is through Stackoverflow. You need to sign up by navigating to this link https://stackoverflow.com/. You can use your Google or Facebook account to sign up quickly. Alternatively, you can provide your email, a name and a password to sign up. Once you login, you can then ask questions, get answers and mark the answers as helpful. You can also search previous questions to see the answers that were provided.
Another way of getting help is on Docker Twitter. Through the Docker twitter handle, you can ask questions, receive Docker updates, and share Docker content with other users.
The Github bug tracker project provides a way to request features, report bugs and provide insights on how you think Docker development needs to proceed. Navigate to the project location at https://github.com/docker/distribution/issues, sign up and then you can participate in the forum.
For developers who are involved in development of Docker tools a mailing list is available here https://groups.google.com/a/dockerproject.org/forum/#!forum/distribution. Navigate to the URL and join the group.
In this post, we introduced the different ways in which you can get help on Docker problems. We began by discussing the Docker forum. Then we discussed the two IRC clients Webchat and IRCCloud and demonstrated how they can be used to get help on Docker problems. We moved on to discuss how stackflow, Docker twitter and Gthub bug tracker can be used to get help on Docker. Finally, we mentioned how a developer mailing list can be used.