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Docker on Raspberry Pi: 5 Significant Benefits

Updated at 13 Jun, 2021

— Raspberry Pi and Docker have been around for a while, and many developers already know of these. Discover 5 major advantages to install Docker on Raspberry Pi.

Docker on Raspberry Pi: 5 Significant Benefits
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What is Docker?

Docker, in a nutshell, facilitates the packaging, distribution, installation, and execution of complex programs such as code, entire file systems, system tools, services, and libraries. Docker refers to these packages as containers.

Want to learn more about Docker?

What is Raspberry Pi?

The tiny single-board Raspberry Pi is useful for more than simply learning about hardware and programming.

The official operating system Raspberry Pi OS, which is an adaptation of the Linux distribution Debian, is used by the majority of Raspberry Pis. Docker has been successfully used in numerous settings on Linux, so utilizing it with the Raspberry Pi should be no problem.

Want to learn more about Raspberry Pi?

Docker on the Raspberry Pi

Docker is really built on a x64 system, which is found on the majority of current computers.

The Raspberry Pi, on the other hand, employs ARM technology, which means installing the standard Docker images will not work on the Raspberry Pi instance.

However, a growing number of pre-made docker containers for Raspberry Pi are also available. OBS. It is critical to only download pre-made containers from reliable sources to minimize excessive security concerns.

Even if there have not been many possibilities so far, you can still take full use of the system by creating your own containers.

5 Significant Benefits of Docker on Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is reasonably simple to configure, if you are familiar with computer hardware and Linux.

The tiny computer can be employed for experimentation and Docker is the same way. That is because the containers are self-contained, they cannot harm the whole system.

  1. Redeployment of dependencies without reinstalling the operating system

    Docker enables the deployment of apps with all their dependencies etc., without the requirement for an OS reinstall. It also allows you to undo a messed-up upgrade.

    This is critical for embedded devices and apps that may require redeployment on occasion, as OS redeploys may block a device that is installed in an inflexible location.

    In other words, Docker on Raspberry Pi's ARM technology puts hardware solution closer to the Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment paradigm, which assumes continual upgrades.

  2. Delivering container diff to the device

    Docker allows you to communicate container diffs across the network, which saves a lot of bandwidth and is especially useful for embedded devices, which are frequently poorly connected.

    Note: The docker diff tool may be used to investigate changes made to files or directories on a container's filesystem.

    Consider gadgets linked through 3G or unreliable/expensive WiFi, but it is not only a matter of money. A little update has a far better chance of even making it through the pipes to begin with and arrives sooner for a poorly connected device.

    You could, of course, transmit diffs over the internet without Docker, but you'd have to recreate part of Docker's capabilities.

    Importantly, Docker can do diffs in a way that prevents bricking, which is not easy to accomplish properly.

  3. Pre-configured capabilities

    Another advantage is that you may run various capabilities on the device in isolated containers so that none of them interact with each other.

    These capabilities can be pre-packaged without worry if appropriately done. One may envisage an ecosystem of Docker files sprouting up, each one providing a new functionality to the Raspberry Pi.

  4. Applicable to any application

    E.g., any application that requires distributing to several devices, particularly if it has native dependencies, would benefit from the Docker on Raspberry Pi combination.

    People have already done some amazing things with their Raspberry Pi gadgets. See here.

  5. Overhead

    The Raspberry Pi is rather sluggish in comparison to the average x86 device (the world's most popular hardware platform for laptops, desktops, and servers), and Docker is slightly more costly computationally.

    Docker has the advantage of not being a virtual machine (VM). As a result, the Raspberry Pi's overhead should be negligible. - Malte Baden Hansen

Article by

Malte Baden Hansen

CPO / Co-Founder / Architect / Developer

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